MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino will represent Vatican City after Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Bernardito Cleopas Auza, the Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti, as the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York.
According to an article posted at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) website, the announcement appeared in the L’Osservatore Romano, the Holy See’s official newspaper.
Auza is a native of Talibon, Bohol and was consecrated Titular Archbishop of Suacia on May 8, 2008, the same day he was appointed Nuncio to Haiti. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, then Secretary of State, was his principal consecrator.
He was also the Apostolic Administrator of the capital city Porte-au-Prince after the magnitude 7.0 earthquake in 2010.
Auza is a career diplomat, having worked at various diplomatic posts including Madagascar and the South Indian Ocean in 1990 to 1993 and was a member of the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the U.N. before assuming his post in Haiti.
He is the first Filipino to represent the Vatican before the UN. He replaces Archbishop Francis Chullikatt from India, the first non-Italian to have acted as the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the U.N.
Chullikatt leaves his diplomatic position after the normal four-year stint expected of a Vatican diplomat. No announcement yet as to where his next post will be.
-KLYTE FAYE VELOSO
LNU ABCom Intern