Thursday, January 10, 2013

An avalanche of appointments by Pope Benedict XVI

VaticanAntonio Chiminello was appointed director of the State Accounting Administration of the Vatican City for a period of five years. Until now Chiminello had been the deputy-director of the same State Accounting Administration; different from accountant of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs.

Chiminello takes the place of the outgoing director Eugenio Dei Borgognoni, who is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Pension Fund and of the Board of Directors of the Health Care Fund.
The Pope has also appointed Nicolas Henry Marie Denis Thevenin the Apostolic Nuncio of Guatemala. Monsignor Thevenin had been the advisor for international affairs of the Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone until 2009, when he was appointed Protonotary Apostolic "de numero participantium". 

Mgr. Jean-Paul Mr. Manfred Gobel will become the Apostolic Nuncio in the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Delegate to the League of Arab States; until now, he had been tenured Archbishop of Galatia in Campania and Apostolic Nuncio in Iran.
And lastly, Mgr. Michael Fitzgerald is retiring. The 75 year-old British prelate had been Apostolic Nuncio to Egypt since 2006, where he was sent by Pope Benedict XVI a few months after his the election to the papacy after a long career in the Roman Curia. He was an exponent of the 'progressive' wing of the Vatican, and he was first the secretary (from 1987 to 2002) and then the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (from 2002 to 2006). This experience proved to be invaluable for his task in a country that was the epicentre of the "Arab spring" just a few years afterwards.
The Vatican ambassador had to manage the Tahrir square protests and the transfer of power from Mubarak to the Muslim Brotherhood with prudence and competence. He also had to manage the diplomatic disagreement between the Holy See and the Islamic university of al-Azhar and the latest political turbulence between demonstrators and president Mohammed Morsi during the vote for a new Constitution. 

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