Friday, October 14, 2016

Bagnasco elected president of Europe’s bishops

The Archbishop of Genoa who is also President of the Italian Bishop’s Conference is, as of today, also President of Europe’s bishops. 

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco has been elected head of the Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE), where he had been serving as Vice-President. He was appointed by European prelates and cardinals gathered in Montecarlo for their annual plenary assembly. 

Bagnasco takes up the baton from the Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Cardinal Peter Erdő, who led the CCEE for two terms, from 2006 to 2016. 

In the same election session, members also elected the CCEE’s two vice-presidents: Cardinal the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols and the Archbishop of Poznan, Mgr. Stanislaw Gadecki. 

The new president officially took up office straight after the election. 

Born in Pontevico (Brescia) 73 years ago, to a Genoese family displaced by the war, Bagnasco has served as Bishop of Genoa since 2006 (the diocese he was posted to as a priest and where he served as a parish priest for many years). 

In 2003, St. John Paul II ordained him an Italian Military Ordinary and before than Bishop (from 1998 onwards) and then Archbishop (from 2000 onwards) of Pesaro. He has headed the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI) since 2007, after Cardinal Camillo Ruini’s long presidency. That same year, Benedict XVI created him cardinal. 

Another Italian who served as president of Europe’s bishops in the 90s, was the Jesuit Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini.

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