The Helsinki Diocese had been without a bishop since May 20, 2019, when the pope accepted the early resignation of Bishop Teemu Sippo, who had led the diocese since 2009 and resigned early for health reasons. 

Sippo was the first Finnish-born Catholic bishop to be appointed since the 16th century. 

Father Marco Pasinato had been serving as administrator of the diocese.

Goyarrola Belda, 54, most recently served as vicar general for the Helsinki Diocese and has served in Finland since 2006. Catholics in Finland are “very happy” to now have a bishop who is fluent in Finnish, EWTN Norge reported.

The bishop-elect was born on July 20, 1969, in Bilbao, Spain. In 1987 he entered the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei, the Vatican announcement stated. 

He studied medicine and surgery at the Universidad de Navarra and subsequently carried out his philosophical-theological studies at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, obtaining a doctorate in dogmatic theology.