05/10/2011, 00.00
VATICAN
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Fernando Filoni is the new pro-prefect of Propaganda Fide

The Holy See announced today a major change at the top of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Archbishop Filoni, current substitute of the Secretary of State, has served in several Asian countries: Sri Lanka, Iran, Hong Kong, Iraq, Jordan and the Philippines.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Archbishop Fernando Filoni is the new pro-prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Propaganda Fide). Filoni replaces card. Ivan Dias of India, who has reached the end of his term. Filoni, a Holy See diplomat, was born in Manduria (Taranto) April 15, 1946. He is currently substitute for the Secretariat of State. Ordained July 3, 1970, he served in various nunciatures: Sri Lanka, Iran, Brazil and finally in the Philippines, 1992-2001.

Although he was formally assigned to the embassy in Manila, his base of operations was Hong Kong. At that time he played a key role in what was called the " Study Mission" on China, linked to the Philippines Nunciature. In that role he established contacts with the Chinese Catholic Church, both the "official" and the "underground".

John Paul II appointed him nuncio in Jordan and Iraq on January 17, 2001. He resided in Baghdad. When war broke out in Iraq, he did not want to leave the nunciature, and remained in the capital for the duration of the conflict. On February 25, 2006 he was called back to the Philippines as Nuncio (http://www.asianews.it/ Nuncio urges Filipinos to pray "for Mid-East peace and unity"). In June 2007, Benedict XVI called him to Rome to assume the role of the substitute Secretary of State

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