MANILA, Philippines—Church officials are set to welcome the newly appointed Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto, on Friday, according to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, CBCP president Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar and other bishops will be meeting the papal envoy at the airport on Friday, according to Msgr. Juanito Figura, the CBCP secretary general.
Pinto, who is Italian, will be the 15th papal representative to the Philippines and the 10th apostolic nuncio, said Figura.
Papal or apostolic nuncio is the official title of the permanent diplomatic representative and head of the diplomatic mission of the Holy See to a state or international organization, and has the rank of an ambassador like those from any other country.
The papal nuncio enjoys seniority of precedence over other ambassadors in the Philippines, which grants the pope’s representative the deanship of the country’s diplomatic corps.
Pinto was appointed last May by Pope Benedict XVI to succeed Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, who has been reassigned to Greece. He was previously assigned to Chile.
In addition to his diplomatic duties, the nuncio serves as the liaison between the Holy See and the Roman Catholic diocesan episcopate in the country.
The CBCP News, the official news service of the Church hierarchy, said on Thursday that Pinto’s arrival would come at a time when the local Church was accused of impropriety in accepting vehicles from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office during the Arroyo administration.
Pinto holds a doctorate in canon law and is fluent in Italian, French, English and Spanish.
He joined the diplomatic service on May 1, 1984. He was previously assigned to Papua New Guinea, Argentina and the Vatican City state secretariat.
He also served as apostolic nuncio to Cape Verde, Senegal, Mali and Guinea-Bissau, and was apostolic delegate to Mauritiana.