By Bohol Island News Staff /09:02 PM October 1, 2019
A Bohol native prelate has just been named as the new Apostolic Nuncio to Spain.
Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Bernardito Auza as the replacement to retired Italian Archbishop Renzo Fratini, according to the CBCPnews.com Thursday.
The appointment of Auza was announced in Rome at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday.
Upon his appointment, the archbishop was the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York, a post he held since 2014.
His appointment came less than two years before the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga described this development as “very significant and meaningful” that the new papal envoy to Spain will be a Filipino.
“On the forthcoming grace-filled event of 500 years of Christianisation of our country, the Philippine Church gives her gift and gratitude in the person of Archbishop Auza,” he said.
“The God’s graces and the Gospel our Spanish missionaries have sown to us are our fruits to Spain and to the whole world.”
“It is indeed a call for us to celebrate with gratitude and with deep appreciation our 500 years of Christianisation,” Santos added.
A native of Talibon in Bohol province, Archbishop Auza was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Tagbilaran in 1985. He was incardinated to the then newly-formed Diocese of Talibon in 1986.
In 1990, he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See. His first assignment was in Madagascar and South Indian Ocean from 1990 to 1993 and was a member of the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the U.N. before assuming his post in Haiti in 2008.
Archbishop Auza also served in the Secretariat of State in the Vatican, after having been to the Apostolic Nunciature in Bulgaria and Albania.