The National, Thursday 17th November 2011
MANILA: Pope Benedict XVI has appointed a Filipino archbishop as the Vatican’s new diplomatic representative to Tanzania.
Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla, who hails from Cebu, was appointed by the Pope on Nov 10 as the new papal nuncio to the East African nation, according to a report posted on the news website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
“He will take over the post left vacant by Archbishop Joseph Chennoth, who was named apostolic nuncio to Japan in August,” the report said.
Padilla is the papal envoy to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands – with a combined Catholic population of around 1.7 million – a post he has held since May 2006.
Padilla will face a more challenging task in Tanzania, which has at least 10.4 million Catholics.
As papal nuncio, Padilla will also have the crucial task of screening the list of candidates the Pope will peruse when he chooses the next bishops in Tanzania.