Fernando Filoni
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Fernando Filoni


Fernando Filoni
Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
Card. Fernando Filoni in Taiwan.jpg
Filoni visited Yunlin, Taiwan in 2019.
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Appointed10 May 2011
PredecessorIvan Dias
Other posts
  • President of the Interdicasterial Commission for Consecrated Religious (2011-)
  • Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Urbaniana University (2011)
  • Cardinal-Bishop of Nostra Signora di Coromoto in San Giovanni di Dio (2018-)
Orders
Ordination3 July 1979
by Antonio Rosario Mennonna
Consecration19 March 2001
by Pope John Paul II
Created cardinal18 February 2012
by Pope Benedict XVI
RankCardinal-Deacon (2012-18)
Cardinal-Bishop (2018-)
Personal details
Birth nameFernando Filoni
Born (1946-04-15) 15 April 1946 (age 73)
Manduria, Italy
NationalityItalian
DenominationRoman Catholic
ResidenceVatican City
Previous post
Alma materPontifical Lateran University
Motto
  • Lumen Gentium Christus
  • ("Christ, Light of the nations")
Coat of armsFernando Filoni's coat of arms
Styles of
Fernando Filoni
Coat of arms of Fernando Filoni.svg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal

Fernando Filoni (born 15 April 1946) is a Cardinal of the Catholic Church and Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in the Roman Curia since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on 10 May 2011. Cardinal Filoni is an expert in Chinese affairs and on the Middle East.

Education and early diplomatic work

Filoni was born in Manduria near Taranto, Italy. He entered the seminary and earned doctorates in Philosophy and in Canon Law from the Pontifical Lateran University. He was ordained a priest on 3 July 1970. He served in the Nunciatures of Sri Lanka from 1981 until 1983, Iran from 1983-1985, Brazil from 1989-1992 and the Philippines from 1992 until 2000. Although formally assigned to the Apostolic Nunciature to the Philippines, he was based in Hong Kong. During this time Archbishop Filoni was Pope John Paul II's bridge to China's bishops, official and non-official Churches and bishops, in the hope of reconciling them to the Holy See.[1]

Apostolic Nuncio

Pope John Paul II appointed Filoni apostolic nuncio to Iraq and Jordan on 17 January 2001, naming him titular Archbishop of Volturnum. He received episcopal consecration from Pope John Paul II on 19 March 2001. He chose as his episcopal motto Lumen Gentium Christus.[2]

Archbishop Filoni defended the freedom of the Catholic Church in Iraq under the regime of Saddam Hussein and - in line with the Pope's position - opposed the US invasion of the country in 2003.[3] He remained in Baghdad as American bombs fell,[4] which he called "nothing exceptional".[5] When Mario Vargas Llosa visited him in Baghdad in 2003, he described Filoni as "small, astute, tough as nails, talkative and an expert on emergencies", who described sadly how, just as predicted, it was "incredibly difficult to administer the peace".[6] After the fall of Saddam he recognized the new-found freedom enjoyed by the people, but he warned against the lack of security and the slow development of the economy. He supported the new constitution[] and the peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims.

He came close to being killed in Baghdad on 1 February 2006, when a car bomb exploded next to the nunciature.[7] He served in Iraq and Jordan until 25 February 2006 when he returned to the Philippines as the Nuncio.

Roman Curia

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Filoni Substitute for General Affairs on 9 June 2007, effective 1 July.[3]

It was Filoni's job to organise the activities of the Curia and the care of official translations of papal documents and correspondence; encryption dispatches messengers to be sent to the Registry of the papal letters, the resolution of legal issues, personnel management in the Curia and nunciatures (promotions and advances), the protocol and etiquette for visiting heads of state, information and media management Vatican archive management to shipping the blessings of the Pope. He is also responsible for organizing the activities of nuncios around the world in their activities concerning the local churches. As well as speaking his native Italian, he also speaks English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

Commenting on his appointment he said: "It is an act of paternal benevolence on the part of the Pontiff, to which I respond without the slightest trepidation, but with the same willingness and profound gratitude I have had in the past. The wonderful words of Our Lord aid me at this time, those found in Luke (17, 10), on the attitude of those called into the Christ's service: 'When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do'."[3]

In 2008, Archbishop Filoni was awarded the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.[8]

On 10 May 2011, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Filoni Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in succession to Ivan Cardinal Dias, who had reached retirement age and had health problems.[9]

The Holy See announced on 6 January 2012 that he would be created a cardinal on 18 February. He was created Cardinal-Deacon of Nostra Signora di Coromoto in San Giovanni di Dio. On 24 April 2012 Filoni was made a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and the Congregation for Catholic Education.[10] On 24 November 2012 he was appointed a member of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.[11] Cardinal Filoni took part in the 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis, and was considered to be a papabile, or possible candidate to be elected pope.[7]

Based on his work with the people of Iraq, Filoni wrote The Church in Iraq.[12]

Pope Francis raised him to the rank of Cardinal Bishop effective 28 June 2018.[13]

References

  1. ^ "Filoni Card. Fernando". Holy See Press Office. Archived from the original on 19 September 2016. Retrieved 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  2. ^ "A rosary for the whole world". 30 Days (Interview). 1 May 2012. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Msgr. Fernando Filoni is the new substitute for the Secretary of State". Asia News. 9 June 2007. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ "After the bombs there was chaos, Filoni on the Christians of Iraq's Babel". La Stampa. AP/La Presse. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "Iraq for the Iraqis". 30 Days (Interview). 1 April 2004. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ Vargas Llosa, Mario (2011). Touchstones: Essays on Literature, Art, and Politics. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ a b Allen Jr., John L. (6 March 2013). "Papabile of the Day: The Men Who Could Be Pope". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ "Presidenza della Repubblica". Quirinale.it. Archived from the original on 20 August 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ Pentin, Edward (10 May 2011). "Benedict XVI Makes Two Key Vatican Appointments". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ "Rinunce e Nominee, 21.04.2012" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. Archived from the original on 8 August 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  11. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 24.11.2012" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  12. ^ Filoni, Fernando The Church in Iraq (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press), 2017; a translation of La Chiesa in Iraq (Vatican City State: Libreria Editrice Vaticana), 2015.
  13. ^ "Rescriptum ex Audientia Ss.mi" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 26 June 2018. Retrieved 2018.

External links

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Giuseppe Lazzarotto
Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq
17 January 2001 - 25 February 2006
Succeeded by
Francis Chullikatt
Apostolic Nuncio to Jordan
17 January 2001 - 25 February 2006
Preceded by
Antonio Franco
Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines
25 February 2006 - 9 June 2007
Succeeded by
Edward Joseph Adams
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Leonardo Sandri
Substitute for General Affairs
1 July 2007 - 10 May 2011
Succeeded by
Giovanni Angelo Becciu
Preceded by
Ivan Dias
Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
10 May 2011 - present
Incumbent
President of the Interdicasterial Commission for Consecrated Religious
10 May 2011 - present
Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Urbaniana University
10 May 2011 - present

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