By Vatican News staff writer
Pope Francis on Saturday appointed Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli as the new Apostolic Nuncio to India. Until now, the 67-year-old Italian has been Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Cyprus, and Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine.
The new responsibility of Archbishop Girelli, who has served in several Holy See’s diplomatic missions in Asia, comes on his 68th birthday.
Born on 13 March 1953 in Predore, Bergamo in northern Italy’s Lombardy region, he was ordained priest on 17 June 1978 for the Diocese of Bergamo. He holds a doctorate in theology and a master’s degree in canon law.
He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See on 13 July 1987, and worked in the Papal Diplomatic missions in Cameroon, New Zealand and at the Section for General Affairs of the Vatican Secretariat of State, and finally in the Apostolic Nunciature to the United States, where he held the rank of Counsellor.
When Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Apostolic Nuncio to Indonesia on 13 April 2006, he also made him an archbishop. He was consecrated bishop on 17 June 2006.
Later, on 10 October 2006, he was also appointed Apostolic Nuncio to East Timor. On 13 January 2011, he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Singapore, Apostolic Delegate to Malaysia and Brunei, and non-residential Pontifical Representative for Vietnam. He was also appointed Apostolic Nuncio to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on 18 June 2011.
On 13 September 2017, Pope Francis appointed him Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine. Two days later, he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio also to Cyprus. Besides his native tongue, he speaks English and French.