Pope Francis made some new nominations on Monday, elevating to the rank of archbishop two prelates who have served in the Vatican for many years.
Portuguese Monsignor José Avelino Bettencourt, currently the chief of protocol at the Secretariat of State, has been named titular Archbishop of Cittanova and raised to the office of apostolic nuncio.
He was ordained a priest in 1993 and entered the Holy See’s diplomatic service in 1999, serving in the nunciature of the Democratic Republic of Congo before coming to work in the Secretariat of State in 2012.
At the same time, Pope Francis raised Maltese Monsignor Alfred Xuereb to the rank of archbishop and named him as apostolic nuncio to Korea and Mongolia.
Born on the island of Gozo in 1958, Mgr. Xuereb was ordained in 1984 and began working in the secretariat of the Pontifical Lateran University in 1991. He started his service in the Vatican Secretariat of State in 1995, before transferring to the Pontifical Household in November 2000.
He returned to the Secretariat of State, serving as secretary to Pope Benedict XVI from 2007 and then to Pope Francis from his election in March 2013. In November that year, he was named as delegate on the Pontifical Commissions for both the Vatican bank (Institute for Works of Religion) and the re-organisation of the economic structures of the Holy See and in March 2014 he was appointed as Secretary General of the Secretariat for the Economy