POPE BENEDICT XVI appointed Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams as the new Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines last September 3.

The 63-year-old former Vatican ambassador to Zimbabwe succeeds Archbishop Fernando Filoni, who was appointed a substitute for Vatican’s Undersecretary of State for General Affairs, the third most important post at the Vatican’s foreign affairs ministry. Filoni succeeded Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, who has been appointed Prefect for the Congregation for Eastern Churches.

Adams is the 15th in the line of apostolic delegates and apostolic nuncios to the country.

Born in Philadelphia, USA on Aug 24, 1944, Adams, who has a Doctorate in Canon Law, was ordained priest in May 1970. Adams began work in the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1976 and served in countries such as Rwanda, Kenya, Honduras, Ireland, Denmark, and Czech Republic.

The late Pope John Paul II appointed him as the apostolic nuncio to Bangladesh in 1996 and made him archbishop with the titular see of Scala. He became the papal nuncio in Zimbabwe last August 22, 2002.

An apostolic nuncio or papal legate is regarded as the Vatican’s emissary to the bishops of the episcopal conferences and to particular churches. His primary task is to strengthen the bonds of unity between the Pope and the heads of states and the bishops, according to Church law.

The president of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Jaro, welcomed Adam’s appointment.

“As we would welcome the Holy Father anytime, so we welcome his ambassador or representative in our midst to unite us with the Pope who is the successor of Peter and the Vicar of Christ,” Archbishop Lagdameo said in a statement. Santosh K. Digal with reports from CBCP News

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