Pope Francis Taps Archbp. Claudio Gugerotti To Head Dicastery for the Eastern Churches

Pope Francis had named on Nov. 21 Archbp. Claudio Gugerotti to head the Roman Catholic Church’s Dicastery for the Eastern Churches. Archbishop Gugerotti was previously the papal nuncio for Great Britain.

Details of the Appointment

According to an article by NCR Online, Gugerottii was the dicastery’s undersecretary until 2001.

The 67-year-old Italian prelate will replace Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, who had held the post beginning in 2007. Sandri had just celebrated his 79th birthday on Nov. 19, the news outlet bared.

Gugerotti’s Dicastery for the Eastern Churches is in charge of all Eastern Catholic and Latin-rite churches, such as in North Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.

Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family’s Bp. Kenneth Nowakowski welcomed the news of Gugerotti’s appointment. Bishop Nowakowski’s congregation is based in London, where the archbishop served as apostolic nuncio.

The bishop explained that Gugerotti’s appointment as head of the dicastery is “bittersweet; he was appointed nuncio in Great Britain shortly after my own enthronement here, and his deep knowledge of our church in Ukraine meant that he was well informed about our eparchy and Ukrainian community in Great Britain, so I will miss him.”

Nowakowski explained that the former papal nuncio’s appointment is critical, owing to the latter’s “knowledge of our church both in Ukraine and abroad.”

“I phoned His Excellency immediately when I learned the news and told him I will miss him here but also assured him of my prayers for him and offered him my heartfelt congratulations,” NCR Online quoted him saying.

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About Archbishop Gugerotti

The same news report bared that Archbishop Gugerotti formerly taught in Rome’s Pontifical Oriental Institute. He also served as a staff of the Congregation for Eastern Churches and worked with orthodox leaders and Eastern Catholics during his stint as ambassador to Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia from 2002 to 2011.

Additionally, Gugerotti was the papal ambassador to Belarus (2011-2015) and papal nuncio to Ukraine (2015-2020) before serving as apostolic nuncio to Great Britain for the last two years.

According to his profile, Archbishop Gugerotti was born in Verona, Italy, on Oct. 7, 1955. He was ordained a priest of Verona on May 29, 1982.

He then became Titular Archbishop of Rebellum on Dec. 7, 2011, the same time he was appointed as apostolic nuncio of Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.

NCR Online said Gugerotti has degrees in liturgy, as well as Oriental Languages and literature.

Additionally, Gugerotti taught liturgy and Eastern technology at the Institute for Ecumenical Studies. He likewise taught patristics at the St. Zeno Theological Institute. Both educational institutions are located in Verona, Italy, where Gugerotti lectured until 1985.

The archbishop continued his stint as an educator at the Oriental Institute, where he lectured Armenian literature and languages, as well as patristics.

He then worked for the former Congregation for Eastern Churches (the old name of the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches) beginning in 1985. Two years later, he became its undersecretary.

Archbishop Gugerotti was ordained a bishop on Jan. 6, 2002, by then-Pope John Paul II.

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