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October 17, 2013 12:00 pm

Pope Francis Appoints Israel-Friendly Archbishop Pietro Parolin as New Vatican #2

avatar by Joshua Levitt

New Secretary of State for the Vatican, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, seen here leading Mass in Caracas, Venezuela, July, 2012. Photo: WikiCommons.

New Secretary of State for the Vatican, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, seen here leading Mass in Caracas, Venezuela, July, 2012. Photo: WikiCommons.

Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Pietro Parolin to replace Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone as secretary of state of the Vatican, the BBC reported.

Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict, had appointed Cardinal Bertone, who was criticized over a spate of leaked documents that revealed corruption and infighting at the Vatican.

Archbishop Parolin, 58, who was papal nuncio in Caracas prior to this appointment, will become the youngest cleric to occupy this post since 1939.

The BBC said cardinals welcomed the choice, as Archbishop Parolin is seen as a reformer and is known for his efforts to improve relations with China and Israel.

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Speaking to Vatican radio, French cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, said Archbishop Parolin was “an excellent choice, an efficient man, a good negotiator, very balanced.”

The appointment of his new secretary of state is seen by Vatican watchers as the most important single administrative act carried out by the new Pope since his election last March, the BBC said.

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