(ANSA) - Rome, December 30 - Pope Francis has appointed
Nunzio Galantino, bishop of Cassano allo Jonio in
Calabria, as interim secretary-general of the powerful Italian
bishops' conference (CEI), the Vatican said Monday.
Galantino will serve as interim secretary-general to
replace Mariano Crociata who was named bishop of Latina after
two mandates at CEI.
The interim appointment was "rendered urgent for the
regular work schedule of the general secretariat and for a
number of procedures that require his presence," said Father
Federico Lombardi, the head of the Vatican press office, adding
that the length of the mandate has not been decided yet.
Galantino was born in the southern town of Cerignola near
Foggia in 1948 and was appointed bishop in December 2011.
The influential CEI is the only bishops council in the
world to have its two top leadership roles, the president and
secretary-general, named directly by the pontiff.
Vatican watchers say reforms to enable Italian bishops to
elect their leaders could be implemented before the end of
Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco's term as president in 2017, in which
case he may step down amid elections.