A Filipino archbishop has been named as the Holy See’s new Apostolic Nuncio to Australia.
The Vatican announced on Wednesday the appointment of Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, a native of Naga City, Camarines Sur, following approval by Pope Francis.
A nuncio is the head of the Vatican’s diplomatic mission or Apostolic Nunciature, which is the equivalent of an embassy.
Yllana, 67, is currently serving as the Apostolic Nuncio to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
He will replace Archbishop Paul Gallagher, who now serves as the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States.
Yllana was ordained priest by the Archdiocese of Caceres in March 1972 and has a Doctorate in Civil and Canon Law.
After taking International Diplomacy at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Service in Rome, he entered the Vatican’s diplomatic service and was named to his first post in 2001 as the Nuncio to Papua New Guinea.
In December 2001, he was appointed Nuncio to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and five years later, to Pakistan.
Nine years later, he was named Apostolic Nuncio to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Following his appointment, the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ACBC) thanked the Pope and welcomed the new Vatican envoy.
“Archbishop Yllana brings wide and diverse experience, great faith and priestly gifts.
We assure him of a warm and enthusiastic welcome upon his arrival and service here in Australia,” Archbishop Denis Hart, ACBC president, said in a statement.
Yllana speaks English, Spanish, Italian and French.
There are at least four Filipinos serving as the Pope’s envoy to different countries.
Aside from Yllana, Bohol native Archbishop Bernardito Auza is currently the Vatican’s permanent representative to the United Nations.
Also, Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla and his brother Archbishop Francisco Padilla, who are from Cebu, currently serve as Nuncios in South Korea and Tanzania, respectively.