MANILA, May 10, 2011?Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Most Rev. Giuseppe Pinto as the new apostolic nuncio to the Philippines.

Archbishop Pinto will succeed Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams who has been reassigned to Greece.

His appointment was officially announced in Rome on May 10 at 12:00 noon (6:00 p.m. Manila time).

A native of Bari, Italy, Archbishop Pinto was born on May 26, 1952 and ordained priest on April 1, 1978.

He holds a doctorate in Canon Law and fluent in four languages, speaking not only his native Italian, but also French, English and Spanish.

Archbishop Pinto entered the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See on May 1, 1984 and has served successively in Papua New Guinea, Argentina and the Secretariat of State in Vatican City.

He also served as Apostolic nuncio in Senegal, Cape Verde, Mali and Guinea-Bissau, and has been assigned as Apostolic Delegate to Mauritania.

Prior to his current appointment, the 59 year-old archbishop was Apostolic nuncio in Chile since 2007.

Archbishop Pinto will be the 16th in the line of Apostolic Delegates and Apostolic nuncios to the Philippines.

An apostolic nuncio or papal legate is considered the representative or ambassador of the Holy See to the bishops of the Episcopal Conference and particular churches.

His principal task, according to church law, is to make firm and effective the bonds of unity between the Pope and the heads of States and the bishops. (CBCPNews)