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Pope names new deputy Secretary of State

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Pope Francis has named Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra as deputy to the Secretary of State.

The Venezuelan archbishop, who is currently nuncio to Mozambique, will take up the position of ‘Sostituto’ on October 15.

Archbishop Pena has served as a Vatican diplomat in Kenya, Yugoslavia, the United Nations, South Africa, Honduras, and Mexico. He speaks Spanish, English, Italian, French, Portuguese and Serbo-Croat.

The archbishop succeeds Cardinal Giovanni Becciu, who will take up the position of Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in the coming weeks.

The Secretariat of State functions as the Vatican’s foreign office, and is often regarded as the department of the Curia that works most closely with the Pope. Archbishop Pena will have a key role in overseeing new appointments to the Curia, as well as the affairs of Holy See embassies/