Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Nunzio Galantino, secretary general of the Italian bishops’ conference, to lead APSA (Apostolic Headquarters Heritage Administration), which acts as the Vatican’s treasury and central bank.
In an announcement made June 26, the Pope accepted the resignation of Cardinal Domenico Calcagno and appointed Bishop Galantino as his successor.
The Pope’s decision will provoke surprise in some quarters, as in his previous role, Bishop Galantino worked outside the Vatican’s internal hierarchy. Bishop Galantine served as secretary-general of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI) from 30 December 2013.
Cardinal Gualtiero Basseti, president of the CEI, described Bishop Galantino’s appointment as “a great act of esteem and trust on the part of the Holy Father”, and that the Vatican’s economic heritage required “extremely delicate” management.
APSA (Administratio Patrimonii Sedis Apostolicae) was established by Pope Paul VI in August 1967. The department was reorganised by Pope Francis in 2014, and the Secretariat for the Economy created to oversee all the economic activities of the Vatican.
Bishop Galantino was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Ascoli Satriano e Cerignola in 1972. He earned a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Bari in 1974, and from 1977 was Professor of Anthropology at the Faculty of Theology for Southern Italy. He was bishop of Cassano all’Jonio, in Calabria, for three years until 2015. When consecrated, Bishop Galantino chose the motto Inclina cor meum in testimonia tua (Bend my heart to your instructions; Psalms 119:36).