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Apostolic Nuncio to the European Union dies of Covid-19


Conferencia Episcopal Venezolana

I.Media - published on 12/03/21

Archbishop Aldo Giordano, a 67-year old Vatican diplomat, contracted the virus and was in intensive care in Leuven for several weeks

Archbishop Aldo Giordano, apostolic nuncio to the European Union, died on December 2, 2021, at the age of 67 from complications due to Covid-19, Vatican News reports. He was appointed to the post on May 8.

The Vatican diplomat contracted Covid-19 and was in intensive care in Leuven (Belgium) for several weeks. His condition gradually worsened on the morning of December 2.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said on Twitter that she was “deeply saddened” by his death. The European Union “benefited from his remarkable diplomatic skills when he served as the dean of the diplomatic corps to the EU.”

She concluded her tweet by speaking of the nuncio as a “good man, dedicated to peace and dialogue. A true European. We honor his memory.”

The president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), Jean-Claude Cardinal Hollerich, praised the qualities of a man motivated by “a great desire to contribute to the European project with a Catholic outlook.”

“It was a real blessing to meet him and to participate in beautiful moments of sharing and brotherhood alongside him,” he said in a statement.

“The leaders of the Secretariat of State and the diplomatic staff of the Holy See pray for Archbishop Aldo Giordano, Apostolic Nuncio to the European Union, that he lives with Christ the Good Shepherd, whom he has always loved in the certainty of the resurrection,” said the Secretariat of State via its Twitter account.

Archbishop Giordano had only recently taken up his post as apostolic nuncio to the European Union. He had previously been nuncio to Venezuela for eight years.

A specialist in European issues

Born in 1954 in Italy, Giordano was ordained in 1979 in the diocese of Cuneo (Piedmont). He then studied the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche and became a professor of philosophy. In 1995, he was appointed secretary general of the European Bishops’ Conference, a position he held for 13 years.

Owing to this experience, Benedict XVI appointed him—despite his lack of formal diplomatic training—as the Holy See’s observer to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in 2008. He held this position until 2013, before being appointed by Pope Francis to Venezuela, succeeding the current Secretary of State of the Holy See, Pietro Parolin.

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