A symbolic date for a choice which is no less so. On the eve of Europe Day, Pope Francis appointed, on Saturday May 8, a connoisseur of the mysteries of Brussels and Strasbourg to the post of nuncio to the European Union.
Bishop Aldo Giordano, a 66-year-old Italian, was in fact Secretary General of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences and permanent observer of the Holy See at the Council of Europe. He succeeds Frenchman Alain Lebeaupin, who held these positions from 2012 to 2020, before retiring at the age of 75 and being appointed, on March 27, 2018, consultant to the section of relations with the States of the Secretariat of Vatican State.
→ THE FACTS. Bishop Alain Lebeaupin, appointed consultant for pontifical diplomacy
Bishop Aldo Giordano arrives from Caracas, where he was, since 2013, nuncio to Venezuela, replacing the future Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who became Secretary of State of the Holy See since the election of Pope Francis.
Research on Nietzsche’s Thought
As the Vatican News website reminds us, Bishop Aldo Giordano was born on August 20, 1954 in Cuneo (Coni, in French). Ordained a priest for the diocese of this Piedmont city in 1979, he obtained a license from the Faculty of Theology of Northern Italy in Milan and a license in philosophy from the Pontifical Gregorian University. For his doctoral research, he devoted himself to the thought of Nietzsche. During the period of his studies in Rome, he worked as vicar of the parish of the Blessed Sacrament in Prenestina.
From 1982 to 1996 he was professor of philosophy at the Interdiocesan Theological Center and at the Higher School of Religious Sciences in Fossano. He also taught for a few years the history of philosophy at the seminary, gave ethics courses at the theological school for the laity, collaborated as vicar in the parish of Saint Pius X in Cuneo, and he accompanied the diocesan pastoral care in the fields of politics, economy, medicine and culture.
A good understanding of the European institutions
Because he devoted his research to contemporary philosophy, ethics and the theme of Christianity and Europe, it is quite naturally that on May 15, 1995, he became general secretary of the Council of Bishops’ Conferences, of Europe (CCEE), moving to the headquarters of the secretariat in St. Gallen, Switzerland.
In 2008, he was appointed permanent observer of the Holy See to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. European institutions whose functioning he perfectly masters, which he will therefore find again after a Venezuelan parenthesis of eight years. At the end of this experience, he had also published a book Another Europe is possible, Christian ideals and prospects for the Old Continent.