By Vatican News
Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti to head the Dicastery for Eastern Churches. The change in leadership comes after fifteen years with Cardinal Leonardo Sandri as prefect who recently turned 79. Pope Benedict XVI entrusted Cardinal Sandri with the post of prefect in June 2007, reconfirmed by Pope Francis in 2014. The Cardinal will finish his service as prefect in mid-January when the 67-year-old Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti will take over the job.
Studies and ministry
Born in Verona in 1955, Archbishop Gugerotti joined the Pius Society of Don Nicola Mazza and was ordained a priest in 1982. At the Ca’ Foscari University in Venice he received a degree in Oriental Languages and Literature, as well as a licence in liturgy at the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant’Anselmo and a doctorate in Oriental Ecclesiastical Sciences at the Pontifical Oriental Institute. He teaches at universities in Venice, Padua and Rome, as well as at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical Oriental Institute.
Service as Nuncio
Archbishop Gugerotti worked at the Congregation for Oriental Churches, the office that became today’s Dicastery for Eastern Churches, in his wide-ranging service at the Holy See starting in 1985. In 1997 Saint Pope John Paul II appointed him undersecretary of the Congregation. He served as a consultant to the Office for Papal Liturgical Celebrations from 1990 to 2001, the year in which the Pope appointed him Titular Archbishop of Ravello in December, while later receiving episcopal ordination by John Paul II in 2002. He then began his service in the papal representations or nunciatures around the world. He served as apostolic nuncio to Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Then in 2011 Benedict XVI made him nuncio to Belarus. In 2020 Pope Francis sent him to Ukraine in 2015 as nuncio, and later moved him to Great Britain in 2020.
In addition to numerous articles and essays, Archbishop Gugerotti is author of several books in Italian that bring together his experience and studies both involving the eastern churches and liturgy, including: “La liturgia armena delle ordinazioni e l’epoca ciliciana. Esiti rituali di una teologia di comunione tra le Chiese” (Rome 2001); “L’uomo nuovo un essere liturgico” (Roma 2005), also translated into Romanian and Ukrainian; “Caucaso e dintorni” (Rome 2012); and “Riflessi d’oriente” (Bose 2012).