New Member Named to Bishops' Congregation

Archbishop Abril y Castelló Was John Paul II

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 4, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Santos Abril y Castelló, 75, vice chamberlain of the Apostolic Chamber, as a member of the Congregation for Bishops.

The Vatican announced Saturday the appointment of the prelate, who was named vice chamberlain on Jan. 22.

Since 2003, Archbishop Abril y Castelló has been the apostolic nuncio in Slovenia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

He was born in Alfambra, Spain, and did his ecclesiastical studies at the Conciliar Seminary of Teruel. He was ordained a priest in 1960.

Father Abril y Castelló began his pastoral work in the parish of St. Eulalia del Campo. In 1961, he went to Rome where he received a doctorate in social sciences from the University of St. Thomas, and subsequently another doctorate in canon law from the Gregorian University.

In 1967 the priest began to work as a secretary in the apostolic nunciature of Pakistan, and four years later, in that of Turkey.

In 1985 he was ordained a bishop in the cathedral of Teruel, Spain, by the Pope's secretary of state, at that time Cardinal Agostino Casaroli.

In the 80s, as the head of the Spanish sector of the Vatican Secretariat of State, Bishop Abril y Castelló was John Paul II's Spanish teacher, and accompanied the Pontiff on several trips to Spanish-speaking countries.

The prelate has also served as apostolic nuncio to Bolivia, Yugoslavia and Argentina, and apostolic pro-nuncio to Cameroon, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

In 1970 he published an article on classical authors favorable to the dissolubility of the short-term and consummated marriage; the following year he authored a work on the agreements of the Holy See in countries of Catholic majority.

Archbishop Abril y Castelló has received many honors, including a plaque of the Order of Isabel the Catholic, Germany's Great Cross of Civil Merit, Bolivia's Great Cross of the Condor of the Andes, and the St. George Cross of the provincial deputation of Teruel.