Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A New Papal Nuncio; Archbishop Mario Cassari

The Apostolic See (the Vatican) announces the appointment of Archbishop Mario Roberto CASSARI as the incoming Nuncio (Papal Ambassador) to South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland and Namibia.
H.E. Archbishop Mario Roberto CASSARI – Archbishop Titular of Tronto
27 August 1943: Born in Ghilarza (Sardinia – Italy).
27 December 1969: Ordained priest, after studies in Philosophy and Theology.
1969-1974: Parish Vicar at the Cathedral of Tempio Pausania (Sardinia), Teacher at
Secondary School and Bishop’s Secretary.
•  Doctor in Theology at Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.
•  Licence in Canon Law at Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.Graduated in Diplomatic Studies in 1977 at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy (also known as the “Vatican Diplomatic Academy”).
•  Archbishop Cassari speaks Italian, French, Spanish and English.
22 March 1977: Admitted into the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See. He served on the following Apostolic Nunciatures: Pakistan, Colombia, Ecuador, Sudan, Southern Africa (1985-1989, under Abp. Mees and Abp. De Paoli), Japan, Austria, Lithuania (Latvia/Estonia), Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia/Montenegro) and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 August 1999: Appointed by the Blessed John Paul II as Titular Archbishop of Tronto and
Apostolic Nuncio to Congo and Gabon.
16 October 1999: Consecrated Archbishop by H.E. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State.
31 July 2004: Appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Niger.
14 February 2008: Appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as Apostolic Nuncio to Croatia.
10 March 2012: Appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as Apostolic Nuncio to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland.

A new Nuncio to succeed the popular Archbishop Green.  If you read through the CV you will notice that Archbishop Cassari has been here before under Archbishops Mees and De Paoli.  Paddy Kearney refers to Archbishop Cassari, then a mere Monsignor,  in his biography of Archbishop Dennis Hurley, "Guardian of the Light:  Dennis Hurley : Renewing the Church: Opposing Apartheid".

Archbishop Jan Mees, the then Nuncio, was invited to give a message from Pope John Paul II at the last Plenary Session of the SACBC that was chaired by Archbishop Hurley in 1987.  Mees was close to the Paraguayan Dictator Alfredo Stroessner with whom the then SA government was also on good terms.  Mees basicly told the SA Bishops to keep their noses out of politics in a roundabout way quoting JPII.....President PW Botha had similarly quoted the Pope to the Bishops on an earlier occasion.  It was contrary to everything that Archbishop Hurley and the SACBC stood for.

Mees was transferred shortly afterwards leaving Mgr Cassari in charge of the delegation.  At the first possible opportunity he addressed the SACBC and said " You, more than others, know your people,  you live among them, you share their anxieties and their sorrows as a result of their everyday living conditions.  For all this you must shout, even from the roof tops - in the name of God - that the time has come that South Africa really becomes a New South Africa."  He was given a standing ovation...and that New South Africa seemed a very long way away in 1987!  

Don't be put off by the stern picture. He is obviously a good man.

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