Archbishop Bernardito Auza of the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic is Vatican's New Envoy to the
For Filipinos, the appointment of a compatriot as the new permanent representative of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York is a cause for rejoicing. For the Order, however, we joyfully find in Archbishop Bernardito Cleopas Auza a brother in the family of St. Dominic, and a coworker in realizing the Order's mission.
Ordained as a priest on 29 June 1985, and as bishop on 3 July 2008, Archbishop Auza began his training for the priesthood at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Tagbilaran City, in his native province of Bohol in the Philippines. His link with the Order of Preachers began at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, where he obtained his Bachelor and Licentiate degrees in Philosophy and Theology. It was during his stay in the UST Central Seminary that he became part of the Dominican Family as a Tertiary, an identity that he continued to acknowledge and live in the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic, even after he left the confines of the seminary to pursue higher studies in Rome.
In the Eternal city, he found himself once more in the company of Dominicans as he completed his Licentiate in Canon Law and Doctorate in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome. After his training at the Pontificia Accademia Ecclesiastica, he proceeded to perform diplomatic service for the Holy See, including the post as Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti, during which he played a pivotal role in the international relief efforts for the victims of the earthquake in the country in 2010. On 1 July 2014, he became the first Filipino to be appointed as the Vatican's envoy to the UN in New York, succeeding Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, who was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.
Archbishop Auza's appointment will benefit not only the Church's work of promoting justice, peace, and humanitarian concerns in the UN, but hopefully also the Order's presence in the same arena since 1966 through our own permanent representative. We look forward to a reinforced Dominican collaboration, especially in adopting UN mechanisms to assist the evangelizing work of our brothers and sisters in diverse levels of ministry.
(21 July 2014)