NEW YORK — Filipino Archbishop Bernardito Auza was asked by Pope Franis to become the new apostolic nuncio to the kingdom of Spain and the principality of Andorra last June.
Auza’s new mission starts in December – leaving a post he had served for seven years, as apostolic nuncio and permanent observer of the Holy See to the UN.
In 2015, Archbishop Auza, a member of the organizing committee for the pope’s visit to the U.S. welcomed Pope Francis to the United Nations and made sure the pope’s visit went smoothly.
“I’m very proud of that, I’m really most grateful that the Pope came during my time, anyway, I was also here when April 2008 when Pope Benedict 16th also visited the UN, So I have had this privilege of having been here for the visit of 2 Popes, 2 of the 5 visits of the History of the UN.”
The Filipino community and the Philippine consulate in New York organized a farewell party for the Archbishop.
Auza’s assignment to the kingdom of Spain comes at a time when Christianity in the Philippines is about to celebrate its 500th year in 2021.
The Philippines became a Christian nation under Spain in 1521.
“After 500 years of Christianity, it’s very nice that the Philippine would now be able to give back to La Madre Patria Espana to Spain, the fruit of those 500 years,” said Monsignor Jonas Achacoso, Queen of Angels Sunnyside, Queens.
As for Filipino parishioners in the Archdiocese of New York, Auza talked about their valuable contributions.
“There will be no real active parishioners if it were not for the Filipinos.”
Auza is moving to Spain to start his new job on December 1st.