Bishop named to leading Vatican agency

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By Christopher White
National Catholic Reporter

NEW YORK — As U.S. President Joe Biden prepares to name his new ambassador to the Holy See, policy experts have encouraged the next Vatican ambassador to work closely with the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

San Diego’s Bishop Robert McElroy, who was recently appointed by Pope Francis as one of five American board members to that Vatican office, says he “absolutely” agrees with that advice and believes one initial and significant area of potential collaboration would be vaccine distribution.

Equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine has been a “tremendous concern” on the part of the dicastery, he noted, which is working with the scientific and medical communities to ensure that vaccine access is not limited to wealthy nations.

Vaccine distribution is just one of many concerns that fall to the dicastery, whose competencies include areas of migration, combating human trafficking, promoting peace and economic security, and the fight against climate change.

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