Apostolic Nuncio to EU Dies After Contracting COVID-19

“Motivated by his great desire to contribute to the European project from a Catholic perspective, since his arrival in Brussels, Archbishop Giordano dedicated every moment to develop human and diplomatic ties.”

Pope Francis meets Msgr. Aldo Giordano, apostolic nuncio to the European Union, on June 17, 2021.
Pope Francis meets Msgr. Aldo Giordano, apostolic nuncio to the European Union, on June 17, 2021. (photo: Vatican Media. / Vatican Media)

LEUVEN, Belgium — Archbishop Aldo Giordano, the apostolic nuncio to the European Union, died Thursday at the age of 67 after he was hospitalized with COVID-19.

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich paid tribute to the archbishop, who died on Dec. 2 in Leuven, Belgium.

“In the few months since his appointment as Apostolic Nuncio to the European Union, Mgsr. Giordano left a lasting mark on all of us,” said the cardinal, who is president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (COMECE).

“Motivated by his great desire to contribute to the European project from a Catholic perspective, since his arrival in Brussels he dedicated every moment to develop human and diplomatic ties.”

Archbishop Giordano served as general secretary of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) from 1995 to 2008 and as permanent observer of the Holy See to the Council of Europe from 2008 to 2013.

Pope Francis appointed him apostolic nuncio to Venezuela in 2013, replacing the future Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who was recalled to Rome to serve as Vatican Secretary of State.

The Pope appointed Archbishop Giordano as apostolic nuncio to the EU, a political and economic bloc of 27 member states, in May this year. 

COMECE general secretary Father Manuel Barrios Prieto said: “It was a real blessing to meet him and to share with him beautiful moments of coexistence and fraternity, together with the bishops of COMECE.”

Archbishop Giordano’s funeral will take place at the cathedral in Cuneo, a city in northern Italy where he was born in 1954. The date of the funeral has not yet been announced.

Pope Francis conferred on Catholics the lay ministries of catechist and lector at a Mass for the Sunday of the Word of God on Jan. 23.

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Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the fourth-annual Sunday of the Word of God, during which he, for the first time, formally conferred upon lay Catholics the ministries of lector and catechist.