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New nuncio hails Pope as energetic and efficient

The new apostolic nuncio to Malta, Mgr Felix del Blanco Prieto, with President Guido de Marco, yesterday.

The new apostolic nuncio to Malta, Mgr Felix del Blanco Prieto, with President Guido de Marco, yesterday.

The new apostolic nuncio to Malta, Mgr Felix del Blanco Prieto, who worked for many years at the Vatican and was in contact with the Pope on various occasions, described Pope John Paul II as an energetic and efficient man "and people love him".

Mgr del Blanco Prieto yesterday presented his diplomatic credentials to President Guido de Marco, saying the diplomatic posting in Malta was a joy especially after having served for the Holy See in Africa for a number of years.

"It is an honour for me to be working in Catholic Malta," he said, after the ceremony.

Asked about the political relations between Malta and the Holy See, Mgr del Blanco Prieto said these were "very close and of great hope for everyone".

Referring to the 25th anniversary of the pontificate of John Paul II, Mgr del Blanco Prieto said he was in St Peter's Square on October 16, 1979, when the Pope was elected and in the same square on May 13, 1981, when the Holy Father was shot by a Turkish extremist.

Mgr del Blanco Prieto, who succeeds the retired Mgr Luigi Conti, served in Cameroon and Guinea.

Born in Mogrovejo, Spain, in 1937 and ordained priest in 1961, Mgr del Blanco Prieto started his service with the Secretariat of State Holy See in January 1969. He was ordained archbishop in July 1991.

He was also nuncio in Sao Tomè and apostolic delegate in Angola.

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