Bassetti will head Italian Bishops Conference

Gualtiero Bassetti

VATICAN CITY— Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti has been chosen by Pope Francis as the new President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, CEI. Bassetti will replace Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, who has come to the end of his mandate.

Cardinal Bassetti, the Archibishop of Perugia, was the first in a trio of names proposed to the Pope by the Italian bishops. The bishop of Novara, Franco Giulio Brambilla, and Vicenzo Bertolone, the Archibishop of Catanzaro were also possible candidates for the role.

A supposed friend of Pope Francis, Cardinal Bassetti is considered to have very similar views on a number of social issues as that of the Argentine pontiff.

In particular the new president is sensitive to issues surrounding the world of work, poverty and the problems that young people face.

 “I thank all the journalists for the attention the press continues to give us and that I have always appreciated so much,” said Cardinal Bassetti in a statement released for the press.

 “I intend to work with all the bishops and I am grateful for their faith. The Pope has recommended us to share time, listening, creativity and solace: a formidable program for working.”