Pope Francis has announced his successor as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Mario Aurelio Poli. He made the announcement in a meeting with Argentine bishops in Rome on Saturday.
The Pope expressed his gratitude for the past five years of service of Cardinal Poli, who he appointed archbishop of Buenos Aires in 2013, and his desire to be closer to the archdiocese and the people of Argentina in the future.
The Pope said his successor needs to protect the unity of the Church in Argentina and work to bring everyone closer to God. “The mission of the bishop is to bring unity by taking care of everyone, all the faithful with the same tenderness and love,” he said.
The Pope also said he might return to Argentina someday to visit his former archdiocese. “Maybe someday, in the not-too-distant future, I will shake off my retirement years and return to Argentina,” he said. “It would be a special moment.”
The announcement comes after months of speculation about who would succeed the Pope as archbishop of Buenos Aires following his election to the papacy in 2013. Cardinal Poli, who has served as auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires since 2005, is now eligible to be elected pope himself.
The Pope’s announcement signals a continued dedication to his home country, despite the fact that he currently serves the global Church in his capacity as the Bishop of Rome. He has showed no signs of neglecting his home country, and his announcement is likely to bring joy to many in the Argentine Catholic Church.