Pope Francis Makes Appointments in Italy and Benin

Announced February 12, 2022, by the Vatican

Appointments in Latin America
© Vatican Media

Pope Francis made appointments in Italy and Benin, announced February 12, 2022, by the Vatican.

Appointment of bishop of Porto-Santa Rufina, Italy, and union in persona Episcopi of the dioceses of Civitavecchia-Tarquinia and Porto-Santa Rufina

The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Gianrico Ruzza of Civitavecchia-Tarquinia and until now apostolic administrator of Porto-Santa Rufina as bishop of the suburbican diocese of Porto-Santa Rufina, Italy, uniting the two dioceses in persona Episcopi.

Curriculum vitae

Bishop Gianrico Ruzza was born on February 14, 1963, in Lugnano in Teverina, diocese, and the province of Rome. He carried out his studies at the Pontifical Roman Major Seminary and was ordained a priest in May 1987 for the diocese of Rome.

After ordination, he was awarded a licentiate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University. He has served as assistant and vice-rector of the Pontifical Roman Major Seminary, rector of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere and of San Lorenzo de’ Speziali in Miranda; parish administrator of San Pio X and parish priest of San Roberto Bellarmino. In addition, he has been director of the Clergy Office of the Vicariate, ecclesiastical assistant of the Salvatorian Academic Apostolate, secretary of the diocesan pastoral council, prefect of the Sixth Prefecture, president of the Interdiocesan Institute for the Support of the Clergy of the dioceses of Rome and Ostia, and member of the College of Consultors.

He was appointed as titular bishop of Subaugusta on April 8, 2016, and received episcopal ordination on the following 11 June. He has exercised his episcopal ministry in Rome as auxiliary bishop for the Centre Sector (2016-2019) and held the office of prelate secretary of the Vicariate of Rome (2017-2019). From 2019 to 2021 he was auxiliary bishop of Rome for the South Sector. On June 18, 2020, he was appointed as bishop of Civitavecchia-Tarquinia and on May 5, apostolic administrator of Porto-Santa Rufina.

Within the Italian Episcopal Conference, he is a member of the Episcopal Commission for social and labor issues, justice and peace, and the Scientific and Organizing Committee of the Social Weeks of Italian Catholics.


Appointment of bishop of Djougou, Benin

The Holy Father has appointed the Reverend Fr. Bernard de Clairvaux Toha Wontacien, O.S.F.S., until now provincial superior of the Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales in Benin, as bishop of the diocese of Djougou, Benin.

Curriculum vitae

Msgr. Bernard de Claivaux Toha Wontacien, O.S.F.S., was born on 20 August 1970 in Abomey-Calavi, attended primary and secondary schools in the city of Parakou, and was subsequently awarded a master’s degree in geology. He entered the religious institute of the Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales (O.S.F.S.) and gave his religious profession on 26 September 1998.

He taught Latin at the Saint John Vianney Seminary of Pretoria, South Africa.

He was ordained a priest on July 22, 2006, in Parakou.

He has held the following offices: head of coordination of social pastoral care and of the management of development projects of the metropolitan archdiocese of Parakou, coordinator of archdiocesan Caritas and of the diocese of North Benin (2006-2011), member of the Council for Economic Affairs of the same archdiocese and advisor to the archbishop (2007-2013), bursar of the Western African division of the Province of France (2008-2018) and head of English and French translation of the O.S.F.S. (2012-2018), Master of Scholastics O.S.F.S., Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (2013-2018), provincial councilor (2015-2018) and from 2019 to the present, provincial superior of the Province of France of the O.S.F.S. in Benin.