Filipino priest among 2 new officials of Vatican’s missionary arm

July 19, 2023 - 6:06 PM
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Msgr. Erwin Balagapo. (Archdiocese of Palo via CBCP News)

Pope Francis on Tuesday appointed a Filipino priest among the two new officials of the Dicastery for Evangelization, the Vatican’s missionary arm.

Msgr. Erwin Jose Balagapo of the Archdiocese of Palo and Korean Msgr. Han Hyun-taek will serve their new roles in the dicastery for a period of five years.

Both priests have been working in the dicastery before their promotion.

Their tasks involve leading the office under the Section for the First Evangelization and New Particular Churches, which is overseen by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle as pro-prefect.

Born in Tacloban City, Balagapo was ordained priest in 1996.

As a canon lawyer, the priest has been working at the dicastery since 2015 after completing his further studies in Rome.

As part of the Curia’s reform, the dicastery merges the former Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.

Under the leadership of Pope Francis, the dicastery consists of two sections: one that addresses fundamental questions of evangelization in the world, and another dedicated to first evangelization and the establishment of new particular Churches within its jurisdictional territories.