As expected, Pope Francis today named Italian Archbishop Pietro Parolin as his new secretary of state. The move is important primarily because it brings diplomacy front and center to a position that for the last seven years was held by a non-diplomat. Archbishop Parolin, 58, is known around the Vatican as super-skilled in foreign affairs, having served in Vatican embassies (called nunciatures) in Mexico, Nigeria and, most recently, in Venezuela as apostolic nuncio. He is a graduate of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, the Vatican’s diplomatic school, where students are hand-picked. From 2002 to 2009, Parolin worked at the Secretariat of State’s headquarters at the Vatican, serving as th
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