Peter Brian Wells

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Peter Brian Wells JCD STL (born 12 May 1963) has been the Assessor for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, effectively deputy to the chief of staff, Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, since 2009. [1] He had previously served under Fernando Filoni, who held the post until May 2011.

Wells was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He completed his studies in philosophy at Saint Meinrad Seminary College in Indiana. He completed his studies in theology as a student at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He was ordained a priest on 12 July 1991 for the Diocese of Tulsa.

In 1990, he obtained a baccalaureate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, later gaining a licentiate in theology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family in Rome, in 1992.

He received a licentiate and a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1998 and 1999. At the same time he was a student at the elite Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy.

After his ordination, he held the following positions: curate at Holy Family Cathedral in Tulsa, special secretary to the Bishop of Tulsa and vicar for religious education in the diocese.

He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See on 1 July 1999, worked in the apostolic nunciature in Nigeria and, since 2002, at the Section for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State. Wells was appointed to head the English desk in 2006.[2] Besides his native English, he speaks Italian, French, German and Spanish.

He was named assessor on 16 July 2009 when Gabriele Giordano Caccia was named apostolic nuncio to Lebanon the same day. Speaking about his work as assessor of general affairs, he said his department is "like a chief of staff office for the pope," dealing with things like security issues and communications. The department's job is to help Pope Francis and his representatives "have the ability to act freely in the world" and not be "impeded in their ministry," especially in reaching out to the most marginalized, he said[3]

Cables revealed as part of the Wikileaks scandal show how much diplomats rely on Wells for readings of the Vatican's take on sensitive issues, such as the Church's sexual abuse scandals. Other players know the score, too. In 2010, when parishioners in Boston wanted to appeal the closing of nine local parishes, they consulted a couple of canonists about the best way to get the Pope's attention, and the reply was to address the petition to Wells.[4]

Pope Francis by chirograph named Msgr Wells secretary of the five-member Pontifical Commission responsible for investigating the Institute for the Works of Religion.[5] Cardinal Farina, S.D.B., is president of the commission and Cardinal Tauran is a member, Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, serves as the coordinator while Professor Mary Ann Glendon is the final member.

He is at the same time the president of Financial Security Committee.

On 9 February 2016 he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to South Africa and Botswana and at the same time Titular Archbishop of Marcianopoli. His episcopal consecration will take place on 25 February.

References[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Gabriele Giordano Caccia
Assessor for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State
16 July 2009 – 9 February 2016
Vacant
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Mario Roberto Cassari
Apostolic Nuncio to South Africa
9 February 2016 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Mario Roberto Cassari
Apostolic Nuncio to Botswana
9 February 2016 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent