Peter Bryan Wells

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Peter Bryan Wells (born 12 May 1963) is an American Catholic archbishop and diplomat. He served as the Assessor for General Affairs of the Holy See's Secretariat of State from 2009 to 2016,[1] after which he was appointed a titular archbishop and Apostolic Nuncio to South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland.

Education and priesthood[edit]

Wells was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He completed his studies in philosophy at St. 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 earning a licentiate in theology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and 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 Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy.

After his ordination, Wells worked as a curate at Holy Family Cathedral in Tulsa, special secretary to the Bishop of Tulsa and vicar for religious education in the diocese.

Diplomatic service[edit]

Wells entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See on 1 July 1999, working in the apostolic nunciature in Nigeria and, since 2002, at the Section for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State. He 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, Wells stated that the role of papal diplomacy was to allow Pope Francis and his representatives to "have the ability to act freely in the world" and not be "impeded in their ministry," especially in reaching out to the most marginalized.[3]

Pope Francis named Wells secretary of the five-member Pontifical Commission responsible for investigating the Institute for the Works of Religion in 2013.[4] Other members of the commission included Cardinal Raffaele Farina as commission president, Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, who served as the coordinator, and Mary Ann Glendon as the final member.

Wells also served as president of the Holy See's Financial Security Committee.

Nuncio appointment and archbishop[edit]

On 9 February 2016 Wells was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to South Africa (residential) and Botswana (non-residential) and at the same time titular Archbishop of Marcianopolis. On February 13, he was also named apostolic nuncio to Lesotho (non-residential) and Namibia (non-residential). He was consecrated a bishop on 19 March 2016, by Pope Francis.[5] On 13 June 2016 he was also appointed apostolic nuncio to Swaziland (non-residential).[6]

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
Succeeded by
Paolo Borgia
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
Preceded by
Mario Roberto Cassari
Apostolic Nuncio to Swaziland
13 June 2016 – present
Incumbent