[WATCH] New Gozo bishop is Fr Anton Teuma

Fr Anton Teuma has been formally nominated as new bishop for Gozo during an announcement at the Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary

Fr Anton Teuma is Gozo's new bishop
Fr Anton Teuma is Gozo's new bishop

Fr Anton Teuma has been confirmed as the new bishop of Gozo and in a break with tradition, the formal announcement was made at the Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary.

Teuma, 56, has been described by people who know him in Gozo as “down to earth”, who is very much in line with Pope Francis’s philosophy.

The formal announcement was made by Apostolic Nuncio Mgr Alessandro D’Errico to loud applause from priests and parishioners gathered at the sanctuary.

The fact that the formal presentation took place at the Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary and not at the Cathedral in Victoria, symbolises a break with tradition.

A couple of weeks ago MaltaToday reported that the name of the new Gozo bishop may have been on  the agenda of a meeting between Pope Francis and the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

Teuma, who is from Xagħra, is the director of the Family Institute Pope John Paul II, an offshoot of the Cana Movement in Gozo. He teaches at the Gozo seminary and much of his pastoral work has been dedicated to helping families experiencing problems.

Over the past few weeks speculation was rife that Bishop George Bugeja, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli, was a possible successor to incumbent Mario Grech at the head of the Gozo diocese. Earlier, reports had also suggested the archpriest of Xagħra, Mgr Carmelo Refalo.

The new bishop will be the ninth bishop for the Gozo diocese.

It is understood that Grech will release a pastoral letter to introduce the new bishop. It was his wish that the announcement be made at the Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary.

Grech was last October appointed by the Pope to serve as secretary general of the synod of bishops, one of the highest pastoral organs of the Catholic church. He will be formally taking up that role in August.

READ ALSO: Church must not be deaf to change: ‘My fear is we’re being complacent’

More in National