1995-05-09 00:00:00

Archbishop Bruno Torpigliani, who served as apostolic nuncio to the Philippines from 1973 to 1990, through the days of martial law and the 1986 revolution, died May 3 in his hometown in Italy. He was 80.

During the 17 years he served in the Philippines, Archbishop Torpigliani was deeply involved in development of the local Church.

His tenure saw the appointments of 50 bishops and the creation of six archdioceses, 18 dioceses, two prelatures and one apostolic vicariate.

Among the more liberal sectors of the Church, Archbishop Torpigliani was viewed as a conservative who would refrain or even restrain Church leaders from opposing the martial law regime of the late president Ferdinand Marcos.

He was perceived to be personally close to the Marcos family and strongly supportive of Ferdinand Marcos´ administration.

Ordinary Filipinos, however, remember the former nuncio for his pastoral visits to depressed areas throughout the country. In various squatter areas in Manila, he was known personally to many destitute families.

Archbishop Torpigliani was born in Asciano, in the province of Siena, Italy in 1915. Ordained a priest in 1937, he went on to earn doctorates in theology and canon law and entered the Vatican diplomatic corps in 1946.

After serving at the Secretariat of State in the Vatican, in Bogota and Lima in South America and in London, he was ordained a bishop in 1964.

As apostolic nuncio, all of Archbishop Torpigliani´s posts were in troubled lands. His assignments included Guatemala, El Salvador and Zaire before he was sent to the Philippines in 1973 for the longest of his postings.

The archbishop served as nuncio until his retirement at the age of 75.


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