Pope Francis has appointed 66-year-old Spanish Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot as the new president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot succeeds the late Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who died in July 2018, as the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. He has been serving as Secretary of the Vatican dicastery.
Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot was born in Seville on 17 June 1952. A Combonian Missionary of the Heart of Jesus, he was ordained priest on 20 September 1980.
He was a missionary in Egypt and Sudan until 2002. He obtained a degree in Arabic and Islamic studies at the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI) in Rome in 1982, and a doctorate in dogmatic theology at the University of Granada in 2000.
From 1989 he was professor of Islamology, first in Khartoum, then in Cairo. Later, he taught at PISAI where he held the office of Dean until 2012. He has presided over various meetings of inter-religious dialogue.
On 30 June 2012, Benedict XVI appointed him Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. He was also appointed by Pope Francis as titular bishop of Luperciana; he was consecrated a bishop in March 2016.
Interreligious dialogue has been a focus of Pope Francis’ pastoral visits in 2019. His trips to the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Bulgaria all included interreligious meetings.
In Abu Dhabi, Pope Francis signed a joint-statement on human fraternity with the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, which he called “a new page in the history of dialogue between Christianity and Islam.”
The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) is a dicastery of the Roman Curia, erected by Pope Paul VI on 19 May 1964 as the Secretariat for Non-Christians, and renamed by Pope John Paul II on 28 June 1988. Mons. Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot has been the new president since 25 May 2019.