Apostolic Nuncio in Georgia Transferred, to Represent the Holy Father in Cameroon

Archbishop José Avelino Bettencourt with Pope Francis in Rome. Credit: Vatican Media

Pope Francis has transferred Archbishop José Avelino Bettencourt, who has been serving as Apostolic Nuncio in Georgia and Armenia to the Vatican Diplomatic Mission in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.

The Papal transfer of Archbishop Bettencourt, was made public on Wednesday, August 30 and published by the Holy See Press Office; he is to succeed Archbishop Julio Murat, who was transferred to Sweden in November 2022.

Born in May 1962 in Velas, Azores, Portugal, Archbishop Bettencourt was ordained a Priest for the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall, Canada in May 1993.

He was commissioned officer in the Royal Canadian Navy and assisted pastorally at Holy Redeemer Parish (Kanata), at Senhor Santo Cristo Church (Ottawa), and during his stay in Rome at St. Robert Bellarmine Parish (Parioli). 

Archbishop Bettencourt entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1999. Since then, he has served in the Pontifical Representations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He was named to the Section for Relations with States at the Secretariat of State at the Vatican in 2002.  


The Vatican diplomat also served in the protocol service of Pope Benedict XVI who named him Chief of Protocol in 2012.

In February 2018, Pope Francis named him Apostolic Nuncio, assigning him to the Titular See of Aemona.

The holder of a doctorate in Canon Law was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Georgia and the Republic of Armenia in March 2018.

Archbishop Bettencourt has authored various articles and essays, which have featured in different publications; he has also received State recognitions.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.