Malta is one step closer to welcoming the new archbishop after the selection process was concluded locally and passed on to the Vatican for the final decision.

“We have no news yet but everything is at the Vatican. I don’t how long the process will take – some more time is needed, though,” he said.

Archbishop Paul Cremona resigned on October 18 and Mgr Charles Scicluna was appointed Apostolic Administrator to head the diocese until a new archbishop is nominated.

Following instructions from the Holy See, it is the Apostolic Nuncio who conducts the confidential consultation process with influential individuals of his choosing, who may also include lay people.

However, the Vatican has the final choice after the Apostolic Nuncio forwards three names.

The rumour mill has come up with numerous names for the possible contenders, the latest name touted being Mgr Joseph Spiteri, who is currently serving as Apostolic Nuncio in Ivory Coast.

The 55-year-old, who joined the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1988, has also served as the Apostolic Nuncio to Sri Lanka and Titular Archbishop of Serta.

Other contenders for the post include Mgr Scicluna and Gozo Bishop Mario Grech.

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