Friday, November 4, 2011

Our New Nuncio?

....and the Republic of Ireland

How will the Holy See respond to this new development? At the moment we do not have a nuncio: will the Holy Father appoint a new resident nuncio, or will he give the brief to another nuncio?  If the latter, the most likely choice may be the present nuncio to the Court of St James i.e. to Great Britain, HE Archbishop Antonio Mennini.  If so, it will be remarkable - history will have gone full circle, and all in the space of less than a century.

A brief biography.  Antonio Mennini was born in Rome in 1947.   He was ordained priest in 1974, and after obtaining a doctorate in theology, he joined the Holy See's diplomatic service in 1981.  First posted to Uganda, he was attache in Turkey and then back to the Secretariat of State in the Vatican.  He was ordained Archbishop in 2000, and liaison with Bulgaria until 2002 when he was posted to Russia, and then in 2008 sent to Uzbekistan.  He has played an important role in improving the Holy See's relationship with the Orthodox churches.  In December 2010 he was appointed nuncio to Great Britain, presenting his credentials to Queen Elizabeth on the 2nd March of this year.  He may well be presenting his credentials and change of address for the nunciature to President Higgins in the coming months.

Archbishop Mennini has a distinguished career and has established himself as an impressive figure well able to deal with difficulties.  Orthodox Catholics in Britain hailed his appointment.  Perhaps he may be a good man to cover Ireland and help the renewal here.  An interesting fact from his life: he was the priest who heard the last confession of the murdered Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro.  His brother, Pietro, is a prosecutor in Chieti.  So he has contacts and links which may prove useful.

All that said, this is just speculation.  The Holy Father might appoint a resident, and send a right tough nuncio, built like a wrestler with a black belt in karate and as much humour as Chewbacca to sort out the Church here. 

1 comment:

  1. I think that should be "Court of St James's", not "Court of St James"