Pope establishes new Vatican diplomatic body

Section for Diplomatic Personnel to oversee training, assigning and ministy of nuncios and other papal diplomats
Pope establishes new Vatican diplomatic body

Pope Francis waves as he arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square on Nov 15, 2017 at the Vatican. (Photo by Andreas Solaro/AFP)

Vatican City
November 22, 2017
Pope Francis has established a new section in the Vatican Secretariat of State to oversee the training, assigning and ministry of Vatican nuncios and diplomats around the world.

The Section for Diplomatic Personnel will be concerned "exclusively with questions pertaining to the people who work in the diplomatic service of the Holy See or who are preparing to do so," said a statement Nov. 21 from the Secretariat of State.

The section will oversee "the selection, initial and ongoing formation, the living and serving conditions, promotions" and other matters, the statement said.

The head of the section, Polish Archbishop Jan Pawlowski, also will "convoke and preside over ad hoc meetings to prepare the nominations of pontifical representatives," who formally are nominated by the pope and usually are made archbishops with their first posting as a nuncio or apostolic delegate.

The diplomatic staff at the Vatican embassies around the globe and most of the archbishops who serve as nuncios are alumni of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. There, in a community of priests from around the world, the future diplomats receive specialized training even as they complete advanced degrees — usually in canon law — at one of the pontifical universities in Rome. They also must study languages.

The Vatican communique said the head of the new section "will be responsible, along with the president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, for the selection and formation of candidates."

The role of nuncios and their responsibility in the process for nominating bishops for dioceses in the countries they serve has been a frequent topic of discussion at Pope Francis' meetings with his international Council of Cardinals, which advises him on church governance and is continuing work on proposals for reorganizing the Roman Curia.

Full Story: Pope raises profile of Vatican office coordinating work of nuncios

Source: Catholic News Service


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