Today we were very happy to welcome two Papal Nuncios to St. Helene! Archbishop Eugene Nugent is originally from Ireland and in January he was appointed as the Papal Nuncio to Haiti. Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Tot is from Vietnam but is the Papal Nuncio to Sri Lanka and he was in Haiti on a visit to attend an ordination.
Both Nuncio’s were very impressed by all that they saw in St. Helene and they were warmly greeted by the children and staff. Archbishop Nugent said he was very happy to be able to take this time to get an understanding of the realities in Haiti. As we face many difficulties he advised us to always seek the help of God because there are problems everywhere and with the help of God we can do many things. Good advice indeed.
What is a A Papal Nuncio?
A Papal Nuncio is a papal ambassador, i.e. a permanent diplomatic representative of the Holy See to a state or an international organization. According to the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, a Papal Nuncio is an ambassador equal to an ambassador from any other country. However in Catholic countries the papal nuncio may rank above other ambassadors in diplomatic protocol.
The Papal Nuncio serves as the liaison between the Holy See and the Roman Catholic diocesan episcopate in the nation, region or organization in which he is placed. The region or nation is normally supervised by a regional conference of bishops, whose presiding officer is often the highest ranking bishop of that nation. Alternately the presiding officer is elected from the diocesan ordinaries of the nation or region.