The Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See in the United States
The Official Pontifical Ecclesiastical Diplomatic Representation of the Holy See
to the United States of America (USA) and to the Organization of American States (OAS)
The Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See to the United States and the Organization of American States (OAS) since October 19, 2011 is H.E. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a highly experienced papal diplomatic representative dedicated to professional excellence in moral and diplomatic regulatory compliance, and legal and ethical accountability in ecclesiastical diplomatic policy, practice and procedure.
An "apostolic nuncio" is the highest ranking pontifical ecclesiastical diplomatic representative of the Roman Pontiff and papal monarch of the Universal Church of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI, to a receiving Church and State, holding a rank equivalent to the secular diplomatic rank of "ambassador." The sui generis position of the apostolic nuncio and the special respect, protocol and precedence accorded the apostolic nuncio is affirmed in Article 16 of the 1961 UN Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The Italian term "nuncio" is derived from the Latin term "nuntius" meaning messenger or envoy. Apostolic nuncios are sent, and their nunciatures are erected by the Holy Father to serve the Roman Catholic people of God of a certain Roman Catholic territorial see and national state. Apostolic nuncios, like secular ambassadors who serve their governments and national citizenry, serve the Roman Catholic people of God. Apostolic nuncios may be coterminously accredited (i.e., accredited to more than one country at a time). The apostolic nuncio to the United States is accredited to both the United States of America, and the Organization of American States (OAS) headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Most Rev. Carlo Vigano, Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America and to the Organization of American States by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI on October 19, 2011. In accordance with international diplomatic protocol, and according to the Office of the Chief of Protocol of the U.S. Department of State, Archbishop Vigano presented his credentials to President Barack Obama at 3:00pm on January 18, 2012, in a group Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony in the Oval Office (Click on the Link "Show Daily Guidance" located at the top left of the President's Calendar to See the Schedule Details), but the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic List Order of Precedence and Date of Presentation of Credentials has Archbishop Vigano's "Date of Presentation of Credentials" cited as "November 16, 2011." This report states that it is current as of "January 17, 2012." Normally these dates should concurr. The reason these dates do no concurr is most likely because the date Archbishop Vigano was anticipated or expected to present his credentials was November 16, 2012, and the US Department of State's Chief of Protocol "Date of Presentation of Credentials List" was updated and published on January 17, 2012, the day before, Archbishop Vigano actually presented his credentials to President Obama on January 18, 2012, using the anticipated presentation of credentials date, instead of the actual date, January 18, 2012, which would have been the day after the State Department's Office of the Chief of Protocol's Date of Presentation of Credentials List was updated.
According to the White House website, the Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony in the Oval Office hosted by the President is "Closed to Press" so there are no photographs available from the press of the presentation by foreign ambassadors, or in this case of the apostolic nuncio of the Holy See, and the presentation of his diplomatic credentials to President Obama, as with the credentialing ceremony in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVIth, which is always covered by a Vatican State papal photographer.
The Background of Most Rev. Carlo Maria Vigano, Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana
Archbishop Vigano is a seasoned papal diplomatic representative who from July 16, 2009, until his October 2011 appointment to the United States, held the position of Secretary General of the Governatorate of the State of Vatican City, where he is known for his enforcement of strict institutional business and financial practices to meet Holy See and UN regulatory compliance and transparent accountability standards. Archbishop Vigano was just in his enforcement of Holy See and UN regulatory compliance and transparent accountability standards since 1) the Holy See is accredited as a Permanent Observer to the United Nations, since July 2004, with extended rights and privileges and thus, has obligations of compliance and accountability to the letter and the spirit of the UN Charter and all UN Conventions in principle and those to which it is a signatory, in particular, 2) the Holy See accredits an apostolic nuncio rank papal diplomatic representative to the UN's International Labor Organization (ILO) and thus is accountable to it; and 3) since 1984, the State of Vatican City has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage property of invaluable historical and cultural value belonging to the whole patrimony of global humanity. The Secretary-General of the Governatorate of the State of Vatican City has the solemn responsibility of the fiduciary oversight of the operations of the following offices:
•State Accounting Administration of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State
•General Services Administration of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State
•Department of Security and Civil Protection Services of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State
•Department of Health and Hygiene of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State
•Museums Administration of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State
•Department of Technical Services of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State
•Department of Telecommunications of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State
•Department of Economic Services of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State
•Department of Pontifical Villas of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State
•Committee for Security of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State
•Personnel Commission of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State
•Disciplinary Commission of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State
•Vatican Philatelic and Numismatic Office
Upon his appointment as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Vigano became the 14th papal representative to the United States since the erection of Holy See's papal delegation and diplomatic mission in the United States on January 24, 1893. He is the fifth bishop to serve as a diplomatic representative accredited to the United States of America since formal bilateral diplomatic relations were established between the Holy See and the United States in 1984, and the fourth archbishop to hold the rank of apostlic nuncio.
Archbishop Vigano said that being Apostolic Nuncio to the United States is an "important, vast and delicate" task; he was grateful to Pope Benedict XVI for entrusting him with the mission and he felt called to renew his "trust in the Lord, who asks me to set out again." Being an Apostolic Nuncio, he said, is "a call to know this people, this country and come to love them." Archbishop Vigano chose the October 19 date for announcement of his appointment as it is the feast of North American Martyrs. Archbishop Vigano is assuming the position of Apostolic Nuncio, as a successor to Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who served as the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States from December 17, 2005 to July 27, 2011, when he died from complications associated with lung surgery. Archbishop Sambi was the first papal diplomatic representative to the U.S. to die in office.
Archbishop Viganò was born in Varese, in Northern Italy, in the region of Lombardy on January 16, 1941, and was ordained to the ministerial priesthood on 24 March 1968, for the Roman Diocese of Pavia. Archbishop Vigano holds a JUD or "juris utriusque doctor" or doctorate degree in both civil and canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University, the only pontifical university which grants this degree. He completed his doctoral studies at the Lateran University and then entered the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy (PEA) in 1971. According to the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy's List of Alumni, he is alumni number "447." (List accessed on February 11, 2012). He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1973, and worked at the papal diplomatic mission in Iraq and Great Britain and then, from 1978 to 1989, the Secretariat of State. He was named Special Envoy and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 4 April 1989.
On 3 April 1992, he was appointed Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana and Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria by Pope John Paul II, who, with Cardinals Franciszek Macharski and Angelo Sodano serving as co-consecrators, gave him episcopal ordination on 26 April of that year. While he was Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria Pope John Paul II visited the country in 1997. At the close of his mission to Nigeria in April 1998, Archbishop Vigano was assigned as the Delegate for Pontifical Representatives within the Secretariat of State (Holy See), until he became Secretary-General of the Governatorate for the State of Vatican City on 16 July 2009. The Delegate for Pontifical Representations, a position about which very little is written, is the Vatican State Roman Curial official responsible for the geographic placement and professional career assignments of apostolic nuncios and other papal diplomatic representatives.
In addition to his native Italian, Archbishop Vigano also speaks French, Spanish, and English.
(From left) H.H. Pope Benedict XVI with H.E. Archbishop Carlo M. Vigano
(L'Osservatore Romano - The
Newspaper of the State of Vatican City)
The Aposolic Nuncio of the Holy See to the United States
& The Organization of American States
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