Pope Francis today received a group of new ambassadors accredited to the Holy See for the presentation of their credentials or Letters of Credence. In general, but with exceptions, when the Pope receives ambassadors as a group instead of singly, it means that those ambassadors are non-resident ambassadors. Often ambassadors from some countries will have two postings: one may be to the Holy See and a second may be to United Nations offices in Geneva and it might well be that their chancery office and residence are in Geneva but they come to Rome when they have business with the Holy See.

Sierra Leone, for example, has a new ambassador accredited to the Holy See but the main office and residence is in Brussels. Mozambique’s chancery and that of Guinea are in Berlin. The chanceries of Norway and Thailand are in Bern, Switzerland. New Zealand’s chancery is in The Hague. Ethiopia and Guinea-Bissau have chanceries in Paris. However, the chancery for Luxembourg is in Rome.

It has also been a tradition when the Pope receives a group of ambassadors to address them as a group and then to hand each new ambassador a letter tailored to specific issues in that person’s nation, as if the Pope was speaking individually to that person.

Here is a vaticannews story about today’s ceremony for new ambassadors in the Vatican.


Speaking to several Ambassadors newly-accredited to the Holy See, Pope Francis urged their respective States to be attentive to the poorest among us and respectful of legitimate diversity.

By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)

Pope Francis today accepted the Credential Letters presented by 9 new Ambassadors to the Holy from Thailand, New Zealand, Guinea, Ethiopia, Norway, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Luxembourg, and Mozambique.

In an address to mark the occasion, Pope Francis recognized the variety of positive contributions these States make to world’s common good.

He also said all have “a high responsibility to protect the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.”

“The pressing need to be attentive to the poorest of our fellow citizens is a solemn duty, which is eloquently expressed when, respectful of legitimate diversity, we are united in promoting their integral human development.”

Unity in fraternity
Pope Francis said such unity is best expressed with the word “fraternity,” and he reflected on the concept’s various aspects as they relate to diplomacy.

In the face of complex global challenges, he said, fraternity is found in the desire for friendship between individuals, nations, and communities.

“Striving together to ensure just and peaceful coexistence is not merely a socio-political strategy but is an example of that solidarity which runs deeper than a mutual desire to achieve a shared goal,” he said.

Threats to unity
The Holy Father said violence and armed conflict present the greatest threats to global harmony.

“Yet,” he said, “the painful lesson of division and hatred also teaches us that peace is always possible. Conflict resolution and reconciliation are positive signs of the unity that is stronger than division and of the fraternity that is more powerful than hatred.”

In conclusion, Pope Francis said fraternal dialogue is indispensable in achieving peace and overcoming armed conflict.