Rest in Peace, Queen Elizabeth! I somehow never thought I’d be using the past tense with Queen Elizabeth! She’s been queen most of my life, as she has been for anyone 70 and under!

She met Pope Pius XII as a princess and, as queen, she met Popes John XXIII, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis.

Though not a Catholic, she was deeply Christian and I find it lovely she died on the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

We await, as I write, a papal message.


Every three years, a Pope receives as a group the Holy See’s representative to the States of the world. Known as apostolic nuncios, they are, with only one exception, archbishops: that exception is Cardinal Mario Zenari, the nuncio to Syria, whom the Pope made a cardinal in 2016.

In recent weeks, even months, the Holy Father has been receiving many of the nuncios one by one, in private audiences. I have always imagined such conversations to be among the more fascinating ones a Pope can have as a nuncio recounts life in the country to which he is accredited – the lights, the shadows, the situation of the Church or, as in Cardinal Zenari’s case, the description of a warn torn and impoverished country.

The Holy See’s nuncios are some of the best-trained diplomats in the world, and in most cases are the dean of the diplomatic corps in the country where they are serving. Many nuncios, like Cardinal Zenari, have spent their entire career in the Vatican’s diplomatic service. One of the more signal traits of the Holy See diplomatic corps is that most all nuncios are pluri-lingual, speaking their native language, in addition to Italian and one or two others. art of their training as diplomats is studying the language of the country to which they are assigned before their departure from Rome, and then learning it in situ.

The Church’s diplomatic service is actually one of the oldest on the planet and can be traced to the years 325 when Pope Sylvester I sent his personal representatives to the first Council of Nicea. The exchange between papal representatives and those of other nations has continued uninterruptedly since then, with the main vicissitudes being the birth of new nations, the disappearance of others, or a breakup within a nation to form new ones (such as happened with the fall of the Berlin Wall and other historical moments).

There are, of course, notable exceptions. The Holy See, for example, does not have, full diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China or Vietnam. Where diplomatic ties do not exist, however, there may be a counsellor, a priest or monsignor, assigned by the Vatican to be present in the country.

The Holy See is also represented at 25 international organizations such as the United Nations.

The diplomats are trained in Rome at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. Founded in 1701 as the Pontifical Academy of Ecclesiastical Nobles, its first seat was the building in Rome known today as Villa Taverna, now the residence of the U.S. ambassador to Italy. In 1706, the Academy was transferred to Palazzo Severoli on Pza. Della Minerva, its actual seat today. The interior of the building was renovated under Pope St. John XXIII

Popes Clement XIII, Leo XII, Leo XIII, Benedict XV and St. Paul VI were among the academy alumni.

Birmingham, Alabama-born Archbishop Joseph Marino has headed the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy since his appointment by Pope Francis in October 2019. He has been in the Holy See’s diplomatic service since 1988.


Pope Francis held a triennial meeting with pontifical representatives in the Vatican, and called attention to the Holy See’s efforts to seek peace amid a “third world war fought piecemeal,”

By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)

The Pope’s representatives in nations across the globe met with the Holy Father on Thursday as part of their triennial encounter in the Vatican.

The group includes 91 Apostolic Nuncios and 6 Permanent Observers, while 5 Pontifical Representatives were unable to attend due the health reasons or other impediments.

Pope Francis spoke to his representatives about various global issues affecting nations and the Church in the world.

World shaken by war

The Pope noted that this encounter comes in the wake of the pandemic.

“The tempest of the Covid-19 pandemic forced various constraints on our daily lives and pastoral activities,” he said. “Now it seems the worst may be behind us, and thank God we are able to meet.”

However, added Pope Francis, the spectre of war has descended on Europe and the world.

“Unfortunately, Europe and the entire world are shaken by a particularly serious war, due to the violation of international law, the risks of nuclear escalation, and the grave economic and social consequences.”

Pope’s closeness amid world war

The Pope added that a “third world war fought piecemeal” has gripped the globe, and that Pontifical Representatives are present in the countries involved in the various conflicts.

He thanked them for bringing his closeness to peoples who are suffering.

“You bring the Pope’s closeness to peoples and the Church. You are points of reference in moments of extreme bewilderment and turbulence.”

Focusing on mission

Pope Francis urged his representatives to entrust their work to the Lord, as they labor in the “today of the Church and world.”.

He noted that the Church is currently journeying through the Synod on synodality, while the Roman Curia seeks to apply the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium.

The Pope also recalled two apostolic nuncios who died while in office: Archbishop Joseph Chennoth and Archbishop Aldo Giordano.

“Our brothers have preceded us in our journey, and they invite us to keep our gaze fixed on the path ahead and on the heavens.”