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New papal nuncio coming to US?

July 13, 2011

The Vatican will soon announce the appointment of a new apostolic nuncio to the United States, according to the veteran Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli of the Italian daily La Stampa.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who is currently serving as secretary of the Vatican city-state government, will be named the Vatican’s new representative in Washington, Tornielli reports. He would replace Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who has been the apostolic nuncio in the US since 2005.

(The Vatican has not commented on the report. But Tornielli has compiled an enviable track record of accuracy in reporting Vatican appointments.) Archbishop Vigano has brought new efficiency to the government of the Vatican city-state, Tornielli writes. But in the process he has provoked the ire of some other officials, particularly within the powerful Secretariat of State. His appointment to Washington would ease tensions in Rome.

According to Tornielli, Archbishop Sambi, who had earned respect in key previous assignments as the Vatican representative in Indonesia and in Israel before his appointment to the Washington post, will be recalled to Rome to head an office there—perhaps replacing Archbishop Vigano’s current superior, Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, the president of the governatorate of the Vatican city-state, who at the age of 76 is already past the normative retirement age.


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