Indian-born archbishop to represent Holy See at United Nations
July 19, 2010
Pope Benedict XVI has named Archbishop Francis Chullikatt as the new Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations. The July 17 appointment to one of the Holy See’s most important diplomatic posts came less than three weeks after the transfer of Archbishop Celestino Migliore, who had held the position since 2002, to the apostolic nunciature in Poland.
Archbishop Chullikatt was born in Kerala, the southwestern Indian state that has been the stronghold of Catholicism there since its evangelization by St. Thomas the Apostle. Born in 1953, Archbishop Chullikatt was ordained a priest of the Latin-rite Diocese of Veraploy, now an archdiocese, in 1978. Entering the diplomatic service of the Holy See a decade later, he served in Honduras, southern Africa, and the Philippines before serving as a minister counsellor at the Holy See Mission to the United Nations from 2001 to 2004. After a brief transfer to the Secretariat of State in Rome, he was named apostolic nuncio to Jordan and Iraq in 2006 and was ordained a bishop that year.