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Nuncio to Monaco Reassigned--Monaco Awaits New Vatican Diplomat And First Papal Visit in 500 Years

1/23/2012 - 8:30 PM PST

Catholic PRWire

Boston, MA (January 23, 2012) - On December 15, 2011, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI appointed H.E. Archbishop André François Dupuy, the apostolic nuncio to the European Union and the Principality of Monaco since 2006, as apostolic nuncio to the Netherlands to succeed Archbishop Robert Bacque, who has served there since 2001.

This appointment of Archbishop Dupuy to the Netherlands leaves the Monegasque Catholic community and the Catholic Sovereign state of the Principality of Monaco without a papal diplomatic representative as it awaits a historic papal visit--the first reportedly in 500 years, that has been confirmed by the Holy See, and which will occur sometime later this year. The apostolic nuncio accredited to the Principality of Monaco, is also coterminously accredited to the European Union in Brussels, and is resident there.

From 1887 to 2006, bilateral diplomatic relations between the two sovereign nations existed exclusively in the passive form, with only the Principality sending a diplomatic representative to the Holy See. Appointed a year after the April 2005 death of Prince Rainier III, in July 2006, as the first apostolic nuncio to be accredited to Monaco in the history of the Holy See's diplomatic relations with The Principality, Archbishop Dupuy had the occasion to represent the Holy See to the Principality during a very important timeframe in Monegasque history.

This timeframe included most importantly the year 2011, which commemorated not only the 1911-2011 centennial of Monaco's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the seat of the Principality's Catholic archbishop, but during a timeframe, which privileged Archbishop Dupuy to witness from a preeminent disposition, the July 2, 2011, Catholic wedding of the reigning sovereign Prince Albert II to Miss Charlene Wittstock, now Princess Charlene of Monaco.

As the formal and official representative of the Holy See accredited to the Catholic Church of Monaco and the Catholic Sovereign State of the Principality of Monaco, the apostolic nuncio is the preeminent diplomatic representative of the Roman Pontiff, a sovereign head of state, in Monaco. The apostolic nuncio thus, acquires and holds the highest place of precedence in both ecclesiastical and diplomatic protocol in Catholic ceremonials in Monaco, an officially Catholic sovereign state, after the resident bishop, H.E. Archbishop Bernard Barsi.

Depending upon the date of the papal visit to Monaco, the Papal Visit Advance Team will be visiting the Archbishop of Monaco and the Monaco Ministry of Foreign Affairs to confirm details of the visit in advance of the set date of the visit. These details will vary depending upon whether the Holy See advises whether the papal visit will be strictly a pastoral visit to the Church, or a State visit to both Church and State.

However, since Monaco, in accordance with Article 9 of Monaco's 1962 Constitution, which was revised in October 2002 and marks its 50th anniversary this year, is a sovereign state with the Catholic religion as the official state religion whose hereditary sovereign prince and princess are practicing Roman Catholics, there is no doubt that this premier 2012 visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the Principality in Monaco, in over 500 years, will be a State visit of historic proportion for which it would endue to great benefit of both the Principality, and the Holy See, to have an accredited apostolic nuncio in place.


The Institute on Vatican Law & Diplomacy  MA, 02116 US
Maria St. Catherine De Gr Sharpe - President, 


Papal Visit Monaco 2012, Catholic Monaco, Vatican-Monaco Diplomatic Relations


The Vatican

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