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WASHINGTON—Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, welcomed Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò as the new Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, October 19.
“On behalf of the bishops of the United States of America, I take the occasion of this correspondence to welcome you warmly to our nation as Apostolic Nuncio of our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, and to offer you the prayerful support of your brother bishops as you begin your important mission,” Archbishop Dolan said.
Archbishop Dolan recalled Pope Benedict’s words in 2008, when he visited the White House during his Apostolic Journey to the United States.
“America’s Catholics have made, and continue to make, an excellent contribution to the life of their country,” the pope said. “As I begin my visit, I trust that my presence will be a source of renewal and hope for the Church in the United States, and strengthen the resolve of Catholics to contribute ever more responsibly to the life of this nation, of which they are proud to be citizens.”
Archbishop Dolan noted the significance of the nuncio for the church in the United States.
“You will serve as a continuing sign to us of that source of renewal and hope that Pope Benedict brought to our country,” he wrote. “Your almost four decades of service in the diplomatic corps of the Holy See in Iraq, Great Britain and the Secretariat of State give you a depth of understanding of the role of the Church in a pluralistic society.”
He noted other gifts Archbishop Viganò brings to the new post.
“We also know from meetings with you in Rome that you have a special appreciation of the United States of America, which we hold dear.We will benefit from your training in both canon law and civil law.They will enable you to see the intricacies involved in representing the Holy Father in both the Church and diplomatic worlds, especially now as they are lived out in America’s democratic society.”
“The bishops of the United States recognize in your appointment yet another sign of the great solicitude with which our Holy Father holds our nation and the Catholic community in the United States of America,” Archbishop Dolan added.
He invited Archbishop Viganò to the bishops’ fall plenary session in Baltimore.
“The meeting is a moment of prayer, business and fellowship and we look forward to welcoming you on this occasion,” he said.
The entire letter can be found at http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/holy-see/welcome-nuncio.cfm ---
Keywords: Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio, Pope Benedict, United States, pluralistic democratic
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