MANILA, Philippines – Most countries establish embassies in other countries for diplomatic purposes. But the Vatican City, for its part, installs an apostolic nunciature in select countries.
The apostolic nunciature is the Vatican City’s equivalent of an embassy, representing the Holy See in more than 100 countries. In the Philippines, the Apostolic Nunciature is located along Taft Avenue in Manila.
This is where Pope Francis will make his first stop upon his arrival in the country on January 15, and where he’ll reside in Manila – just like the other popes who’ve previously visited the country.
The Apostolic Nunciature in Manila was erected in 1902 and is situated within the vicinity of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila. It is, however, not subject to the authority of the Manila archbishop.
It was first established as an Apostolic Delegation, and was then promoted to an Apostolic Nunciature on April 9, 1951.
Instead of an ambassador, the Vatican City representative (who resides in the Apostolic Nunciature) is called a nuncio. Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, the current nuncio to the Philippines, was appointed on May 10, 2011. According to the CBCP, he’s the 15th papal representative and the 10th Apostolic nuncio to the Philippines.
Prior to the Philippines, Pinto had served as nuncio in Chile and some countries in Africa.
In some Catholic states, the nuncio automatically becomes the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps – the group of foreign diplomats to a particular country. In other countries, the position of Dean is usually assigned to the longest-serving ambassador to a state.
In a news report, retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz said members of the media will be denied access inside the Apostolic Nunciature to provide the pontiff security and some privacy. – Rappler.com
SOURCES: catholic-hierarchy.org, Wikipedia, various news websites
Learn about the other spots in Pope Francis’ itinerary:
- FAST FACTS: PH presidents who’ve met popes
- FAST FACTS: Manila Cathedral
- FAST FACTS: Mall of Asia Arena
- FAST FACTS: Tacloban Airport
- FAST FACTS: Archdiocese of Palo (Leyte) and the archbishop’s residence
- FAST FACTS: Pope Francis Center
- FAST FACTS: Palo Cathedral, Leyte
- FAST FACTS: University of Santo Tomas
- FAST FACTS: Rizal Park