09/08/2022, 16.39
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Pope urges nuncios to be points of reference in a world torn by war

At an audience in the Vatican, Francis spoke to pontifical representatives, citing again the risk of nuclear escalation. The Vatican’s diplomatic corps includes 167 members working in nunciatures and the Secretary of State. Four graduates from the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy began a new year of foreign missionary service, which the pope introduced so that future diplomats could share the experience of local Churches.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Today, in the Vatican, Pope Francis met with apostolic nuncios, who serve in the diplomatic legations of the Holy See around the world.

In his address, the pontiff said that “Europe and the entire world are convulsed by a war of particular gravity, in terms of the violation of international law the risks of nuclear escalation, and the grave economic and social consequences. It is a ‘piecemeal’ third world war, to which you bear witness in the places where you carry out your mission.

“Thank you for everything that the Pontifical Representatives have done and are doing in these situations of suffering. You have brought the proximity of the Pope to peoples and Churches; you have been points of reference in the moments of greatest disorientation and turbulence.”

The pontiff went on to urge the nuncios to get involved in the path that the Church is undertaking “to foster precisely this dimension of synodality in the people of God”. He also told them to look ahead to the 2025 Jubilee.

Some 91 apostolic nuncios and six permanent observers were present at the meeting in the Vatican. Five pontifical representatives could not attend for health reasons or other impediments.

According to the Holy See Press Office, a total of 167 collaborators with a diplomatic role work in the nunciatures and the Secretariat of State.

Four students who trained at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome began a year of foreign missionary service as requested by Pope Francis, before starting their diplomatic career. The four have been assigned to pastoral work in Brazil, the Philippines, Madagascar, and Mexico respectively. The pontiff introduced this practice in 2020.

In his letter announcing the programme, Francis wrote: “In order to face positively these growing challenges for the Church and the world, future diplomats of the Holy See need to acquire, in addition to their solid priestly and pastoral formation, and the specific training offered by this Academy, a personal experience of mission outside their own diocese of origin, sharing with the missionary Churches a period of journey together with their community, participating in their daily evangelizing activity.”

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