Archbishop Menninni presents his credentials to the Queen.
Archbishop Antonio Mennini is already at work as the new apostolic nuncio to Great Britain. He released a statement about a special audience with the Queen to present his diplomatic papers.
The 63-year-old Italian prelate had been working as nuncio in Russia. He was appointed to Britain in December, succeeding 73-year-old Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, who resigned due to ill health after he had a stroke last May.
On Wednesday, the new nuncio was taken by horse-drawn carriage from the archbishop’s house to Buckingham Palace.
Archbishop Mennini said his first order of business with the Queen was extending to her Benedict XVI’s “warm greetings” and the affirmation that the Pope “often remembers his visit to the United Kingdom and has enormous gratitude for the kind welcome he received.”
The Holy Father was in the United Kingdom for a four-day trip last September.
“I told the Queen that the aim of my mission is to strengthen the already existing good relations between the United Kingdom and the Holy See and to strengthen the good fraternal relations with the Anglican church in order to give a common witness to the values of the Gospel,” the archbishop continued.
The prelate said the Queen encouraged that effort and affirmed that the Pontiff’s visit was a “big success” that allowed the United Kingdom and the Holy See “not only to highlight the areas of current joint working, but to look into new areas of effective cooperation for the well-being of the entire human family.”
“Her Majesty said that the visit could constitute a blueprint, not only for relations between the Holy See and the U.K., but for many countries,” he added.
Her Majesty also asked Archbishop Mennini about his background. After speaking of his studies and work in Uganda and Russia, he assured the queen that he is “looking forward to getting to know the country, the culture, the Catholic Church in Britain, other communities and churches. Her Majesty concluded he said,by saying that my work will be challenging, but very important and very interesting.
It’s too early to say how he will deal with a nuncio’s other important role: that of recommending names to Rome for episcopal appointment. He was involved in only a few appointments in Russia – notably Archbishop Paolo Pezzi of the Mother of God Archdiocese in Moscow in 2007, and in 2003, Bishop Cyryl Klimowicz of St Joseph in Irkutsk – geographically the largest diocese in the world. But he’ll be continuing his contacts with a recently overhauled Congregation for Bishops, now with a new prefect and secretary.
Much will be expected of our Nuncio. Please remember him in your prayers.
Remarkable photograph. It cannot be often when a woman in a lime-green dress is the dowdiest in the line-up.
If the chaps can lure her out of the circle on the carpet, does the game go to extra time?
Toad wonders where the gent on the left gets his trousers made. So that he can avoid going there by accident.