Great Jubilee News


120 Pontifical Representatives Converge on Rome

VATICAN CITY, ( - Call it a Jubilee with diplomacy. More than 120 apostolic nuncios, or papal ambassadors, from around the world are gathering in Rome to celebrate their special Jubilee.

They will be joined by 20 retired, former nuncios. Their first appointment will be Thursday, in the Roman "Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem." The event, which will take place on the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, will be presided over by Father Simone Fioraso, prior of the Cistercians of the Abbey.

On Friday, Sept. 15, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, will preside over a
concelebrated Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. An audience with Pope John Paul II follows.

Many of the nuncios have not met for years. Some of them were classmates or associated in
diplomatic missions.

During an interview on Vatican Radio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio and delegate
of the pontifical representations, said that the origins of this institution are grounded in Jesus' words to
the Apostle Peter, to feed Christ's flock. "In this sense, " he said, "the pontifical representatives came
into being with Peter's mission and, as the Church grew, enabled Peter's mission to be carried out on
all the earth's frontiers." "To legates of the Roman Pontiff," says No. 363 of the Code of Canon Law,
"is entrusted the responsibility of representing him in a stable manner to particular churches and also to
states and public authorities to which they are sent." No. 364 says, "The principal duty of a pontifical
legate is to work so that day by day the bonds of unity which exist between the Apostolic See and the
particular churches become stronger and more efficacious." Among the other duties: "to transmit or
propose the names of candidates to the Apostolic See in reference to the naming of bishops."