His Excellency, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, 70, was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to be his personal representative to the Church in the United States and to the US government, on 19 October 2011. As ambassador he’ll have to recommend to the Pope the new bishops, handle ecclesial matters of significance and work with the US politicians. Archbishop Viganò met with the Pope this morning. He is set arrive in time for the general meeting of US Bishops, 14-16 November in Baltimore.
David Kerr of The National Catholic Register has a story relating these diplomatic events and more of Viganò’s history.
You may also want to read Cindy Wooden of the Catholic News Service’s October 19th article for a another perspective.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò was born in Varese, Italy (Lombardy) and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Pavia (the place where St Augustine of Hippo is buried) but since 1973 Viganò has been in the service ot the Holy See. Since 1992, he’s been a bishop. His past postings have been as Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, and since 1998 he’s been an official in the Secretariat of State. Recently, recently he’s been the Secretary to the Governate of Vatican City State.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s appointment to the office of Nuncio fills the gap left when Pietro Sambi died on 27 July 2011. His Excellency is the 14th representative of the Pope on US shores.
The United States of America has had a delegation from the Holy See since 24 January 1893; the delegation became a full-fledged Nunciature on 10 January 1984.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, pray for Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.
The Pope gave the pallium to the new archbishop of Milan, Angelo Cardinal Scola earlier today. The pallium is a symbol of communion between the wearer (normally metropolitan archbishops) the pope. Hence, it is more ecclesial in nature than liturgical, though the pallium is rarely worn outside of the celebration of the Mass. He can give it whenever and to whomever he wants. Custom of recent years is that the pope gives the pallium to those metropolitans who request it on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. Nevertheless, this is a novel event that indicates a personal relationship between the cardinal and the pope.
The Most Reverend Daniel Mark Buechlein, 73, has had his request for an early retirement from the Office of Archbishop of Indianapolis accepted by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI due increasing concerns of health. In recent months has been dealing with the effects of a mild stroke complicated by other issues like cancer.