Friday, 22 March 2013

Australia's new Nuncio...

Source: Canberra Times
Australia's new Nuncio, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, has hit the ground running with a series of media interviews.  He doesn't officially present his diplomatic credentials until the end of April, but he seems to be setting out to offer a more publicly engaging style than his predecessors.  That seems a welcome development.

Co-operation on child abuse Royal Commission

In yesterday's Daily Telegraph the Archbishop made it clear that the Vatican is prepared to co-operate with the Royal Commission:

"(We are) ready to respond to any legitimate request which is presented through proper diplomatic channels and respects accepted practice in accordance with the international agreements to which both the Holy See and Commonwealth of Australia are adherents," he told the Herald Sun."

That's a position in stark contrast to that taken by his predecessor here when dealing with the Irish Inquiry.

He also offered support for the processes themselves:

"In response to questions from the Herald Sun, Archbishop Gallagher backed the need for the Victorian and federal abuse inquiries, acknowledging the "pain caused and wrongs committed".

"I think the Vatican shares the view of the Australian bishops that it is necessary to make efforts to grasp the truth so that necessary action can be taken to ensure with confidence that we are doing everything possible to protect the vulnerable and prevent further abuse," he said.

About Archbishop Gallagher

In the Canberra Times today, he offers his personal reactions to the election of Pope Francis.  He also offers some background on himself:

"The archbishop, himself a simple man who values ''ordinariness'', is the product of a working class family from the same part of Liverpool that threw up the Beatles.

''I am about 10 years younger than them,'' the 58-year-old said. ''My school was near Strawberry Fields and when it rained I changed buses in Penny Lane.''

He has spent much of his working life as a diplomat in developing countries in Africa and South America, and believes Pope Francis' election as the first ''Second World Pope'' is very significant.

''I think it [his different life experience to other popes] is a positive; it is important that we see the diversity of the Catholic Church, that we see the diversity that exists within the priesthood.''

Archbishop Gallagher is the Vatican's 15th apostolic nuncio to Australia and takes over from Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, who was appointed nuncio to Israel and apostolic delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine last August.

Archbishop Gallagher was previously the nuncio to Guatemala."

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