Great Britain receives new papal delegate from Pope

.- Pope Benedict XVI has chosen Italian Archbishop Antonio Mennini as the new apostolic nuncio to Great Britain.

Archbishop Mennini will take the place of Spanish Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz as apostolic nuncio to Scotland, England and Wales. The announcement of his appointment came at noon in Rome on Dec. 18.

The 63-year old archbishop has been working as papal delegate, or apostolic nuncio, to Russia and Uzbekistan since 2003. He previously served as nuncio to Bulgaria and also worked Turkey and Uganda after entering the diplomatic corps in 1981.

Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien "warmly welcomed" the appointment in a Dec. 18 statement from Edinburgh.

The cardinal expressed gratitude for the outgoing nuncio's service and voiced his interest in meeting and working with Archbishop Mennini. He promised the prayers of the Church for the new nuncio's service.

A nuncio works as an ambassador from the Holy See to one or more foreign states and works closely with bishops in them.

His role is important, serving as the liaison between the country or countries of his service and the Vatican. One of his most important tasks is to work with the Vatican to advise the Pope in choosing new bishops.

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