Washington D.C., Dec 16, 2005 / 22:00 pm
Pope Benedict XVI appointed this Saturday Archbishop Pietro Sambi, widely regarded as one of the Vatican’s most able diplomats, as the new Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. He replaces Colombian-born Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, whose resignation was accepted upon his reaching the age limit of 75.
Pietro Sambi was born in the Northern Italian town of Sogliano sul Rubicone on June 27, 1938, and was ordained a priest on March 14, 1964, for the diocese of Montefeltro. Also fluent in English, Spanish, and French, Archbishop Sambi holds doctorate degrees in Theology and Canon Law.
He joined the Vatican diplomatic service in 1969 and served in the Nunciatures or Apostolic Delegations to Cameroon, Jerusalem, Cuba, Algeria, Nicaragua, Belgium, and India. In 1991 he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Indonesia and in 1998 was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine.
Both Jews and Palestinians regarded Archbishop Sambi as a courageous, uncompromising voice for peace, and as scrupulously fair with both sides.