The Papal Nuncio to Australia, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, has been appointed as the Pope's foreign minister, the third highest position in the Vatican, following the removal of Cardinal Burke from head of the Vatican's Supreme Court.
- Crux/Vatican Insider
The English-born Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher succeeds the Moroccan-born Archbishop Dominque Mamberti, who has held this post since 15 September 2006, and whom the Pope has promoted to be Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Segnatura (a position equivalent to that of a Chief Justice).
Mamberti, a civil and canon lawyer, succeeds the American Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, who has served in that role since 27 June 2008 but was not confirmed in the post after completing the statutory five-year term of office. Cardinal Burke has been re-assigned to be Patron of the Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta.
Cardinal Burke, known for his defence of traditional liturgy and as outspoken defender of doctrine on sexual morality, arose during the recent Synod for Bishops on the Family as a champion of the conservative camp. In recent days, he has given several interviews in which he expressed his concern over the Church’s future.
Archbishop Gallagher is the first Englishman ever to hold such a position, and comes to this important role – the equivalent to that of a Foreign Minister - with 30 years of distinguished experience in the diplomatic service of the Holy See, in a wide variety of situations on all continents
The friendly, astute and courageous Archbishop Gallagher, 60, whose motto is “Walk humbly with God,” has served in the Holy See’s missions in Tanzania, Uruguay, the Philippines, as Observer at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, and then as Nuncio to Burundi, Guatemala and currently, Australia.
He knows the Secretariat of State well having worked in its Second Section, which manages relations with states, from 1995 to 2000. In those years he worked alongside Pietro Parolin, now the Cardinal Secretary of State, so the two men know each other well.
Archbishop Gallagher is fluent in Italian, Spanish and French. He contemplated joining the Jesuits or Benedictines, but settled for the diocesan priesthood after participating in a vocations program in the Liverpool Archdiocese. He was sent to study for the priesthood at Rome’s Jesuit-run Gregorian University, while residing at the Venerable English College, and there obtained good degrees in philosophy, theology and – later - canon law. He was ordained priest for the Archdiocese of Liverpool on 31 July 1977, and was then assigned to work in a parish at Fazackley.
Photo: Archbishop Gallgher, centre, holding a baby crocodile, with Archbishop Mark Coleridge left, and the late Bishop Michael Putney
Vatican removes Burke from key post (AFP/Ucanews)