ARCHBISHOP JUDE OKOLO FROM NIGERIA BECOMES APOSTOLIC NUNCIO TO CZECH REPUBLIC.
Pope Francis on Sunday May 1, 2022 appointed Nigerian Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo from Ozubulu in Nnewi Diocese , Anambra state, the new apostolic nuncio to the Czech Republic. He will replace Charles Daniel Balvo, who has served as apostolic nuncio to the Czech Republic for the past four years.
Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo was born on 18 December 1956 and is a prelate of the Catholic Church who has worked in the diplomatic service of the Holy See since 1990. He was ordiained a priest by Francis cardinal Arinze in July 2 1983 and was consecrated a BIshop by the same Francis cardinal Arinze in on 27 September 2008.
Archbishop Jude Okolo has held the following post in the Catholic Church:
1. Apostolic Nuncio to the Dominican Republic.
2. Apostolic Delegate to Puerto Rico.
3. Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland.
4. Currently Apostolic Nuncio to Czech Republic.
Let’s learn a little about Nuncios in the Catholic Church.
1. WHO IS AN APOSTOLIC NUNCIO IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH?
An apostolic nuncio also known as a papal nuncio or simply as a nuncio is an ecclesiastical diplomat, serving as an envoy or a permanent diplomatic representative of the Holy See to a country or to an international organization. A papal Nuncio is an ambassador of the Holy see to another country.
A nuncio is appointed by the Pope and represents the Holy See, and is the head of the diplomatic mission, called an Apostolic Nunciature, which is the equivalent of an embassy. An Apostolic Nuncio is usually an Archbishop.
2. SO A NUNCIO IS AN AMBASSADOR?
An apostolic nuncio is generally equivalent in rank to that of ambassador extraordinary although in Catholic countries the nuncio often ranks above ambassadors from other countries in diplomatic protocol. A nuncio performs the same functions as an ambassador and has the same diplomatic privileges. Under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, to which the Holy See is a member, a nuncio is an ambassador like those from any other country.
The Vienna Convention allows a country to grant seniority of precedence to the nuncio over others of ambassadorial rank accredited to the same country, and may grant the deanship of that country’s diplomatic corps to the nuncio regardless of seniority. That is , papal ambassadors are expected to be the leader of all other ambassadors in the countries they are sent.
3. DOES NUNCIOS HAS OTHER FUNCTIONS APART FROM BEING AMBASSADORS?
Nuncios serves as the liaison between the Holy See and the Church in that particular nation they are posted to, supervising the diocesan episcopate (usually a national or multinational conference of bishops which has its own chairman, elected by its members). The nuncio has an important role in the selection of bishops in the country he is working.
4. WHAT IS HOLY SEE?
The Holy See is the name given to the government of the Roman Catholic Church, which is led by the pope as the bishop of Rome. As such, the Holy See’s authority extends over Catholics throughout the world.
5. IS THERE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOLY SEE AND VATICAN CITY?
The Holy See is legally distinct from the Vatican City. It is the central governing body of the worldwide Catholic Church, headquartered in the Vatican City. So, Vatican City is used when referring to a country while Holy See is used when referring to the area governed by the Bishop of Rome, which includes the Vatican and the entire Catholic across the world.
6. DO YOU KNOW THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS THERE NUNCIOS FROM NIGERIA?
yes. They are:
1. Archbishop Jude Okolo from Nnewi Diocese, Anambra state. He is the Apostolic Nuncio to Sri Lanka.
2. Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu from Aba Diocese, Abia state. He is the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva.
3. Archbishop Brain Udaigwe from Orlu Diocese, Imo state. He is the Apostolic Nuncio to Sri Lanka.