French-born Archbishop Christophe Pierre expected to be named papal nuncio to the United States

The French-born Archbishop Christophe Pierre appears to be on track to become the new Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, exactly nine years after his appointment as nuncio to Mexico. The news was first broken by the veteran Vatican watcher, Sandro Magister, in his blog “Settimo Cielo” on March 10, who wrote that “his promotion is imminent” to that key post. In actual fact, there have been many rumors to this effect in Rome in recent days. 

The Vatican had no comment to make. As is normal practice, the Holy See will not make any announcement before it has received the agreement of the Obama administration. Nevertheless, reliable sources told America they believe he is Pope Francis’ choice for this most important assignment, and they expect an announcement to be made before Easter.

If the news is confirmed, as expected, Archbishop Pierre will succeed the Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who reached the statutory retirement age on Jan. 16. Archbishop Viganò has been the papal representative to the United States since Oct. 10, 2011.  

Archbishop Christophe Pierre, 70, is widely recognized as one of the Holy See's most accomplished diplomats. A polyglot, who speaks English fluently, he has served as nuncio in Mexico since March 22, 2007, and excelled as advisor and host to Pope Francis during his recent visit there. Before going to Mexico he served with distinction as nuncio to Uganda (1999-2007) and Haiti (1995-99). He entered the Holy See's diplomatic corps in 1977, and has also served in its missions to New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Brazil and to the U.N. Office in Geneva. 

William Rydberg
1 year 3 months ago
Let's hope that merging Dioceses is on the Table. There are simply not enough native vocations. Why would one need more Bishops if one has so few Priests to Supervise?
Leo Cleary
1 year 3 months ago
I so hope that this rumor is true. I met Archbishop Pierre in Lyon some years ago when he was spoke at a conference at the Catholic Institute. (His English is excellent; certainly better than my French.) What struck me about his is a certain simplicity. He is obviously very intelligent yet does not foist his ideas on you. He welcomes conversation. In the American Church, we need a good listener with a wide breath of experience aboard. He will assist Pope Francis to select many American bishops over the next few years. He will be a strong force behind changing the style of US bishops more toward the open-minded, humble and merciful style of Francis.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Callahan, a professor and novelist from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will be awarded the $25,000 Catholic literary prize.
The EditorsJune 22, 2017
En el Evangelio de hoy, Jesús enfrenta una de las cuestiones interiores más sensibles y complicadas del ser humano: el miedo.
Juan Luis CalderónJune 22, 2017
Retired San Francisco Archbishop John R. Quinn, left, is pictured in a 2004 photo in Saginaw, Mich. He died June 22 at age 88 in San Francisco. He headed the Northern California Archdiocese from 1977 until 1995. (CNS photo/Brett McLaughlin, Catholic Weekly)
Retired Archbishop John R. Quinn of San Francisco, who led the Northern California archdiocese for 18 years, died on June 22 after a long illness. He was 88.
Daniel Oreskes, Michael Aronov, and Anthony Azizi (foreground) with Daniel Jenkins and Jeb Kreager (background). Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Like all the best historical narratives, “Oslo” shows the intense fragility and contingency of human affairs
Rob Weinert-KendtJune 22, 2017