Apostolic Nunciature

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An apostolic nunciature is the diplomatic representation of the Holy See to a state. The head of mission and representative of the authority is the apostolic nuncio .


In the 16th century papal nunciatures emerged as permanent institutions of the Holy See, initially at the Catholic royal courts, for example in Vienna and Graz , in Madrid , or at the electors . The permanent nunciature at the court of King Ferdinand I , established in Vienna in 1529, is considered to be the oldest of its kind . The diplomats of the Holy See have been trained at the Pontifical Diplomatic Academy since 1701 .


Shield of the Apostolic Nunciature in Dili , East Timor

A papal legate or nuncio, who is also in accordance with the standards representation in States under international law practices exercises has to promote the special task of the relationship between the Holy See and foreign states and maintain to handle matters pertaining to the relations between Church and state concern; and to deal in a special way with concordats and other bilateral agreements, insofar as these are to be concluded and implemented (Can. 365 § 1 CIC ). Furthermore, it is the task of the Nuncio to strengthen the connection between the regional churches and the Apostolic See, so the Nuncio always takes part in the opening session of a plenary meeting of the Bishops' Conference. He also helps to find candidates for bishopric.


Papal envoy or nuncios are bishops (usually titular archbishops ) and are appointed by the Pope. You should not be more than 75 years old. Since the Congress of Vienna (1815), the apostolic nuncio has been the “born doyen ” of the diplomatic corps in most countries to this day . With his accreditation he enjoys the usual diplomatic immunity in the host country. The correct form of address for a nuncio is: "His Excellency ".

Official seat

Turmhof in the Plittersdorf district of Bonn, 1952–2001 seat of the Apostolic Nunciature

In Austria, the seat of the embassy is in the IV district of Vienna in a building from 1914 in the style of the Italian Renaissance .

The seat of the Apostolic Nunciature in Germany has been in Berlin-Neukölln since 2001 in a new building next to the St. John's Basilica , previously this was the Turmhof in Bonn - Bad Godesberg since 1952 .

List of nunciatures

The Holy See has one of the world's best networks of missions abroad . There are representations of the Holy See in 188 countries (176 nunciatures, ten delegates and two representations with special status). There are also eleven representations at various international organizations. As a rule, each representation also has its own Catholic chapel.






International organizations


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Konrad Breitsching: On the tasks of an apostolic nuncio ; Retrieved October 10, 2009.

Web links