New Nuncio for Great Britain

I know we must suspend judgment… but…

From His Hermeneuticalness:

I had prepared a post to put up when the Vatican Bollettino announced that the new Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain is Archbishop Antonio Mennini. However,  the Tablet has now announced it online so perhaps that is the new channel for announcements of this kind.

Archbishop Mennini, 63, has been Apostolic Nuncio to the Russian Federation since 2002 and was additionally appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Uzbekistan in 2008. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Rome in 1974 and consecrated Bishop in 2000. He has also served as Nuncio in Bulgaria. He is pictured presenting his credentials to President Vladimir Putin in the Alexander Hall of the Kremlin Palace.

As a young priest, Fr Mennini was a go-between, enabling communication between the family of Aldo Moro, the Christian Democrat former Prime Minister of Italy, and the Red Brigades who had kidnapped Moro in 1978 and eventually killed him after 55 days in captivity. He is the son of Luigi Mennini who was managing director of the Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR or “Vatican Bank”) at the time of Archbishop Marcinkus. His brother, Alessandro, worked for the Banco Ambrosiano.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Childermass says:

    To paraphrase the Duke of Norfolk’s line to Sir Thomas More in “A Man for All Seasons”: “This isn’t Italy, you know. This is England.”

  2. sejoga says:

    Wow, I gather it’s saying something for the Vatican to appoint to Great Britain the guy who’s been dealing with a society still overcoming Communist oppression?

    As Damian Thompson points out, he leaving his post in the former USSR in order to “attend meetings with elderly, humourless, power-crazed apparatchiks whose socialist politics have not changed since the Cold War.”

    Judging from the Holy Father’s obviously keen and persistent interest in all things English in the last year or two, I would say he’s not a big fan of the Magic Circle crowd…

  3. Supertradmum says:


    I hate to correct you, but the quotation is,” My dear Norfolk, this isn’t Spain, this is England.”

    Sorry, I taught the play for years. Anyway, I am not sure what this has to do with the New Nuncio. I think we need more information and more time.

  4. pseudomodo says:

    From Damien Thompsons Blog:

    “News just in that the Vatican’s representative in Moscow, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, is facing a new ordeal: he has been summoned to attend meetings with elderly, humourless, power-crazed apparatchiks whose socialist politics have not changed since the Cold War.

    Yup, he’s the new Papal Nuncio to Great Britain, responsible for liaising with Eccleston Square.”

    Sent to the Gulag…

  5. I’m thinking the Vatican’s message is: “This is the guy we send to scary, nasty places, so he won’t be scared by threats from anyone. And he’s from a rich family, so he won’t be impressed by anybody putting on airs. Currently, England is a hardship post when it comes to being papal nuncio, so we’ve sent a fixer.”

  6. Childermass says:

    I was adapting the quote to this situation. From first impressions, at least, this choice of nuncio seems an odd one for England.

    Incidentally, the line you quoted was spoken by Thomas Cromwell to Norfolk, after Norfolk had already said to More, “This isn’t Spain, you know. This is England.”

  7. HighMass says:


    Great Comments! An someone said the Holy Father is isolated from dissent!

    God Bless Pope Benedict XVI! Viva il Papa!

  8. Ed the Roman says:

    Would this guy then be the Newncio?

  9. PghCath says:

    According to the Tablet, “[i]t is likely that Archbishop Mennini’s appointment is recognition of the delicate diplomatic work that will be required for the establishment of the Anglican ordinariate in Britain.” He has been lauded for improving the Holy See’s relationship with Orthodox churches, including those in Russia and Bulgaria, and he helped convince Orthodox leaders in Bulgaria not to oppose Pope John Paul II’s visit to that country in 2002. Apparently the Pope sees him as a tough yet conciliatory figure who can handle the many challenges facing the ordinariate project. See

  10. basilorat says:

    I hope this guy is good. So far the Holy Father is 50/50 on appointments. I understand you can’t get them all, but with Bertone in place, one never knows. Sambi is a disaster here, and were he not circumvented, some appointments would have been extraordinarily deplorable rather than extreme mediocrity at best, as we’ve seen so far.

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