Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Henryk Mieczyslaw Jagodzinki as new Apostolic Nuncio for the Catholic Church in Ghana.
An Apostolic Nuncio per the arrangements in the Catholic Church is a representative of the Pope in various countries.
Better still, he could be said to be the Ambassador of Vatican to the country he is being assigned to.
The announcement was made at the National Catholic Secretariat by Secretary General of the National Catholic Secretariat, Rev. Fr. Lazarus Anonde on Sunday May 3.
Monsignor Henryk Mieczyslaw Jagodzinki takes over from Most Rev. Jean Marie Speich who was appointed Nuncio to Ghana on August 17, 2013. He served untill March 19 when he was reassigned to Cosovo.
By this appoint, the new Nuncio becomes an Archbishop elect
On June 3, 1995, he was ordained a priest and was incardinated in the Kielce diocese . In 1999 he began to prepare for diplomatic service at the Pontifical Church Academy . He obtained a doctorate in canon law at the University of St. Cross in rome .
In 2001 he began his service in the Vatican diplomacy, working in turn as secretary of the nunciatures: in Belarus (2001-2005) and in Croatia (2005-2008). In 2008 he started working in the Section for Relations with States in the Secretariat of State of the Holy See . From September 6, 2015 to July 25, 2018, he worked as Counselor of the Apostolic Nunciature in India. Then, from August 9, 2018, he started working at the Apostolic Nunciature in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Who is an Apostolic Nuncio?
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 state or to an international organization. A nuncio is appointed by and represents the Holy See, and is the head of the diplomatic mission, called an Apostolic Nunciature, which is the equivalent of an embassy. The Holy See is legally distinct from the Vatican City or the Catholic Church. A nuncio is usually an archbishop.
An apostolic nuncio is generally equivalent in rank to that of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, although in Catholic countries the nuncio often ranks above ambassadors 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 party, a nuncio is an ambassador like those from any other country. The Vienna Convention allows the host state 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.
Ther of the Holy See in some situations is called a Delegate or, in the case of the United Nations, Permanent Observer. In the Holy See hierarchy, these usually rank equally to a nuncio, but they do not have formal diplomatic status, though in some countries they have some diplomatic privileges.
In addition, the nuncio serves as the liaison between the Holy See and the Church in that particular nation, supervising the diocesan episcopate (usually a national conference of bishops which has its own chairman, usually the highest-ranking bishop or archbishop, especially if his seat carries the title of primate or he has individually been created a cardinal) and has an important role in the selection of bishops.
Below is the list of Apostolic Delegates to Ghana
Girolamo Prigione (2 October 1973 – 28 April 1976)
Giuseppe Ferraioli (14 June 1976 – 21 July 1981)
Ivan Dias (8 May 1982 – 20 June 1987)
Giuseppe Bertello (17 October 1987 – 12 January 1991)
Abraham Kattumana (8 May 1991 – 16 December 1992)
André Dupuy (6 April 1993 – 27 March 2000)
George Kocherry (10 June 2000- 22 December 2007)
Léon Kalenga Badikebele (1 March 2008 – 22 February 2013)
Jean-Marie Speich (17 August 2013 – 19 March 2019)