New US Nuncio Is a Veteran Vatican Diplomat

You may be dreaming of your own retirement, and it may be years in the future or just around the bend. In the Church, there are mandatory ages for retirement when it comes to certain jobs. One very important retirement just happened—the retirement of US Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who Pope Benedict appointed in 2011. To fill the position of this retired Italian, Pope Francis has appointed a Frenchman, Archbishop Christophe Pierre. This appointment has significant implications for the Church as Institution (another Models of the Church reference) here in the United States, which, of course, will affect the U.S. Church in all her other models. Why? Well, as nuncio, Archbishop Pierre will recommend to Pope Francis candidates for bishop appointments in US dioceses. Bishops and archbishops have an immediate impact on their dioceses and archdiocese, but they also have the potential to have a collective impact if there are enough bishops with similar visions within a national conference of bishops. Naturally, bishop appointments are fascinating to those of us who work in and for the Church, as they often indicate the direction the Church is heading. People can of course speculate how Archbishop Christophe Pierre will select bishops to recommend to Pope Francis, and how this will affect the USCCB, but I prefer to wait and watch for now.