From Academic Kids

From the ancient Latin Nuntius, meaning any envoy.

A Papal Nuncio (also known as an Apostolic Nuncio) is a permanent diplomatic representative (head of mission) of the Holy See to a state, having ambassadorial rank. However, he often also serves as the Vatican's eye on the national church, officiously supervising the episcopate. He is usually a (titular) bishop or archbishop.

Internuncios (also heads of missions) rank below Nuncios, being of the rank of an Envoy or Minister, with broadly the same task. A legate a latere, however, is a temporary papal representative or a representative for a special purpose. Historically, an apocrisiary was a nuncio to the Byzantine Empire; during the fifth and sixth centuries, during which much of Italy remained under Byzantine control, many Popes were former apocrisiaries.

A Pro-Nuncio is a diplomatic representative who is not of full ambassadorial rank, his status representing the nature of the diplomatic relationship between the Holy See and the state to which he has been assigned. For nations with whom the Vatican has no offical ties, an Apostolic Delegate is sent to serve as a liaison to the Catholic Church in that nation. Until recent times an Apostolic Delegate served as the papal representative to the United States and the United Kingdom. Both states, however, established formal relations with the Holy See in the late twentieth century, allowing for the appointment of a Papal Nuncio.

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations provides that (article 14(2)) "Except as concerns precedence and etiquette, there shall be no differentiation between heads of mission by reason of their class." Some states give special precedence to representatives of the Holy See, which they are permitted to do by the Convention (article 16(3)) "This article is without prejudice to any practice accepted by the receiving State regarding the precedence of the representative of the Holy See."

See also: Foreign relations of the Vatican City, Category:Diplomats of the Holy Seecs:Nuncius de:Apostolischer Nuntius es:Nuncio ka:ნუნცია nl:Nuntius no:Nuntius pl:Nuncjusz ru:Апостольский Нунций


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