By Courtney Mares
Pope Francis Saturday named Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia the next Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York.
“I hope to be able to fulfill well the new task Pope Francis has entrusted to me, seeking to bring the light of Catholic social teaching to the discussions and debates of the international community,” Caccia said of his appointment Nov. 16.
Archbishop Caccia will succeed Archbishop Bernardito Auza, whom Pope Francis appointed Apostolic Nuncio to the Kingdom of Spain and to the Principality of Andorra in October.
Caccia has spent nearly 30 years in the Vatican’s diplomatic service working in nunciatures in Tanzania, Lebanon, the Philippines, and the Vatican’s Secretariat of State in Rome.
Most recently, Caccia has been serving as the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines since September 2017.
He studied at the Vatican’s Diplomatic School, the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome, where he earned a Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) and at the Pontifical Gregorian University for a a Licentiate in Canon Law (JCL). Prior to this, he served three years as a parish priest in his home diocese, the Archdiocese of Milan.
Pope Benedict XVI ordained Caccia a bishop in 2009 and named him Apostolic Nuncio in Lebanon. His episcopal motto is “We have believed in the love God has for us” (1 John 4:16).
Caccia will arrive in New York to assume his new position as Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations on January 16, 2020.
“The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations will greatly benefit from his rich diplomatic experience and impressive priestly and human qualities,” Archbishop Auza said of his successor.
“In the two years he has spent in my home country the Philippines, he has endeared himself so deeply to the Filipinos,” he said.
Archbishop Caccia will be the seventh Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations since the Holy See became a Permanent Observer State at the UN in 1964.
The Holy See’s mission at the United Nations is of key importance for the Holy See’s diplomatic work. It aims to communicate the Catholic Church’s centuries of experience to assist the U.N. in realizing peace, justice, human dignity, and humanitarian cooperation and assistance.
“Next year, the United Nations will celebrate the 75th anniversary of its founding,” Caccia said.
“I look forward to helping the Holy See assist the United Nations in renewing its commitment to the pillars of its Charter, preventing the scourge of war, defending human dignity and rights, promoting integral development, and fostering respect and implementation of international law and treaties,” he said.