Function and Role of the Apostolic Nuncio

An Apostolic Nuncio is the personal representative of the Pope in a particular part of the Catholic Church, a particular country or more particular countries. Thus the Nuncio has two main functions: one relating within the Church, the other relating with States.


Relations within the Church

The ecclesial role of an Apostolic Nuncio is to make firm and effective the bonds of unity which exist between the Pope and the Church throughout the world.  

  • To inform the Apostolic See about the conditions in which the particular Churches find themselves, and matters which affect the life of the Church and the good of souls.
  • To assist the Bishops by action and advice, leaving intact the exercise of their lawful power. 
  • To foster close relations with the Bishops Conference, offering it every assistance. 
  • In connection with the appointment of Bishops, to send or propose names of candidates to the Apostolic See, as well as to prepare the informative process about those who may be promoted, in accordance with the norms issued by the Apostolic See. 
  • To promote whatever may contribute to peace, progress, and the united efforts of peoples. 
  • To work with the Bishops to foster appropriate exchanges between the Catholic Church and other Churches or ecclesial communities, and indeed with non-Christian religions. 
  • To work with the Bishops to safeguard, so far as the rules of the state are concerned, those things which relate to the mission of the Church and of the Apostolic See.


Relations with States

The diplomatic role of an Apostolic Nuncio is to establish and maintain a relationship of mutual understanding between Church and State, for the peace and progress of each nation, and peace between different peoples. 

  • To promote and foster relationships between the Apostolic See and State authorities.
  • To address questions concerning relations between Church and State, drawing up concordats and other similar agreements, and giving effect to them. 

(cf. Canons 361-365 of the Code of Canon Law)