By Christian Smith
Pope Francis has appointed, for the first time, a Nigerian priest, Archbishop Thaddeus Okolo as the new ambassador to Ireland.
As ambassador, Archbishop Okolo who speaks Igbo, English, French, Italian, Czech, Spanish and German, will serve as liaison between the Irish government and the Vatican.
One of his responsibilities as Apostolic Nuncio, will be to prepare for the Pope’s forthcoming visit to Ireland
The 61-year-old is also responsible for drawing up the short list of candidates to be appointed bishops.
Archbishop Okolo takes over from Charles Brown who is moving to Albania to start a new diplomatic post. The new nuncio is due to take up the role during the summer.
Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh, said: “I warmly welcome the appointment by His Holiness Pope Francis of Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo as Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland and I wish him many blessings in his new role.”