The Catholics of England have a “depth of faith in our history and in our hearts” says Cardinal Nichols at welcome for new Nuncio to Great Britain

At a special Mass to welcome the new Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, Cardinal Vincent Nichols described the Catholics of England and Wales as ‘a faithful people’ with a ‘depth of faith in our history and in our hearts.’

Just hours after presenting his credentials to the newly crowned King Charles III, His Excellency Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendía attended a Westminster Cathedral Mass of welcome on the Solemnity of The Ascension of the Lord, 18th May.

The Apostolic Nuncio is the personal representative of Pope Francis to the Court of St James’s, the royal court for the Sovereign of the UK. His role is equivalent to that of an ambassador, representing the Holy See to the UK Government.

In his homily, Cardinal Vincent said a new nuncio is a ‘gift’ to us all and ‘a way of strengthening our communion with Peter and of us taking our place in the Catholic Church throughout the world.’

This communion, is a ‘gift of the Paraclete’ which ‘is passed on, in the chain of succession, to the Bishop of Rome whose charism it is, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to confirm, strengthen and guide the Church.’

It is fitting, therefore, that the Mass of welcome took place on the Solemnity of the Ascension, as ‘we take comfort from the additional words of Jesus: “Know that I am with you always; yes to the end of time.”

‘Always and everywhere, our mission is accompanied by the gifts of the Holy Spirit.’

In the Nuncio’s Address at the end of Mass, Archbishop Maury Buendía expressed his ‘heartfelt thanks for having the opportunity of showing the closeness of the Holy Father to your local Church.’

He also brought a message from Pope Francis, encouraging all in ‘this land where immigration offers opportunities for work and education’, to ‘manifest the universality of [the Lord’s] Church, united in the bonds of love.’ The many languages spoken at Pentecost, ‘express even the Lord’s desire that all peoples will be one in their diversity.’

Archbishop Maury Buendía ended by calling upon Mary to ‘give us an active faith, a living hope and a generous heart’, and bestowed Pope Francis’ Apostolic Blessing.

Address of the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain

Your Eminence, dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

At the end of this celebration of Holy Mass, which itself manifests the bond of Charity among those who to belong to the Lord, I wish to express my heartfelt thanks for having the opportunity of showing the closeness of the Holy Father to your local Church, immediately after the presentation of my credential letters to His Majesty Charles III, as Apostolic Nuncio in Great Britain. It is a great honour and pleasure to be the Papal Nuncio here.

Your Eminence, I will bring now to your consideration the commendatory letters from His Eminence the Cardinal Secretary of State. With your help, I hope to be a tangible and personal connection between the Church in England and Wales and the One chosen by Christ as the Chief Shepherd who presides over the Universal Church in Charity.


The Holy Father asked me to express, his brother’s kindness and his brother’s love, to encourage the Shepherds and the Faithful to bear witness to the Gospel, particularly to the furthest away and to all brothers and sisters in need, and, as I told to His Majesty this morning, his prayers for the United Kingdom.

Our Lord ascended into heaven, not to distance himself from the earth, but to be closer to us. In this land where immigration offers opportunities for work and education, we are called by Him to manifest the universality of His Church, united in the bonds of love. The many languages spoken on the day of Pentecost – which we will celebrate in nine days’ time – express even the Lord’s desire that all peoples will be one in their diversity.

We call upon the Mother of the Lord, our blessed Lady, to give us an active faith, a living hope, and a generous heart. Allow me to ask you, as the Holy Father often does, that, when you pray for him, to pray also for his representative in Great Britain. And now, I invite you to receive his Apostolic Blessing, and through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the abundance of Divine graces.

Letter of Commendation from the Secretary of State

Your Reverend Eminence,

As I’m sure that you already know, the Supreme Pontiff, has recently named as the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, His Excellency Miguel Maury Buendía, Titular Archbishop of Italica, who will take upon himself the great honour of delivering these letters to you in due service.

Considering the remarkable human qualities and expertise of this Bishop, we certainly trust that he will carry out this entrusted office with diligent care. He will undoubtedly accomplish this in Great Britain with manifold fruits if this Legate of the Apostolic See should enjoy your strong support and that of the other Bishops of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

May we wish therefore, to bestow upon him the courtesies of human kindness and fraternal charity. While, for this reason, I now already express in the name of the Supreme Pontiff my gratitude to you. Meanwhile, I take this given opportunity to remain thoroughly devoted to you.

Your Most Reverend Eminence,

Pietro Cardinal Parolin
Secretary of State

Photos: Mazur/