Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the papal nuncio to Great Britain, will be transferred to Rome to serve in the Secretariat of State, the department responsible for relations with other states, it was announced last week.

Archbishop Mennini, who has been nuncio to Britain for just over six years, will “serve the Holy Father with particular reference to the state of Italy,” Cardinal Vincent Nichols said in a statement. “In these matters Archbishop Mennini has unique experience and knowledge which is much appreciated by the Holy See.”

During his time in London, the 69-year-old Italian has advised on the appointment of 20 diocesan bishops. In Scotland, all eight diocesan bishops were chosen under his watch.

He was previously nuncio to Russia, where he played a key role in the establishment of full diplomatic relations.

His appointment to Britain was seen by some as an attempt to steady relations with the Church of England following the creation of the ordinariate.

Cardinal Nichols, writing on behalf of the English and Welsh bishops, said Archbishop Mennini had been “most attentive and sensitive to our needs and situation, while always representing the Holy Father with precision and clarity and sharing insights into the needs of the Universal Church”.

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