WASHINGTON (December 6, 1998)--Pope John Paul II has named the Most Reverend Gabriel Montalvo to be Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. He is currently the President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy where the diplomats in service of the Holy See are trained.
The announcement was made by the Holy See on December 7.
Archbishop Montalvo was born in Bogota, Colombia, on January 27, 1930. He was ordained a priest on January 18, 1953, and has a doctorate in canon law. He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1957, serving in Nunciatures in Bolivia, Argentina, and El Salvador.
From 1964 to 1974, Archbishop Montalvo worked in the Secretariat of State, Vatican City, where he dealt, in particular, with matters affecting the Churches in eastern Europe.
In 1974, he was named Apostolic Nuncio in Honduras and Nicaragua. He received episcopal ordination on June 30, 1974, having been appointed Titular Archbishop of Celene.
In 1980, he was named Pro-Nuncio in Algeria and Tunisia and Apostolic Delegate in Libya.
Archbishop Montalvo was the Holy See's envoy in the negotiations of the peaceful settlement of the Beagle Channel litigation between Argentina and Chile.
In June, 1986, he was named Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in Yugoslavia, and in April, 1993, Apostolic Nuncio in Belarus.
In April, 1993, he was named President of the Academy.
Besides Spanish, Archbishop Montalvo speaks French, English, Italian, and German.
Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston, and President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/U.S. Catholic Conference, praised the appointment of Archbishop Montalvo, saying that "the Holy See has once again honored the United States with the selection of a most experienced and senior diplomat as Nuncio. The Bishops of the United States look forward to working with Archbishop Montalvo as closely as we have with his predecessors and to come to know and appreciate his own particular gifts."
A Nuncio represents the Holy Father to both the hierarchy and Church of a particular nation and to that nation's civil government.