United Arab Emirates Opens 1st Apostolic Nunciature in Abu Dhabi to Represent the Vatican and the Pope
An apostolic nunciature is a diplomatic mission of the Holy See, similar to an embassy. The leader of the apostolic nunciature is called a nuncio, an ecclesiastical diplomatic title. He is a permanent diplomatic representative of the Holy See to a state or international intergovernmental organizations.
UAE Vicariate Release: The Substitute of the Vatican's Secretariat of State, His Grace Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra officially opened the new Apostolic Nunciature to the UAE today at Abu Dhabi in the presence of Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, the Minister of Culture and Youth for the United Arab Emirates, Omar Ghobash, Assistant Minister for Culture and Public Diplomacy, His Excellency Bishop Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia and other ambassadors and officials of the UAE government.
Below is the full text of the speech delivered by the archbishop during the inaugural ceremony.
Discorso dell'Ecc.mo Sostituto
Distinguished Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The inauguration of this Diplomatic Representation of the Holy See demonstrates the good bilateral relations that ready exist between the United Arab Emirates and the Holy See. In this regard, I would also highlight that this year marks the fifteenth anniversary of diplomatic relations. I am convinced that the relationship formed over this period is based on a mutual understanding of the importance of faith and the positive role that religion should play in society. This was affirmed three years ago today during Pope Francis' 2019 Apostolic Journey to this country when he and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, signed the landmark document on Human Fraternity: For World Peace and Living Together.
In signing the document, the Grand Imam and the Pope expressed their desire that "it may serve as a guide for future generations to advance a culture of mutual respect in the awareness of the great divine grace that makes all human beings brothers and sisters” (Introduction). It is my hope that it will also serve as a framework for deepening our diplomatic relations. In moving forward, therefore, let us intensify our efforts to promote the contents of the document in order to help build a more just and peaceful world. These efforts are truly needed today as we continue to see the negative consequences of replacing transcendent truths about the human person and creation with purely superficial and materialistic values. May this new Embassy of the Holy See serve as a place of encounter and dialogue for our bilateral cooperation for many years to come!
In conclusion, I would like to thank His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, His Excellency Bishop Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar for Southern Arabia, and all of our distinguished guests for your presence on this special occasion. I also offer sincere gratitude to the Civil Authorities for their efforts in helping the Holy See obtain this beautiful edifice. Finally, I am particularly grateful to Monsignor Kryspin Dubiel, Chargé d 'Affaires, and to all those from the local Catholic community who helped make this desire of the Holy Father a reality. Please know once again of the Holy Father's closeness as we open the Apostolic Nunciature in the United Arab Emirates. Thank you!