The Holy See Establishes Full Diplomatic Relations with Oman allowing for the Opening of a Nunciature

The Holy See and Oman established full diplomatic relations on February 23rd, opening their respective nunciature and embassy. Their aim is to promote “mutual understanding and further strengthening friendship and cooperation”. The local multi-ethnic Church must maintain communal ties.
The diplomatic relations are based on the Vienna Convention of 1961, with an apostolic nunciature in Oman and an embassy at the Holy See.
It its communiqué, the Vatican explains that the goal is to promote “mutual understanding and further strengthening friendship and cooperation between the Holy See and Oman” while serving the “common interests of the” two parties, based on the “principles of sovereign equality, independence, territorial integrity and non-interference”.
With Oman, the the Holy See can now count on having diplomatic relations with 184 states, including all those in the Arabian Peninsula, except for Saudi Arabia.
Located in the south-eastern part of the region, the Sultanate of Oman is divided into 11 governorates and 61 provinces. Like many countries in the region, its economy is based on natural resources, especially natural gas, and tourism.
Arabs constitute the majority of its population of about 4.5 million, with a significant percentage of foreign workers from other Middle Eastern countries, as well as the Philippines, India and Pakistan.
About 86 per cent are Muslim, while Christians are around 6.5 per cent or about 300,000 (70 per cent Catholic, 13 per cent Orthodox, 6 per cent Protestant, 11 per cent others).
Almost all Christians are foreign workers from other Asian nations, particularly the Philippines and India, and live in large towns and cities, like the capital Muscat as well as Sohar and Salalah.
Politically, Oman has sought to maintain a balance between Shi‘a Iran and its Sunni neighbours, like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Qatar. The latter have been involved in a proxy war in Yemen and elsewhere in the region.
Oman comes under the jurisdiction of the Apostolic Vicariate of South Arabia (UAE, Yemen and Oman). Based in Abu Dhabi, it is headed by Bishop Paolo Martinelli, and is divided into four parishes and has 12 resident priests.
In late March 2022, the then vicar of Southern Arabia, Bishop Paul Hinder, celebrated the first priestly ordination in the local Church.
The first locally ordained priest, Fr Dickson Eugene, belongs to the Salesian province of Bangalore, but was raised in Oman. Since his ordination, he has been able to celebrate scores of confirmations and organise a meeting with all the priests, to discuss future challenges.
Above Edited from Asia News IT
FULL TEXT Press Release from the Holy See:
The Holy See and the Sultanate of Oman Desirous of promoting mutual understanding and further strengthening friendship and cooperation between the Holy See and Oman; Convinced that the establishment of diplomatic relations serves the common interests of the Holy See and Oman; Guided by the principles of sovereign equality, independence, territorial integrity and non-interference; Have decided to establish, on the basis of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 18 April 1961, full diplomatic relations at the level of an Apostolic Nunciature to the Sultanate of Oman and of an Embassy to the Holy See. ******
The Sultanate of Oman is located in the south-eastern part of the Arabian peninsula, bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the north-west, Saudi Arabia to the west and Yemen to the south-west, and is bordered by the gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. Administratively, Oman is divided into 11 governorates (Muḥāfaẓa), which are in turn divided into 61 provinces (Wilaya). The capital is Muscat.

A population of about 4 and a half million lives on an area of 309,980 km², made up largely of Arabs, but with a significant percentage of foreign workers, coming from other Middle Eastern countries, the Philippines, India and the Pakistan. British protectorate since 1891, ruled by sec. XVIII from the Āl-Bū-Saʿīd dynasty, has been independent since 1971.

At an institutional level, Oman presents itself as a monarchy, with a sultan system, headed by Sultan Haitham bin Ṭāriq bin Taimūr Āl Saʿīd since 11 January 2020. There is a bicameral system which provides for a chamber elected by the people, a Majlis Al-Shura Advisory Council, made up of representatives elected for a 4-year term, and a State Council, Majlis Al-Dawla, made up of members of royal appointment.

Like almost all the countries in the Persian Gulf area, Oman too has an economy mainly centered on the hydrocarbon sector, in particular that of natural gas.

The Basic Law of Oman declares Islam the state religion and the sharia as the main source of national legislation; however freedom of religion is also affirmed within it, together with the prohibition of discrimination on a confessional basis.

Regarding the Local Church, the territory of Oman is part of the Apostolic Vicariate of South Arabia, with headquarters in Abu Dhabi, entrusted to the pastoral care of H.E. Archbishop Paolo Martinelli, OFM. Cap. There are 4 parishes in the country, in which 12 priests carry out their ministry. It is hoped that with the establishment of full diplomatic relations with the Holy See, the Catholic Church in Oman, through priests and religious, will continue to contribute to the social welfare of the Sultanate