Apostolic Nunciature to Germany

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Apostolic Nunciature in Berlin

The Apostolic Nunciature to Germany is an ecclesiastical office of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany.[1][2] It is a diplomatic post of the Holy See, whose representative is called the Apostolic Nuncio to Germany with the rank of an ambassador. The office of the nunciature has been located in Berlin since 1925, in union with the new Apostolic Nuncio to Prussia until 1934. Between 1920 and 1925 the nunciature was held in personal union by the Apostolic Nuncio to Bavaria, seated in Munich. With the unconditional surrender of Germany in 1945 the diplomatic ties were interrupted and reestablished for West Germany only in 1951, then in Bonn. In 2001 the nunciature moved again to Berlin.

The three Popes, once serving as nuncios in what is today's Germany, were Alexander VII, Leo XII and Pius XII. As of 2014 the Apostolic Nuncio to Germany is Nikola Eterović, appointed by Pope Francis on September 21, 2013.

List of Apostolic Nuncios to Germany[edit]

To the Holy Roman Empire[edit]

Lorenzo Campeggio, the first nuncio in the territory of modern-day Germany

The first nuncio in the territory of modern-day Germany was Lorenzo Campeggio in 1511, as the nuncio and cardinal protector to the Imperial Court.[3] His role was ratified in 1513 by Leo X, the new pope.[3] The nunciature became permanently accredited in 1530, whereafter the nuncios often followed Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor even when he left Imperial territory.[3]

In Cologne[edit]

The Cologne nunciature was erected in 1584 for the northwest of the Holy Roman Empire and the Rhineland.[3] The Nuncios to Cologne were accredited to the Achbishop-Electorates of Cologne, Mainz and Trier. In 1596, the Low Countries (Netherlands) were detached from the nunciature of Cologne, receiving their own nuncio in Brussels.[3]

Became the Apostolic Nunciature to Austria

In Munich[edit]

In Berlin[edit]

Pacelli, Nuncio to Germany, with Wilhelm von Opel and others in Rüsselsheim, Hesse, 1 October 1928.
Cesare Orsenigo, nuncio to Germany during World War II, with Hitler and Joachim von Ribbentrop.

Germany and the Holy See concluded diplomatic ties on 1 May 1920.[4] Abp Eugenio Pacelli, Nuncio to Bavaria, was appointed in personal union "Nuncio to Germany". As with Bavaria, diplomatic relations were also established with the most important state of Germany, Prussia, in 1925, on which occasion Pacelli gave up the Bavarian nunciature and was appointed Nuncio to Prussia in personal union with the nunciature to Germany, and moved to Berlin the same year. Until the dissolution of the German federal states in May 1934, the respective Nuncio to Germany remained also Nuncio to Prussia by a separate title. The relations with Bavaria remained fully intact with Pacelli's successor Nuncio Abp Alberto Vassallo-Torregrossa, whose ambassadorial rank fell also away in 1934 together with the existence of Bavaria as an entity of statehood; he was however able to more or less continue affairs until he left the country in 1936 at the insistence of the Nazi regime.

In Bonn for the Federal Republic of Germany only[edit]

With West Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, gaining quasi-sovereignty in 1951, the ties with the Holy See are upgraded again to nunciature level. The East German Democratic Republic had no diplomatic ties with the Vatican.

In Berlin since 2001[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cheney, David M. "Nunciature to Germany". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. Retrieved June 16, 2018.  [self-published]
  2. ^ Chow, Gabriel. "Apostolic Nunciature to Germany". GCatholic.org. Retrieved June 16, 2018.  [self-published]
  3. ^ a b c d e f Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Nuncio". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
  4. ^ Article: "Nunzius" in: Der Große Brockhaus: Handbuch des Wissens in zwanzig Bänden: 21 vols. , Leipzig: Brockhaus, 151928–1935; vol. 13 (1932), pp. 539seq., here p. 540.

External links[edit]