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Pope Francis appoints Briton as Vatican ‘foreign minister’

Archbishop Paul Gallagher

Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Paul Gallagher, a 60-year-old Liverpudlian who is currently nuncio to Australia, as Secretary for Relations with States, popularly known as the Vatican foreign minister.

Archbishop Gallagher will take over from Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, who has been named as prefect of the Apostolic Signatura in the Roman Curia, replacing Cardinal Raymond Burke, who is now patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Archbishop Gallagher, who is fluent in Italian, French and Spanish, served as the Vatican’s nuncio to Guatemala and Burundi before being moved to Australia.

He took over the post in Burundi in 2004 after his predecessor was assassinated. During his own tenure there his residence was bombed, though he happened to be out of the country at the time.

Archbishop Gallagher was ordained by Archbishop Derek Worlock of Liverpool in 1977 and joined the Vatican’s diplomatic service seven years later.