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Former Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain dies

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II receives the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Faustino

Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, the former Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain has died.

He passed away on Wednesday, after a long illness.

Mgr Marcus Stock, the General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, expressed his sorrow at hearing the news.

Mgr Stock said: “The Bishops remember Archbishop Faustino with great affection and admiration. His ministry as the personal representative of the Holy Father was exercised with untiring devotion and great attentiveness to the needs of our countries. Before his premature retirement due to ill health, he had won the profound respect of the diplomatic community and the hearts of the episcopal conferences he worked with.

“We send our sincere condolences to the family and personal friends of Archbishop Faustino. We pray that on this Solemnity of All Saints, in the presence of those many blessed souls who now behold the divine countenance, his soul too will enjoy the loving embrace of our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus. May he rest in peace. Amen.”

Baroness Warsi, Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs added her condolences. She said: “It was with sadness that I learned of the death on 31 October of Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, who had served as Apostolic Nuncio to Britain between 2004 and 2010. Archbishop Sainz Muñoz played an important role in developing the diplomatic relationship between the United Kingdom and the Holy See and, before his premature retirement due to ill health, was instrumental in the preparations for the highly successful visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the UK in September 2010.

“As Nuncio in London Archbishop Sainz Muñoz earned much respect among the diplomatic community, and he will be remembered with great affection and admiration. On behalf of Her Majesty’s Government I express my sincere condolences to Archbishop Sainz Muñoz’s family and friends.”

Archbishop Faustino’s funeral will take place on November 2 at 8pm in Madrid.