Pope appoints African priest as representative to Ireland

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Pope Francis has appointed an African priest as apostolic nuncio to Ireland for the first time.

Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, 60, from Nigeria is due to take up the role during the summer.

He will be the Vatican’s diplomatic representative in Ireland.

The outgoing papal nuncio to Ireland Charles Brown will move to Albania to take up a new diplomatic post.

Archbishop Okolo was born in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1983.

He holds a doctorate in canon law.

His first assignment in the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See was in Sri Lanka.

He has also served in Haiti, Switzerland and Australia.

He speaks Igbo, English, French, Italian, Czech, Spanish and German.

Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh, said: “I warmly welcome the appointment by His Holiness Pope Francis of Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo as Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland and I wish him many blessings in his new role.

“Archbishop Okolo’s rich experience in the diplomatic service of the Holy See means that he brings many gifts to bear on his new mission in Ireland.

“I pray that his time among us as the representative of the Holy Father will be blessed and fruitful.”