Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Henryk Mieczyslaw Jagodzinki as the new Apostolic Nuncio to the country.
He is the ninth Nuncio to Ghana and replaces His Excellency, Archbishop Jean Marie Speich.
An Apostolic Nuncio per the arrangements in the Catholic Church is a representative of the Pope in various countries or the Ambassador of Vatican to the country he is being assigned to.
With this appointment, the new Nuncio becomes an Archbishop-elect.
Monsignor Jagodzinski was born on January 11, 1969, in Malogoszcz, Poland and ordained a priest on June 3, 1995, in the Diocese of Kielce.
Monsignor Jagodzinski obtained a Doctorate Degree in Canon Law from the Pontifical University of Holy Cross, Rome in 2001, and in preparation for the Diplomatic Service, he studied at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome from 1999 to 2001.
He then entered the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See on July 1, 2001. He has served at the Holy See Secretariat of State and Apostolic Nunciatures in Belorussia, Croatia, and India.
From 2018 until he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, he was assigned as First Counsellor in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.
He speaks Polish, his native language, Italian, French, English, Croatian, Russian and Spanish.
Who an Apostolic Nuncio is
An apostolic nuncio (also known as a papal nuncio or simply as a nuncio) is an ecclesiastical diplomat, serving as an envoy or a permanent diplomatic representative of the Holy See to a state or an international organization. A nuncio is appointed by and represents the Holy See, and is the head of the diplomatic mission, called an Apostolic Nunciature, which is the equivalent of an embassy. The Holy See is legally distinct from the Vatican City or the Catholic Church. A nuncio is usually an archbishop.
An apostolic nuncio is generally equivalent in rank to that of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, although in Catholic countries the nuncio often ranks above ambassadors in diplomatic protocol. A nuncio performs the same functions as an ambassador and has the same diplomatic privileges. Under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, to which the Holy See is a party, a nuncio is an ambassador like those from any other country. The Vienna Convention allows the host state to grant seniority of precedence to the nuncio over others of ambassadorial rank accredited to the same country and may grant the deanship of that country’s diplomatic corps to the nuncio regardless of seniority. The representative of the Holy See in some situations is called a Delegate or, in the case of the United Nations, Permanent Observer. In the Holy See hierarchy, these usually rank equally to a nuncio, but they do not have formal diplomatic status, though in some countries they have some diplomatic privileges.
Also, the nuncio serves as the liaison between the Holy See and the Church in that particular nation, supervising the diocesan episcopate (usually a national conference of bishops which has its chairman, usually the highest-ranking bishop or archbishop, especially if his seat carries the title of primate or he has individually been created a cardinal) and has an important role in the selection of bishops.