It has been announced in Rome this morning, Tuesday 11 December, that Liverpool born priest Archbishop Paul Gallagher has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to be the Holy See’s new Apostolic Nuncio (Ambassador) to Australia. Currently serving as Apostolic Nuncio to Guatemala Archbishop Gallagher will take up the Canberra based post early next year.
58 year old Archbishop Gallagher, a priest of the Liverpool Archdiocese, has spent the past twenty-nine years in the Papal Diplomatic Service. He was ordained Archbishop by Cardinal Angelo Sodano on 13 March 2004 and was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Burundi. In 2009 he was appointed to Guatemala.
Archbishop Gallagher was educated at St Francis Xavier School, Liverpool, and was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Derek Worlock in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King on 31 July 1977. His first appointment was as assistant priest in Holy Name parish, Fazakerley where his duties included being a chaplain to the then Fazakerley Hospital, now University Hospital Aintree. He studied at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome, the training ground for Vatican diplomats, graduating in 1984 with a Doctorate in Canon Law. His first three postings in the diplomatic service took him to three continents: to Africa and Tanzania; Uruguay in South America and to Asia and the Philippines. He then returned to Rome before becoming the Representative of the Holy See at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
He is proud of his Liverpool roots and sees his ministry as a continuation of a journey which began in his home City. He says: ‘It is a source of great encouragement that people in Liverpool have said that they are praying for me. I have never done anything in my life as a Papal Diplomat that I felt was not strengthening and deepening the communion that exists between my work, my Archbishop here in Liverpool and the Catholic community of the City. I see it as an extension; simply a continuation of the work that I’ve always done as a priest, first in Liverpool and then throughout the world.’