VATICAN CITY, FEB. 10, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI named Archbishop Juliusz Janusz, 66, as apostolic nuncio to Slovenia with the responsibility of apostolic delegate in Kosovo.
The Vatican press office announced this appointment today, and also released a communiqué clarifying the nature of this responsibility in Kosovo.
The communiqué stated, “It should be pointed out that the appointment of an apostolic delegate falls within the organizational functions of the structure of the Catholic Church and hence has a purely intra-ecclesial character, being completely distinct from considerations regarding juridical and territorial situations or any other question inherent to the diplomatic activity of the Holy See.”
The status of Kosovo as an independent nation is currently under dispute. After the collapse of Yugoslavia, Kosovo declared its independence in 2008, but Serbia did not recognize its secession.
Last July, the International Court of Justice, giving an advisory, non-binding opinion to the U.N. general assembly, ruled that Kosovo’s declaration of independence did not violate international law, but the U.N. security council is divided on the issue.
At present, 75 states recognize Kosovo’s independence, and 18 countries have embassies there.
The Vatican communiqué stated that “the mission of an apostolic delegate is not of a diplomatic nature but responds to the requirement to meet in an adequate way the pastoral needs of the Catholic faithful.”
Archbishop Janusz has served as apostolic nuncio to Hungary since 2003. Before that, he was the Pope’s representative in Mozambique and Rwanda.
He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Krakow, Poland, in 1967, and a bishop in 1995.