New Papal Nuncio tasked with strengthening Ireland-Vatican ties

Most Reverend Charles John Brown, Apostolic Nuncio inspects a guard of honour after he presented his credentials to President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin today.

The new Papal Nuncio has said that Pope Benedict XVI asked him to "solidify and strengthen" the relations between Ireland and the Holy See.

The Most Reverend Monsignor Charles John Brown has formally taken office after presenting his credentials to the President today.

The Army band and a guard of honour greeted the new Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland at Áras an Uachtaráin this afternoon.

Monsignor Brown has been appointed as Pope Benedict's representative here after his predecessor Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza was recalled in the wake of the findings of the Cloyne Report into clerical sex abuse, and the criticism of the Vatican by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Monsignor Brown today said he has been tasked with building relations.

"It is Pope Benedict's fervent desire that I, as his representative, do everything in my power to solidify and strengthen the relations between the Holy See and Ireland," he told gathered dignitaries.

President Michael D Higgins asked the Papal Nuncio to convey to the Pope his best wishes and the best wishes of the people of Ireland.

The new Ambassadors from Montenegro and Jordan also presented their credentials today.

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