|Apostolic Nuncio to the United States; |
Titular Archbishop of Gunela
Christophe Pierre in 2018
|Appointed||12 April 2016|
|Predecessor||Carlo Maria Viganò|
|Ordination||5 April 1970|
by Paul Joseph Marie Gouyon
|Consecration||24 September 1995|
by Angelo Sodano
|Birth name||Christophe Louis Yves Georges Pierre|
|Born||January 30, 1946|
|Previous post||Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico|
Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti
Apostolic Nuncio to Uganda
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
Christophe Louis Yves Georges Pierre (born 30 January 1946) is French-born Roman Catholic prelate and diplomat in the service of the Holy See. An archbishop since 1995, he was appointed the apostolic nuncio (ambassador) to the United States on 12 April 2016, after serving as nuncio to Mexico from 2007 to 2016. He previously held the post of nuncio to Haiti and Uganda.
Christophe Pierre was born in Rennes on 30 January 1946 to a family with roots for many generations in Brittany. He first attended school at Antsirabé in Madagascar and pursued his secondary studies at the College of Saint-Malo. He also spent one year in Morocco at Lycée français of Marrakesh.
He entered the Catholic seminary of Saint-Yves in Rennes in 1963, but interrupted his studies for two years of military service in 1965 and 1966. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Rennes at the Cathedral of Saint-Malo on 5 April 1970.
He obtained his master's degree in theology at the Institut Catholique de Paris and his doctorate in canon law in Rome.
He served as vicar of the parish of Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul de Colombes in the Diocese of Nanterre from 1970 to 1973.
He then earned a diploma at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome, the Holy See's school for diplomacy. He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1977, serving first in Wellington, New Zealand. He then held posts in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Brazil, and at the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva in Geneva.
On 12 July 1995, Pope John Paul II named him apostolic nuncio to Haiti and named him titular archbishop of Gunela. He was consecrated archbishop by Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano on 24 September in the Cathedral of Saint-Malo. In Haiti, which had experienced years of church-state conflict, he was described as non-political, and he arranged for Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to be released from his vows as a priest.
On 10 May 1999, he was transferred to Kampala, Uganda. In 2000, he campaigned against the Ugandan government's promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS. After Vice President Speciosa Kazibwe, herself a doctor, promoted condom use during a national tour and complained that religious leaders were hampering the government's public health efforts, Pierre said that condoms promoted "outright promiscuity" that would increase the incidence of AIDS. Years later, he linked Uganda's success in fighting AIDS to the Church's abstinence education strategy.
During his time in Uganda, he was outspoken and he helped mentor many young Ugandans together with another Italian missionary Fr. John Scalabrini who would largely contributed in educating and supporting many disadvantaged Ugandans with school and health care.
On 22 March 2007, Pope Benedict XVI named him apostolic nuncio to Mexico. After Pope Francis sharply criticized the Mexican bishops during his visit to Mexico in February 2016, an editorial in the newspaper of the Mexico City archdiocese objected to the Pope's criticism and asked: Does the Pope have some reason for scolding Mexican bishops? ... [Do] the improvised words of the Holy Father respond to bad advice from someone close to him? Who gave the Pope bad advice?" Pierre was generally recognized as the target of the editorial and the source of the "bad advice". A Mexican historian wrote that he managed "to weave with an artist's skills unity among Catholics, thereby overcoming the political divisions and culture wars that have caused so much damage" and credited him with bridging the country's secular establishment and Catholic populace.
Pope Francis named him nuncio to the United States on 12 April 2016. Advocating for immigrants, he joined demonstrations and meetings with Texas-Mexico border bishops in October 2016 in Nogales, Arizona, and in February 2016 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He celebrated Mass at the National Scout Jamboree in July 2017 and discussed his five years in Scouting in a sermon that tied Scouting's ideals to Christian service.
Francis demanded that the bishops not live like 'princes,' calling on them to avoid 'proud self-sufficiency,' insisting they embrace transparency and reject corruption by 'trivial materialism,' gossip or intrigue, as well 'unproductive groups that seek benefits or common interests....
| Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti
12 July 1995 – 10 May 1999
Luis Robles Díaz
| Apostolic Nuncio to Uganda
10 May 1999 – 22 March 2007
Paul Tschang In-Nam
| Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico
22 March 2007 – 12 April 2016
Carlo Maria Vigano
| Apostolic Nuncio to the United States
12 April 2016 – present