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Christophe Pierre

Christophe Pierre
Apostolic Nuncio to the United States;
Titular Archbishop of Gunela
Christophe Pierre in 2018
Appointed12 April 2016
PredecessorCarlo Maria Viganò
Ordination5 April 1970
by Paul Joseph Marie Gouyon
Consecration24 September 1995
by Angelo Sodano
Personal details
Birth nameChristophe Louis Yves Georges Pierre
Born (1946-01-30) January 30, 1946 (age 74)
Rennes, France
Previous postApostolic Nuncio to Mexico
Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti
Apostolic Nuncio to Uganda
Styles of
Christophe Pierre
Coat of arms of Christophe Pierre.svg
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleArchbishop

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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3] Years later, he linked Uganda's success in fighting AIDS to the Church's abstinence education strategy.[4]

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.[5] After Pope Francis sharply criticized the Mexican bishops during his visit to Mexico in February 2016,[6] 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?"[7] Pierre was generally recognized as the target of the editorial and the source of the "bad advice".[8] 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.[9]

Pope Francis named him nuncio to the United States on 12 April 2016.[10] Advocating for immigrants, he joined demonstrations and meetings with Texas-Mexico border bishops in October 2016 in Nogales, Arizona,[11] and in February 2016 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.[12] 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.[13]


  1. ^ Malone, David (1998). Decision-making in the UN Security Council: The Case of Haiti, 1990-1997. Oxford University Press. p. 237n13. ISBN 9780198294832. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  2. ^ Cornwell, John (2007). The Pontiff in Winter: Triumph and Conflict in the Reign of John Paul II. Doubleday. ISBN 9780307424037. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  3. ^ "State and church at odds over condom use". IRIN. 4 August 2000. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  4. ^ Canfiru, Grace (12 March 2016). "Church vs. AIDS in Africa". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 27 February 2009.
  5. ^ "Perfil: Christophe Pierre, nuncio apostolico en Mexico". El Universal (in Spanish). 21 March 2007. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  6. ^ San Martín, Inés (March 10, 2016). "Pope Francis' political edge comes out to play in Latin America". CRUX. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 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....
  7. ^ "Church magazine in Mexico City questions Pope's rebuke of bishops". Catholic Herald. Catholic News Service. 9 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  8. ^ Pentin, Edward (10 March 2016). "Pope's Ambassador to Mexico to Be New Nuncio in Washington?". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  9. ^ Traslosheros, Jorge E. (16 May 2016). "Why the U.S. won the lottery with new papal envoy". CRUX. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  10. ^ McElwee, Joshua J. (12 April 2016). "Francis replaces Vatican ambassador Vigano days after he's lauded by US bishops". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  11. ^ Wiechec, Nancy (24 October 2016). "Nuncio at border Mass prays for an end to barriers that separate people". Catholic News Service. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  12. ^ Guidos, Rhina (16 February 2017). "Border bishops call for dignity regardless of 'migration condition'". Catholic News Service. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Day before Trump's speech, pope's representative tells Scouts world needs their values". CRUX. Catholic News Service. 28 July 2017. Retrieved 19 August 2017.

External links

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Lorenzo Baldisseri
Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti
12 July 1995 – 10 May 1999
Succeeded by
Luigi Bonazzi
Preceded by
Luis Robles Díaz
Apostolic Nuncio to Uganda
10 May 1999 – 22 March 2007
Succeeded by
Paul Tschang In-Nam
Preceded by
Giuseppe Bertello
Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico
22 March 2007 – 12 April 2016
Succeeded by
Franco Coppola
Preceded by
Carlo Maria Vigano
Apostolic Nuncio to the United States
12 April 2016 – present