19/04/2013 08:17

New Apostolic Nuncio for Papua New Guinea

16 APR 2013. The Holy Father Francis has appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Papua New Guinea H.E. Mons. Michael W. Banach, Archbishop tit. of Memfi.

[00513-01.01] (news.va)

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On Msgr. Michael Banach, new Apostolic Nuncio for PNG
 
Pope names Worcester's Msgr. Banach, longtime US Vatican diplomat, to be apostolic nuncio
Posted By The Catholic Free Press February 22, 2013 | 10:23 am

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI named U.S. Msgr. Michael W. Banach, a Vatican diplomat, to be an apostolic nuncio, which will carry with it the title of archbishop, reported the Catholic News Service. The Vatican Information Service reported that the Pope appointed Msgr. Banach as titular archbishop of Memphis, Egypt, at the same time assigning him the office of apostolic nuncio. (A titular archbishop is not in charge of a diocese.)

The Vatican diplomat will have the rank of an ambassador while working in the Vatican Secretariat of State. The Vatican made the announcement Feb. 22.

Archbishop-designate Banach served as the Vatican’s representative to several international agencies based in Vienna.

The 50-year-old archbishop-designate has served in the Vatican diplomatic corps since 1994.

Born in Worcester, Mass., Nov. 19, 1962, he was ordained to the priesthood July 2, 1988, for the Diocese of Worcester.

In an August 2011 interview at The Catholic Free Press, Msgr. Banach talked about his post as permanent representative of the Holy See to international organizations in Vienna, Austria. There are a lot of international organizations, including United Nations organizations. They include a branch of the U.N. office on drugs and crime, a commission discussing a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, the U.N. Industrial Development Organization, the U.N. Committee for Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, he explained. Msgr. Banach said he reports to the Vatican on what is discussed at the meetings of these organizations and presents the Vatican point of view at those discussions. For example, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) meets once a week and informal committee sessions are held on a regular basis, he said. There are discussions on freedom of religion and on the fight against discrimination against Christians. That is becoming more and more an issue in the world, he said. The OSCE discusses freedom for the media, which the Holy See supports, he said. The Vatican believes that people have the right to know the truth. But, at the same time, the media must do its job responsibly. The discussions on a nuclear test ban treaty are just that, discussions. The treaty is not enforced because some nations had not signed it, he said. The Vatican supports the peaceful uses of nuclear technology, for example. If less money is spent on nuclear weapons, Msgr. Banach said, more will be available for development. Representatives of the various countries involved in the discussions listen to the Vatican point of view and appreciate what the Vatican has to say, Msgr. Banach said. The Vatican position is moderate and not motivated by politics, economics or military aspirations, he said. It brings an ethical and moral viewpoint to the table. The Vatican speaks for those who have no voice. Msgr. Banach said that he must return once a year to the Vatican to report to his superiors, but he can go back more often. Msgr. Banach was born the son of Wallace and Jane Banach. He grew up in Auburn and attended Pakachoag Elementary School and Auburn High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross, then studied for the priesthood at the North American College in Rome. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Harrington in St. Paul Cathedral. He served as associate pastor at St. Anne’s Parish in Shrewsbury before beginning studies in Rome in 1992 at the Gregorian University and earned a doctorate in Canon Law in 1994. He then joined the Vatican Diplomatic Service. He was named a monsignor on Jan 11, 1996 by Pope John Paul II. He served in Bolivia and Nigeria and, as desk officer for Central Europe for the Vatican Secretary of State, worked in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.

Msgr. Michael Banach to become Archbishop

Will be appointed as a Papal Nuncio in the Vatican Diplomatic Service

FEBRUARY 25, 2013, WORCESTER, MA -- Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, has announced that Pope Benedict XVI has named Monsignor Michael W. Banach, a Vatican diplomat, to be an apostolic nuncio, with the title of archbishop. A priest of the Diocese of Worcester, Msgr. Banach has been in the diplomatic service since 1994. His most recent position has been permanent representative of the Holy See to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna, Austria.

The Vatican Information Service reported Friday that the Pope appointed Msgr. Banach titular archbishop of Memphis, Egypt, at the same time assigning him the office of apostolic nuncio.

“I’m very happy for Monsignor that he has served the Church well in the diplomatic service and I’m very pleased that one of our own priests is able to serve the needs of the universal Church in a sensitive and important capacity,” Bishop McManus said.

Msgr. Banach will be ordained a bishop with the title archbishop, Bishop McManus explained. He said that Memphis is an ancient see in Egypt, one of the dioceses from the early days of the Church that was suppressed.

“I think it’s an honor for the diocese that the Holy Father has recognized his capabilities and expertise. It’s a personal honor for him and the diocese, and a big responsibility,” Bishop McManus said.
Msgr. Banach was born the son of Wallace and Jane Banach. He grew up in Auburn and attended Pakachoag Elementary School and Auburn High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross, then studied for the priesthood at the North American College in Rome. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Harrington in St. Paul Cathedral. He served as associate pastor at St. Anne Parish in Shrewsbury before beginning studies in Rome in 1992 at the Gregorian University and earned a doctorate in Canon Law in 1994.

Msgr. Banach joined the Vatican Diplomatic Service following his studies in Rome. He was named a chaplain to His Holiness which carries the title of Monsignor in 1996 by Pope John Paul II and later named a Prelate of Honor in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI. He served in Bolivia and Nigeria and worked in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria as desk officer for Central Europe for the Vatican Secretary of State.

His assignment as a papal nuncio will be announced at a later date.
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