VATICAN: Pope Appoints First Resident Apostolic Nuncio to South Sudan

By Paschal Norbert

VATICAN CITY, MAY 14, 2024 (CISA) – Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Séamus Patrick Horgan, the First Counselor at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington DC, as the first resident Apostolic Nuncio to South Sudan.

Monsignor Séamus Patrick Horgan

In the announcement made by the Holy See Press Office on May 14, 2024, the Holy Father also elevated Msgr Horgan to the titular see of Árd Sratha with the dignity of an archbishop.

Msgr Horgan was born in Ennis, Ireland, on August 31, 1969. He studied at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Ireland, and was ordained to the priesthood on June 11, 1994, as a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Killaloe, Ireland.

Following six years of parish ministry he went to study in Rome.  He received his Licentiate Degree in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University and later earned a Doctorate Degree in Canon Law.

He then studied at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome in preparation for the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See. He joined the Holy See Diplomatic Service on July 1, 2005.

Msgr Horgan has served in various diplomatic postings across the world including Kampala, Uganda, Berne, Switzerland, Manila, the Philippines, and Rome. He speaks French, English, Italian and German.

Once he assumes office, he will be the first resident nuncio in South Sudan and will take over from Archbishop Hubertus van Megen, who has been serving as both the nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan since 2019.

Diplomatic relations between the Vatican and South Sudan started in earnest in 2013, two years after the country gained independence in 2011. That same year on December 21, Archbishop Charles Daniel Balvo was appointed the first apostolic nuncio to South Sudan but with residence in Kenya since he was serving in both postings.

In 2018, the nunciature in South Sudan was established and Msgr Mark Kadima, now bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Bungoma, Kenya, was appointed the First Counselor (Chargé d’Affaires) of the nunciature in South Sudan. Since he was appointed bishop, Msgr Ionut Paul has been serving as the Charge d’Affaires of the Apostolic Nunciature of the Vatican in Juba.