Francis Chullikatt

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Styles of
Francis Chullikatt
Coat of arms of Francis Assisi Chullikatt.svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Archbishop
Posthumous style not applicable

Francis Assisi Chullikatt JCD (20 March 1953 - ) was the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on 17 July 2010.[1] He had previously served as Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq and Jordan. On July 1, 2014, Archbishop Chullikatt's replacement was named by Pope Francis as Bishop Bernardito Cleopas Auza, D.D., former Nuncio to Haiti. Archbishop Chullikatt's new role has not yet been decided.

Chullikatt was born in 1953 in Bolghatty, Kochi, India. He was incardated in the diocese of Verapoly where he was ordained a priest on 3 June 1978. He continued his studies and received a doctorate in canon law. Apart from English and Italian he also knows French and Spanish. He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See on 15 July 1988. He served in the papal representations in Honduras, in various countries of southern Africa, in the Philippines, at the United Nations in New York from 2000 to 2004, where he served as a Counsellor at the Holy See's Mission to the United Nations and, finally, in the Secretariat of State in the Vatican. He was appointed as Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq and Jordan and Titular Archbishop of Ostra on 29 April 2006 by Pope Benedict,[2] having served as the counsellor to the nunciature. He replaced Archbishop Fernando Filoni who was appointed as Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines. He took Fidei in Virtute or "By the power of faith" as his episcopal motto.

Nuncio to Iraq and Jordan[edit]

In February 2010, Archbishop Chullikatt said that Christians have often been targets, and especially the Christians of Mosul "have paid a high price, despite their unanimously recognized peaceful life." He continued saying "One has the impression that the reason to attack these minorities is strictly and only their religious faith or their different ethnic membership," the nunciature note continues. "Many Christians live in fear of staying in the territory which has seen them present for 2,000 years. The statement declares that "urgent help is needed: Especially necessary is that the pressure of world opinion not fall, so that all the violence and discrimination ends immediately." The statement suggests the future of minorities depends on international attention. "Moreover, it is hoped that the local authorities will not fail to attempt anything to guarantee the defenseless all the protection to which they are entitled, precisely in virtue of their Iraqi citizenship, which they have never betrayed," it continues. "Christians request that they be able to live their life in tranquility and profess their faith with total security, a basic condition of every civilization."[3]

In March 2010 Archbishop Chullikatt said that "any attempt to decrease the Christian presence or worse, to destroy the Christian presence in Iraq would mean destroying the history of the Iraqi nation." He noted that all the Christian churches and Christian leaders in the country are involved in interreligious dialogue and are in constant contact with Muslim leaders. Archbishop Chullikatt stated that international solidarity is crucial for the survival of Iraq's minorities, "especially the Christians who are most exposed to the kind of violence taking place now, particularly in Mosul."[4]

In July 2011 Archbishop Chullikatt gave a speech in Kansas City on nuclear disarmament, representing Catholic Church teaching which stated: "The simple truth about the use of nuclear weapons is that, being weapons of mass destruction, they cannot comply with fundamental rules of international humanitarian law forbidding the infliction of indiscriminate and disproportionate harm. Nor can their use meet the rigorous standards of the Just War principles' moral assessment of the use of force." Furthermore, he stated, "Viewed from a legal, political, security and most of all - moral - perspective, there is no justification for the continued maintenance of nuclear weapons."

Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations[edit]

Archbishop Chullikatt was appointed as Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations by Pope Benedict XVI on 17 July 2010. He is the first non-Italian to hold the post. He takes over from Archbishop Celestino Migliore who had been appointed as Apostolic Nuncio to Poland. In Iraq, Monsignor Giorgio Lingua, formerly nunciature counsellor, was named the new Apostolic Nuncio with the rank of titular archbishop by Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday, 4 September 2010. The archbishop was born in Fossano, Italy in 1960 and ordained to the presbyterate in 1984. In November 2012 Archbishop Chullikatt welcomed the General Assembly vote which gave majority approval to which Palestine has become a Non-member Observer State of the United Nations.[5]

In January 2014 Archbishop Chullikatt spoke before the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. [6]

In April Archbishop Chullikatt praising the U.N.'s plan to eradicate poverty, emphasising the importance of the family in encouraging development and in fighting poverty. In eradicating poverty "we do not need to reinvent the wheel," Archbishop Chullikatt said in a March 31 statement. "Setting a development agenda for the next 15 years is a powerful gesture of intergenerational solidarity. The future we want becomes, then, the future we want for our children and our children’s children."[7]

On 1 July 2014 Archbishop Chullikatt was removed from his post at the UN but was not immediately assigned another nunciature.

References[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Fernando Filoni
Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq
29 April 2006 – 17 July 2010
Succeeded by
Giorgio Lingua
Preceded by
Fernando Filoni
Apostolic Nuncio to Jordan
29 April 2006 – 17 July 2010
Succeeded by
Giorgio Lingua
Preceded by
Celestino Migliore
Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations
17 July 2010 – 1 July 2014
Succeeded by
Bernardito Auza