Celestino Migliore

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Archbishop Celestino Migliore

Celestino Migliore (born 1 July 1952 in Cuneo, Italy) is an Italian Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church who currently serves as the Apostolic Nuncio to Russia. He previously served as Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations. He is Titular Archbishop of Canosa. He has spent most of his career in the diplomatic service of the Holy See.


Ordained as a priest on 25 June 1977, Archbishop Migliore has a master's degree in theology from the Center of Theological Studies in Fossano, Italy, and a Licentiate and Doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. In 1980, after graduating from the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, he joined the Holy See's diplomatic service. He speaks Italian, French, English, and Polish.

Early career[edit]

Migliore served as attaché and second secretary to the Apostolic Delegation in Angola from 1980 to 1984. In 1984, he was assigned to the Apostolic Nunciature in the United States, then in 1988, he was assigned to the Apostolic Nunciature in Egypt, and in 1989 he was then assigned at the Apostolic Nunciature in Warsaw, Poland. In 1992, he was appointed as Special Envoy to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, until 1995, when he became the Under-Secretary of the Section for Relations with States of the Vatican's Secretariat of State. During his term as Under-Secretary he was also in charge of fostering relations with countries that did not yet have formal relations with the Holy See, and in that capacity he led delegations to China, Vietnam, North Korea, and numerous United Nations conferences. He also taught ecclesiastical diplomacy at the Pontifical Lateran University, as a visiting professor.


Permanent Observer to the United Nations[edit]

Styles of
Celestino Migliore
Coat of arms of Celestino Migliore.svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style His Excellency
Religious style Monsignor

On 30 October 2002, Pope John Paul II nominated the Archbishop to the position of Permanent Observer to the United Nations. He is the fourth person to serve in the role. At the same time, he was also appointed Titular Archbishop of Canosa. He received his episcopal consecration on 6 January 2003.

In 2007, he noted that all "Member States affirmed the collective international responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, and their willingness to take timely and decisive collective action for this purpose, through the Security Council, when peaceful means prove inadequate and national authorities are manifestly failing to do it. My delegation believes there is need to pursue the debate and juridical codification along this very line, wherein sovereignty is not understood as an absolute right and used as a shield against outside involvement, but as a responsibility not merely to protect citizens, but also to promote their welfare. Through the creation of legal norms, arbitration of legal disputes and the establishment of safeguards, especially when States fail in their responsibility to protect, the United Nations is called to be the propulsive forum for the rule of law in all corners of the globe".[1]

During the tenure of Archbishop Migliore, Pope Benedict XVI made a pastoral visit to the United Nations Headquarters (on 18 April 2008) during which time he met with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and addressed the General Assembly and Staff.

Speaking in September 2008, he said:

Despite the growing consensus behind the responsibility to protect as a means for greater cooperation, this principle is still being invoked as a pretext for the arbitrary use of military might. This distortion is a continuation of past failed methods and ideas. The use of violence to resolve disagreements is always a failure of vision and a failure of humanity. The responsibility to protect should not be viewed merely in terms of military intervention.[2]

In November 2008, Archbishop Migliore led the delegation of the Holy See to the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus in Doha, Qatar, during which he stressed the importance of right action and the human person, stating that "Global development is, at its heart, a question not only of technical logistics but more fundamentally of morality" and that "Social and economic development must be measured and implemented with the human person at the center of all decisions."[3]

In response to a proposed nonbinding UN declaration on LGBT rights introduced at the United Nations by member States of the European Union, Archbishop Migliore said that unjust forms of discrimination against homosexuals must be avoided, but he also said that adding such "new categories [that would be] protected from discrimination" would create in turn "new and implacable discriminations".[4] He continued by saying that "Countries that don't recognize the union between people of the same sex as marriage will be punished and pressured." The proposed declaration does not in fact mention same-sex marriage, but most of the nations that support the document do recognize same-sex unions.[5]

Speaking on the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, Archbishop Migliore said that the Holy See "would like to express its solidarity with the civilians in those regions who bear the brunt of a cruel conflict"; "that Security Council resolution 1860, of January 8, which calls for an immediate and enduring ceasefire as well as for an unimpeded humanitarian assistance, be implemented fully"; and "that so many failed efforts are due to insufficiently courageous and coherent political will for establishing peace, from every side, and ultimately an unwillingness to come together and forge a just and lasting peace."[6]

On 6 May 2009, Archbishop Migliore called for "concrete, transparent and convincing steps" towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Speaking to the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 U.N. Conference on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the archbishop said the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Weapons (NPT) remains a "cornerstone" of nuclear disarmament, after four decades. "The Holy See reaffirms its strong and continuing support for the NPT and calls for universal and full adherence to and compliance with the Treaty," he said. The first measure suggested by the archbishop was starting negotiations for a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty, which he said are "overdue". Archbishop Migliore also advocated that the peaceful use of nuclear energy should be under "strict control" of the International Atomic Energy Agency.[7]

Nuncio to Poland[edit]

Archbishop Migliore was appointed as Apostolic Nuncio to Poland on 30 June 2010,[8] replacing Archbishop Józef Kowalczyk, who had previously been appointed as Archbishop of Gniezno and Primate of Poland. In July 2010, Archbishop Francis Chullikatt was appointed to succeed Archbishop Migliore at the United Nations.

Nuncio to Russia[edit]

In May 2016 Migliore was posted to serve as nuncio to Russia. He replaces Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič who was posted to the UN in Geneva.


  1. ^ "Sixth Committee of the 62nd General Assembly on the Rule of Law". Vatican.va. 2007-10-26. Archived from the original on 2016-04-01. Retrieved 2016-03-22. 
  2. ^ "INTERVENTION BY THE HOLY SEE DELEGATION DURING THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 63rd SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION". Vatican.va. 2008-09-29. Archived from the original on 2016-04-01. Retrieved 2016-03-22. 
  3. ^ "Holy See to Doha Conference". Archived from the original on 2008-12-23. 
  4. ^ "Vatican criticised for opposing gay decriminalisation". The Irish Times. 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2016-06-06. 
  5. ^ Israely, Jeff (2008-12-03). "The Pope's Christmas Gift: A Tough Line on Church Doctrine". TIME. Retrieved 2016-03-22. 
  6. ^ "Statement by H.E. Archbishop Celestino Migliore". 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2016-06-06. 
  7. ^ "Apostolic nuncio to U.N. outlines steps towards nuclear disarmament". Catholic News Agency. 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2016-03-22. 
  8. ^ "RINUNCE E NOMINE, 30.06.2010" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 2010-07-07. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Claudio Maria Celli
Undersecretary for Relations with States
16 December 1995 – 30 October 2002
Succeeded by
Pietro Parolin
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Renato Raffaele Martino
Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations
30 October 2002 – 30 June 2010
Succeeded by
Francis Chullikatt
Preceded by
Józef Kowalczyk
Apostolic Nuncio to Poland
30 June 2010 – 28 May 2016
Succeeded by
Salvatore Pennacchio
Preceded by
Ivan Jurkovič
Apostolic Nuncio to Russia
28 May 2016 – present