Charles John Brown

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Charles John Brown
Apostolic Nuncio to Philippines
Titular Archbishop of Aquileia
Archbishop Brown in 2020
AppointedSeptember 28, 2020
PredecessorGabriele Giordano Caccia
Other post(s)Titular Archbishop of Aquileia
OrdinationMay 13, 1989
by John Oconnor
ConsecrationJanuary 6, 2012
by Pope Benedict XVI
Personal details
Born (1959-10-13) 13 October 1959 (age 64)
Previous post(s)
Alma materPontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm
MottoEx Christi Latere
(From the side of Christ)
Coat of armsCharles John Brown's coat of arms
Styles of
Charles John Brown
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleArchbishop

Charles John Brown KC*HS (born 13 October 1959) is an American prelate of the Catholic Church who has been serving as an apostolic nuncio since 2012. He is currently the apostolic nuncio to the Philippines. Before entering the diplomatic service of the Holy See, Brown worked at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).


Early life and education[edit]

Brown was born on October 13, 1959, in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, when it was a mostly Jewish neighborhood. He later said that his family "were pretty much the only gentile family in the apartment block" as he grew up as the oldest of six children. When he was five, the family moved to Rye, New York and in 1971 to Windham, New York. [1]

Brown earned a Bachelor of History degree at the University of Notre Dame,[2] a Master of Theology degree at University of Oxford, and a Master of Medieval Studies degree at the University of Toronto. He then entered the seminary and earned a Master of Divinity degree at Saint Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, New York.


Brown was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of New York by Cardinal John O'Connor on May 13, 1989 in St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan.

From 1989 to 1991, he served as assistant priest at St. Brendan's Parish in The Bronx, New York City.

In 1991, Cardinal O'Connor sent Brown to study in Rome. He earned a Doctor of Sacred Theology degree at the Pontifical University St. Anselmo.

In 1994, Brown stayed in Rome to join the CDF staff, where he worked closely with then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (who would later become Pope Benedict XVI) for 17 years.

He served as Chaplain of Pope John Paul II from 2000 to 2011.[3]

He was named as Adjunct Secretary of the International Theological Commission in September 2009.

Brown is also reported to be a member of the Vatican's official athletic team, Vatican Athletics.[4]

Diplomatic career[edit]

Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland[edit]

Brown was named Titular Archbishop of Aquileia and Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland on November 26, 2011.[5] He was ordained as Archbishop by Pope Benedict XVI on January 6, 2012.[6]

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan said that Brown was "young, vibrant, very theologically savvy but pastorally sensitive".[7]

New generation of Catholics[edit]

As Apostolic to Nuncio to Ireland, Brown said, "You see a renewed enthusiasm among young Catholics in Ireland now" and that young Catholics represent what is best in the tradition of the Second Vatican Council: "the idea of communicating the ancient unchanging faith in a new, vibrant and attractive way". He emphasized that the new generation of Catholics, some of whom are studying for the priesthood at Saint Patrick's College, the national seminary in Maynooth, or the Pontifical Irish College in Rome, will "lead the Church forward into the next decade," he said. .[8]

In the Catholic News Agency, Brown said the 'hundreds of young people' in Eucharistic adoration, praying the Rosary, confessing their sins and 'rejoicing in the liberating love of God' is the future of the Church in Ireland.[9]

In January 2014, Brown praised the decision of the Government of Ireland to re-open the Irish Embassy to the Holy See.[10]

Croagh Patrick[edit]

In 2012, Brown climbed the Croagh Patrick or the Holy Mountain of St. Patrick, an important site of pilgrimage in County Mayo, Ireland, and celebrated Mass atop the mountain with 12,000 pilgrims.[11] In 2013, he launched a prayer card for the annual Croagh Patrick pilgrimage called Reek Sunday.[12] In 2016, he climbed the mountain again to celebrate Mass for Reek Sunday, this time with 20,000 pilgrims.[13]

Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines[edit]

Archbishop Brown at the Manila Cathedral in 2023.

On March 9, 2017, Pope Francis appointed Brown as Apostolic Nuncio to Albania.[14]

On September 28, 2020, Pope Francis appointed him as Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines.[15]

On April 14, 2021, to begin the yearlong celebrations for the anniversary of 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines, Brown officiated Mass with Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma and administered baptism to several children in commemoration of the first baptism that took place in the island of Cebu on April 14, 1521. He also led the closing ceremonies for 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines, officiating the Mass on March 31, 2022, on Limasawa Island, where the first documented Mass in the archipelago was held on March 31, 1521. He also led the Mass to culminate the Year of Missio Ad Gentes held in Cebu on April 14, 2022.

On June 24, 2021, Brown installed Jose Advincula as the 33rd Archbishop of Manila.

Brown also installed Bishop Pablito Tagura, SVD, as the third bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro on February 25, 2023; Victor Bendico as the 4th Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Capiz on May 3, 2023; Bishop Ruperto C. Santos as the bishop of the Diocese of Antipolo on July 22, 2023; and Bishop Moises Cuevas to the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan on September 6, 2023.[16]

Brown was the Co-consecrator of the episcopal of Bishop Arnaldo Catalan current Apostolic Nuncio to Rwanda. Together with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle as principal consecrator and Cardinal Jose Advincula as Co-consecrator.

In the aftermath of Typhoon Rai (Typhoon Odette), which hit the Philippines on December 16, 2021, Brown spent Christmas Day 2021 with the typhoon victims in Siargao Island, celebrating Mass at the San Nicolas de Tolentino Cathedral and visiting several parishes throughout the day to be with the victims of the typhoon.[17]

On September 26, 2022, Brown led the Sunday Mass for the Filipino community in New York for the 35th canonization anniversary of the first Filipino saint, Lorenzo Ruiz, at St. Patrick's Cathedral.[18]

On January 31, 2024, Brown presided the mass in honor of the feast day of St. John Bosco and the 70th founder's day celebration in Don Bosco Technical Institute of Makati.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "'It all came together in the Himalayas'". 3 October 2012. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  2. ^ Pentin, Edward (28 November 2011). "An American Goes to Dublin". National Catholic Register. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  3. ^ "Apostolic Nunciature to Philippines". GCatholic. Retrieved 8 October 2023.
  4. ^ "Inspiring: Meet the Vatican's track and field team". Aleteia — Catholic Spirituality, Lifestyle, World News, and Culture. 5 May 2021. Retrieved 10 October 2023.
  5. ^ "Pope Benedict XVI appoints Monsignor Charles Brown as new Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland". Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  6. ^ "CNS STORY: On Epiphany, pope ordains US, Polish priests as archbishops". Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  7. ^ Kerr, David (25 November 2011). "New York priest tipped as next Irish Nuncio". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  8. ^ Gately, Susan (9 June 2014). "American-born nuncio sees new enthusiasm among young Irish…". Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on 9 June 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Ireland can overcome troubles with authentic Catholic renewal, nuncio says". Catholic News Agency. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2023.
  10. ^ Agnew, Paddy (21 January 2014). "Church officials welcome plan to reopen Irish Vatican Embassy". The Irish Times. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  11. ^ Crawford, Caroline. "Pilgrims rise to challenge and scale Croagh Patrick summit". Irish Independent. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  12. ^ Foley, Ann Marie (26 July 2013). "Pilgrim card launched for Reek Sunday climb of Croagh Patrick". Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  13. ^ Crawford, Caroline (30 July 2012). "Pilgrims rise to challenge and scale Croagh Patrick summit". Aleteia — Catholic Spirituality, Lifestyle, World News, and Culture. Retrieved 1 August 2023.
  14. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 09.03.2017" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 9 March 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  15. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine, 27.09.2020" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 28 September 2020. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  16. ^ "Bishop Santos installed as the new shepherd of the Diocese of Antipolo". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  17. ^ "Papal Nuncio Spends Christmas in Siargao; Next Stop, Dinagat". Dominus Est PH. 26 December 2021. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  18. ^ Homily of the Papal Nuncio at St Patrick's Cathedral, retrieved 18 September 2023

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland
2011 – 2017
Succeeded by
Preceded by Apostolic Nuncio to Albania
2017 – 2020
Succeeded by
Preceded by Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines
2020 – present
Order of precedence
Preceded byas Secretary of Foreign Affairs Order of Precedence of the Philippines
as Dean of the Diplomatic Corps
Succeeded by
Ambassadors to the Philippines
(in order of tenure)
Succeeded byas Executive Secretary of the Philippines