Gaetano Alibrandi

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Styles of
Gaetano Alibrandi
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor
Posthumous style not applicable

Archbishop Gaetano Alibrandi (14 January 1914 – 3 July 2003) of the Roman Catholic Church was a senior papal diplomat and former Personal Secretary to Giovanni Battista Cardinal Montini (later Pope Paul VI).[1]


Born at Castiglione di Sicilia in the Province of Catania, Sicily, Alibrandi was ordained priest on 1 November 1936, and consecrated titular Archbishop of Binda in 1961 by Fernando Cardinal Cento. He obtained a Doctorate on Divinity from the Pontifical Lateran University and a Doctorate on Civil and Canon Law. He entered the Diplomatic Corps of the Holy See on 1941 serving for five years in the Vatican Secretariat of State and later, as Apostolic Internuncio to Indonesia (1958), Nuncio of Chile (1961), Lebanon (1963), and Ireland (1969) where he retired in 1989. As Apostolic Nuncio to Chile he led the Chilean delegation to the Second Vatican Council.

Nuncio to Ireland[edit]

He was appointed Papal Nuncio to Ireland in 1969, shortly after the outbreak of the Troubles. Dr Alibrandi was a noted Provisional IRA sympathiser during his tenure in Ireland. He had “a very testy relationship with three Taoisigh – Jack Lynch, Liam Cosgrave and Garret FitzGerald”.[2] It was reported in September 2012 during the second Dr Garret FitzGerald Memorial Lecture at University College Cork by Seán Donlon, former secretary general at the Department of Foreign Affairs, that “It came to our [Department of Foreign Affairs] attention that a substantial amount in three bank accounts in Dublin [held by the archbishop] were way in excess of what was needed to run the nunciature. The source [of the money] appeared to be South America.” Donlon went on to say “Because of its size, we thought it appropriate to ask if the funds belonged to the Holy See.” When contacted for an answer, Dr Alibrandi “quickly answered ‘no’ and that they belonged to ‘family’. When it was pointed out to him that the money was then liable under Irish taxation law to DIRT, he said he would retire shortly and the accounts would be closed”.[3]


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Opilio Rossi
Apostolic Nuncio to Chile
5 October 1961–9 December 1963
Succeeded by
Egano Righi-Lambertini
Preceded by
Egano Righi-Lambertini
Apostolic Nuncio to Lebanon
9 December 1963–19 April 1969
Succeeded by
Alfredo Bruniera
Preceded by
Joseph Francis McGeough
Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland
19 April 1969–1989
Succeeded by
Emanuele Gerada