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An ambassador to the Hollywood stars

Art: Iva Reztok

C, G, I, L, N, O, and center U (all words must include U).


Silly little dictionary! Don’t you know nuncio can’t possibly be a word if the New York Times says it ain’t?

Just in time for Easter Sunday (Happy Easter, to those who celebrate), when the New York Times decides to get cute and reject a word related to the papacy.

Easter Sunday is, of course, one of the most important days of the year in the Vatican. The pope leads mass from Saint Peter’s Basilica and gives the Urbi et Orbi address and blessing, a ritual that began in the 13th century with Pope Gregory X.

Nuncio comes from the Latin word nuntius, meaning messenger.

Turns out that what is referred to as the Holy See is not the same as the Vatican City State. The former is the jurisdiction of the bishop of Rome, which conveniently happens to be the pope. That is administered by The Roman Curia, the central government of the Catholic Church. The Vatican is the Holy See’s city state, independent since 1929.

The “ambassadors” of the Holy See are the nuncios, also called apostolic nuncios or papal nuncios. They are usually archbishops. Interestingly, within diplomatic protocols of Catholic countries,, nuncios rank above ambassadors. In those countries that don’t accept such precedence in rank (in other words, the nuncio is not above other ambassadors), the Holy See envoys are called pro-nuncios.

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