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27.04.2017 | 16:48 | IKA E - 189892/4

Statement by Apostolic Nuncio D'Errico to the Media

Zagreb, (IKA) – After the Apostolic Nuncio to the Republic of Croatia, Archbishop Alessandro D'Errico, announced his new appointment as the Apostolic Nuncio to the Republic of Malta, he issued a brief statement to journalists at the Apostolic Nunciature in Zagreb on April 27.
He said that he was a little sorry to be leaving Croatia after five years of service, where he came after six years of service in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"I am grateful to the Holy Father Pope Francis and the officials who entrusted me with this new mission, which, as they have repeatedly pointed out, is of great importance in the current international context due to the role that the Mediterranean has on the international scene," he said, and expressed his gratitude to all the friends he had made "during these eleven years of serving the Croatian nation." … "I warmly thank the authorities, bishops, priests, religious and the many good lay people I have encountered. I am taking beautiful memories with me of everything that I have experienced during these years and, especially, with regard to Croatia today, I have told the officials that I truly thank God for this experience because here I have found a strong Church with a great tradition, faith, culture and, I should say, among the best organized of all those in which I have had the opportunity to perform my duties over the years. I believe that you will continue to accompany me with your prayers and hope that I will have the opportunity to see you again, who knows, perhaps in Malta or in Tripoli, during the period of my new office."
In response to a journalist's questions about what he would like Croats to remember about him and what is the vision that Pope Francis wants to achieve here, he answered: "When I came here, I had a very clear idea of the three roles of the Pope's representative, that first of all it was necessary to improve the good relations between the local Church and the Holy See. Yesterday, Archbishop Puljić spoke about the renewal that I attempted to carry out in the service of the Church in Croatia, especially in regard to the appointment of bishops during these last years. Second, I always strived to maintain good bridges, good paths and good relations with the local authorities, whether at the state, municipal or county level. Third, I attempted to maintain and improve good ecumenical relations and inter-religious dialogue, whether it was with the Orthodox Church, Islam or other religious confessions that are present in Croatia." To another question, he responded that he often emphasizes that Pope Francis is the greatest gift that the Holy Spirit has given the Church and the world in recent times.
"We are witnessing a total transformation, a renewal that he is achieving at the level of the Universal Church in his desire, in his witness, to return to the sources of the gospel and the Word of Jesus. What impressed me about Pope Francis is the consistency with which he conducts a program. I always like to say that sometimes I sense that we do not have a clear perception of Pope Francis because the media give us the impression that he is a good grandfather who caresses and smiles. I think that Pope Francis, in addition to all that and together with it, also has a clear program for the Church that he wants to implement gradually, the program from Evangelii gaudium, which is the program of the Church that is faithful to the last words of Jesus: 'Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.' Thus, the Church that is always in motion, that is not satisfied with what it has inherited from the past, the Church that goes out, that goes, as he says, toward the peripheries, thereby implies the peripheries in the material and spiritual senses." He emphasized that here "it is not only that he has undertaken much on the charitable level and in providing assistance through our humanitarian organizations. For Pope Francis, it is necessary to go to encounter the existential peripheries, i.e., those who are far from us, those who used to come and now come no longer. We cannot go forward alone. We have to listen, enter into dialogue in all instances, with all hopes, with everyone, sometimes even with the challenges that arise from the world that surrounds us and that is not always fully in line with our criteria. However, we must always be available for such confrontation, which will undoubtedly yield good fruits at all levels."
A Mass of Thanksgiving for Apostolic Nuncio Alessandro D'Errico's five years of service in the Republic of Croatia will be celebrated on Monday, June 26, at 7 p.m. in the cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Zagreb.

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