Archbishop Peña Parra inaugurates new Apostolic Nunciature in UAE


The Substitute of the Secretariat of State inaugurates a new Apostolic Nunciature in Abu Dhabi, marking a new stage in relations between the United Arab Emirates and the Vatican.

By Devin Watkins

A special Mass was held on Wednesday at the New Apostolic Nunciature in Abu Dhabi to celebrate a new milestone in diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the United Arab Emirates.

Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, Substitute of the Secretariat of State, celebrated Mass and conveyed the warm greetings and spiritual closeness of Pope Francis to the UAE.

In his homily, the Archbishop said: “The physical presence of an Apostolic Nunciature is a further sign of the pastoral care of the Holy Father for the people of this country, especially the Catholic community, since it is called to aptly titled ‘the pope’s house'”.

Also present for the ceremony were Msgr. Paul Hinder, Vicar Apostolic for South Arabia, and Msgr. Kryspin Dubiel, Charge d’Affaires of the Apostolic Nunciature.

The challenges of the mission

As the Church marks the World Day for Consecrated Life, Bishop Peña Parra said the UAE has been blessed with the service of many men and women religious over the years, many of whom have come as missionaries.

Consecrated life, he added, reminds the Church of “the goodness and love of God the Father,” who confers different charisms on men and women and calls them to serve his children.

“Responding to the Lord’s call to follow him and serve his Church is not without challenges. One such challenge that applies to all vocations in the Church is to fall into discouragement.

The Archbishop recalled, along with Pope Francis, that prayer can help fill the void when Church ministers risk losing hope.

Catholics in the UAE “example of Christian life”

Archbishop Peña Parra said the Lord provides the best example of how to endure discouragement with patience and earn “the crown of victory.”

“I dare say that the Catholic community in Abu Dhabi and the Arabian Peninsula as a whole is also an example of hopeful patience and Christian living.”

He recalled Pope Francis’ visit to Abu Dhabi in 2019 and his invitation to Catholics to assume their important role in putting the Gospel into practice.

“No part is better or more important than the other” in the Body of Christ, he added.

God’s saving message

The Substitute of the Secretariat of State concluded his homily at the new nunciature in Abu Dhabi by urging the local Church to remain grateful for God’s many blessings and to look to the light of Christ for guidance.

“Let us go forward, brothers and sisters, as one body to bear witness to the saving message that God offers to the world: a message of good news, peace and hope; a message of freedom to those in spiritual captivity or blind; a message that offers truth and genuine unity.


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