Apostolic Nuncio to depart New Zealand for new post in Uruguay

In just over a month, New Zealand Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Martin Krebs, will bid farewell to New Zealand as he leaves to take up a new position in Uruguay.

Earlier this month, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Krebs as Apostolic Nuncio to the South American nation of Uruguay.  

For more than five years, Archbishop Martin has been Apostolic Nuncio to New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, Nauru, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia. He was also Apostolic Delegate in six territories in the Pacific (French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, Saipan, Guam, American Samoa), and in in three small countries (Tokelau, Tuvalu and Niue). He was based in Wellington during the term of his office.

Prior to becoming a Nuncio, Archbishop Martin worked in the Apostolic Nunciatures to Burundi, Japan, Austria, the Czech Republic, the European Union and the United States of America. From 2008 to 2013, he was Apostolic Nuncio to Guinea and Mali.

Bishop Patrick Dunn, of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference expressed his sadness at the departure of the Archbishop.

“There is always some sadness, when someone who has become a friend and colleague departs, but we also know that these periodic shifts are a fact of life for our Nuncios.  Archbishop Krebs leaves behind many friends in New Zealand and the Pacific.  We wish him well on his new appointment and assure him of our prayers as he leaves the vast region he has served so diligently for the past five years.”

During his time in New Zealand, Archbishop Martin has actively participated in the life of the Church becoming part of his local parish community in the Northern suburbs of Wellington. Parishioners at St Francis of Assisi Parish will fondly remember singing Christmas carols together with the Nuncio.

On his time in New Zealand, Archbishop Martin says, “in this relatively small nation, I was happy to see how much attention is paid to people whom others consider too small and too weak. And as a keen hiker, I often looked down from hills far over the sea, deeply enjoying the large horizons offered to the people of this country, which for a time has been also my country.”

Uruguay has a population of 3.44 million people, with 1.8 million living in its capital city, Montevideo.  According to a 2008 survey by the INE of Uruguay, Catholicism is the main religion, with 45.7% of the population identifying themselves as Catholic.

An announcement regarding the new Apostolic Nuncio for New Zealand and the Pacific is expected to be made in the coming month.

Ko te Huinga Pīhopa o te Hāhi Katorika o Aotearoa (NZCBC) te kāhui whakahaere o ngā mahi whakapono a-motu me ngā rōpū minita o te Hāhi Katorika. Otirā ngā rōpū mātauranga, tika me te pono, kaitohutohu Māori, whakapaoho whakawhiti whakaaro me te toro atu ki te iwi nui tonu, ritenga o te Hāhi, whakawhanaungatanga o ngā Hāhi, matatika koiora, whakawhanaungatanga o ngā whakapono, mahi minita ki ngā whareherehere me ngā hohipera, oti atu.

The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference (NZCBC) is the assembly of the Catholic Bishops of New Zealand coordinating national activities and ministries of the Catholic Church.  These include education, social justice, Māori advisory, communications and engagement with the public, liturgy, ecumenism, bioethics, interfaith relations, pastoral work in prisons and hospitals, and more.