Pope Francis has named Archbishop Charles Daniel Balvo as apostolic nuncio to Australia, the Vatican press office announced on January 17. The New York native has a long diplomatic career behind him, since first being sent to New Zealand in 2005, and serving most recently in the Czech Republic.
Born in 1951, Charles Balvo was ordained a priest in 1976 and joined the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1987. In 2005, he was entrusted with the many nunciatures in the Pacific, including New Zealand and Fiji, becoming the “apostolic delegate of the Pacific Ocean.”
In January 2013, Bishop Balvo was entrusted with the nunciature of Kenya, becoming at the same time the permanent observer to the United Nations Environment and Human Settlements Program.
At the end of the year in December 2013, Pope Francis appointed him as the first apostolic nuncio to South Sudan, a country that had gained its independence only two years earlier (2011) and established official diplomatic relations with the Holy See in February 2013.
In September 2018, the American diplomat was appointed nuncio to the Czech Republic.
Returning to Oceania, Archbishop Balvo comes to occupy the apostolic nunciature of Australia, which had remained vacant since June 3, 2021, when the previous nuncio, Archbishop Adolfo Tito Camacho Yllana, was sent to Israel by the Pontiff. Catholics in Australia represent about 23% of the national population, some 5.3 million faithful.