Pope Francis Appoints New Apostolic Nuncio to Rwanda, Assigns Him Titular See

Msgr. Arnaldo Sanchez Catalan, the newly appointed Nuncio to Rwanda. Credit: ​Manila Catholic Cathedral/Facebook

Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Arnaldo Sanchez Catalan Apostolic Nuncio to Rwanda and assigned him the Titular See of Apollonia in Albania with the dignity of Archbishop.

The appointment of Msgr. Catalan by Pope Francis was published by the Holy See Press office on Monday, January 31.

Archbishop-elect Catalan, the first member of the Clergy of Philippines’ Manila Archdiocese to become an Apostolic Nuncio, has been serving as Chargé d’affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature in China since 2019.

The 55-year-old Filipino Prelate was born in Manila on 18 September 1966 and was ordained a Priest in March 1994.

He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See on 1 July 2001 and has, over the years, served in the Pontifical Representations in Zambia, Kuwait, Mexico, Honduras, Turkey, India, Argentina, Canada, the Philippines and China (Taipei).


Following the appointment of Msgr. Catalan as the Apostolic Nuncio to Rwanda, the Archbishop of Manila, Jose Cardinal Furte. Advincula, expressed his appreciation to the Holy Father for the appointment.

In a message on the Facebook page of Manilla Cathedral, Cardinal Advincula considers the appointment of Archbishop-elect Catalan as historic because he is the first from the Archdiocese of Manila to become a representative of the Holy Father. 

On behalf of the clergy, religious men and women, and the laity of the Catholic Archdiocese of Manila, Cardinal Advincula greets the Archbishop-elect and assures him of their support and prayers as he takes on this new apostolate. 

The Apostolic Nunciature of Rwanda became vacant on 28 June 2021 after Pope Francis transferred Archbishop Andrzej Józwowicz, the native of Poland, to Iran. Archbishop Józwowicz had represented the Holy Father in Rwanda since March 2017.

Established initially as Apostolic Delegation of Rwanda in 1963, it was elevated to the Apostolic Nunciature of Rwanda in 1964.

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