A 72-year-old American archbishop who has served as nuncio to Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and the Philippines has been appointed the Holy See’s ambassador to Great Britain.

He replaces Archbishop Antonio Mennini, who earlier this year was transferred to the Secretariat of State, the Vatican department responsible for relations with states.

For the last six years Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams has been nuncio to Greece.

He grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was ordained a priest in 1970 by the city’s then archbishop, Cardinal John Krol. He began his career as a diplomat in 1976 after completing studies in Rome.

He was consecrated archbishop in 1996 by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, then Vatican Secretary of State. That year he was also appointed nuncio to Bangladesh. The archbishop was transferred to Zimbabwe in 2002 and then to the Philippines in 2007. He was made nuncio to Greece in 2011.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, offered Archbishop Adams “the warmest of welcomes” and gave him an “assurance of prayers as he takes up his new office”, according to a press statement.

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