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Sept 10 papal nunciox

Former nuncio to Great Britain dies, Scottish bishops send condolences

Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, former Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, died yesterday, in Spain at the age of 75.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien and the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland are sending their condolences to his family and friends.

Archbishop Sainz Muñoz (above) announced his retirement at a thanksgiving Mass for the Papal visit at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh in November 2010. His health had declined since he suffered a mild stroke in May that year but he played an active role in the Papal visit to the UK, which commenced in Edinburgh on September 16 2010. Archbishop Sainz Muñoz was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour on January 28 2011, and returned to his native Spain where he continued his chemotherapy.

A veteran of the Holy See’s diplomatic service, the former nuncio had served the Pope in Africa, Scandinavia and Latin American before the becoming the Vatican’s representative to Britain in 2004 . He held a doctorate in Canon Law and was awarded an honorary doctorate in laws from the Aberdeen University on July 2, 2007. He was a Real Madrid fan, and a walking and tennis enthusiast.

Cardinal O’Brien said this morning that Archbishop Sainz Muñoz was ‘well liked and respected, very much a family man.’

It is hoped that Bishop Joseph Toal of Argyll and the Isles will be able to attend the funeral in Spain for the former nuncio on behalf of the Scottish bishops. Bishop Toal knew the nuncio very well from his time in Salamanca.

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