Bishop of Down and Connor appointed as Vatican’s ambassador to EU

Noel Treanor will become apostolic nuncio after departing the diocese he was appointed to in 2008

An Irish bishop has been appointed as the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio to the European Union by Pope Francis, the Catholic Church has announced.

Noel Treanor, bishop of Down and Connor, will take up the diplomatic post as the Vatican’s ambassador to Brussels in January.

He will continue to govern the diocese until a successor is appointed.

Bishop Treanor described himself as “honoured” by the appointment in a letter issued by the Irish church in which he described his “heavy heart” at leaving his diocese.


“I will always value and consider my time in Down and Connor as a blessing from God. I remember and am so grateful for your warm welcome upon my arrival in the diocese. It has been a privilege and a blessing to have been a Bishop with you and for you,” he said.

His appointment comes at a time of tumult in the European Union as the bloc faces the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the refugee flows and gas supply issues that have resulted.

In the letter addressed to parishioners and clergy in Down and Connor, he said: “This appointment as Apostolic Nuncio to the European Union comes at a time when the world and the EU, in particular, face great challenges. In the midst of war, political and financial instability, conflict and societal change, diplomacy plays a key role in facilitating peace, understanding and goodwill among peoples and nations.

“I ask for your continued prayers as I take up this appointment in January. I especially invite you to pray for and stand in solidarity with all those who work for peace and the resolution of conflict, protecting human rights and addressing issues of humanitarian need in Europe and throughout the world.”

Born on Christmas Day 1950 in Monaghan town, Bishop Treanor was ordained in 1976, serving in his hometown and in Enniskillen as a curate and a hospital chaplain.

From 1993 until his appointment as Bishop of Down and Connor by Pope Benedict XVI, he was secretary general of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of the European Union.

He was ordained a bishop in Saint Peter’s Cathedral, Belfast, in 2008. He has since served in a number of national international roles, including as president of Justice and Peace Europe.