Christophe Pierre

Christophe Louis Yves Georges Pierre (born 30 January 1946) is a French prelate of the Catholic Church. He is an archbishop who has been serving as the apostolic nuncio (ambassador) to the United States since 2016. Pierre previously served as apostolic nuncio to Mexico, Uganda and Haiti.

Christophe Pierre
Apostolic Nuncio to the United States
Titular Archbishop of Gunela
ChristophePierre (cropped).jpg
Christophe Pierre in 2018
Appointed12 April 2016
PredecessorCarlo Maria Viganò
Other post(s)Titular Archbishop of Gunela
Ordination5 April 1970
by Paul Joseph Marie Gouyon
Consecration24 September 1995
by Angelo Sodano, Paul Joseph Marie Gouyon, Jacques Jullien
Personal details
Christophe Louis Yves Georges Pierre

(1946-01-30) January 30, 1946 (age 76)
Rennes, France
Previous post(s)
Styles of
Christophe Pierre
Coat of arms of Christophe Pierre.svg
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleArchbishop
Ordination history of
Christophe Pierre
Episcopal consecration
Consecrated byAngelo Sodano
DateSeptember 24, 1995
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Christophe Pierre as principal consecrator
Joseph Serge MiotOctober 12, 1997
Enrique Sanchez MartinezOctober 10, 2008
Jorge Carlos Patrón WongDecember 15, 2009
Raúl Gómez GonzálezJanuary 25, 2010
José Armando Álvarez CanoJanuary 30, 2012
Jaime Calderón CalderónOctober 5, 2012
Rafael Valdéz TorresJuly 31, 2013
Gerardo Díaz VázquezOctober 22, 2014
Hilario González GarcíaJanuary 22, 2015
Cristóbal Ascencio GarcíaFebruary 12, 2015
Francisco Eduardo Cervantes MerinoApril 23, 2015
Fidencio López PlazaMay 20, 2015
José Alberto González JuárezJuly 22, 2015
Jose Hirais Acosta BeltranMarch 14, 2016
José Fortunato Álvarez ValdézMarch 16, 2016


Early lifeEdit

Christophe Pierre was born in Rennes, France, on 30 January 1946 to a family with roots for many generations in Brittany. He first attended school at Antsirabe in Madagascar and pursued his secondary studies at the College of Saint-Malo. He also spent one year in Morocco at Lycée français of Marrakesh.

He entered the Catholic seminary of Saint-Yves in Rennes in 1963, but interrupted his studies for two years of military service in 1965 and 1966.


Pierre was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Rennes at the Cathedral of Saint-Malo in Saint-Malo, France, on 5 April 1970. He served as vicar of the parish of Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul de Colombes in the Diocese of Nanterre from 1970 to 1973. Pierre obtained his Master of Theology degree at the Institut Catholique de Paris and his Doctor of Canon Law degree from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome (1973-1977).

Diplomatic serviceEdit

Pierre then earned a diploma at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome, the Vatican school for diplomacy. He entered the Vatican diplomatic service in 1977, serving first in Wellington, New Zealand. Pierre then held posts in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Brazil, and at the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva.


On 12 July 1995, Pope John Paul II named Pierre as apostolic nuncio to Haiti and titular archbishop of Gunela. He was consecrated archbishop by Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano on 24 September in the Cathedral of Saint-Malo. In Haiti, which had experienced years of church-state conflict, Pierre was described as non-political. He arranged for Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to be released from his vows as a priest.[1]


On 10 May 1999, Pierre was transferred as apostolic nuncio to Kampala, Uganda. In 2000, he campaigned against the Ugandan government's promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.[2] Vice President Speciosa Kazibwe, herself a doctor, promoted condom use during a national tour and complained that religious leaders were hampering the government's public health efforts. Pierre replied that condoms promoted "outright promiscuity" that would increase the incidence of HIV/AIDS.[3] Years later, Pierre linked Uganda's success in fighting HIV/AIDS to the church's abstinence education strategy.[4] During his time in Uganda, Pierrre worked with Italian missionary Father John Scalabrini in supporting many disadvantaged Ugandans with school and health care.


On 22 March 2007, Pope Benedict XVI named Pierre as apostolic nuncio to Mexico.[5] After Pope Francis sharply criticized the Mexican bishops during his visit to Mexico in February 2016,[6] an editorial in the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Mexico City objected to the Pope's criticism and asked: "Does the Pope have some reason for scolding Mexican bishops? ... [Do] the improvised words of the Holy Father respond to bad advice from someone close to him? Who gave the Pope bad advice?"[7] Pierre was generally recognized as the target of the editorial and the source of the "bad advice".[8]

Jorge E. Traslosheros wrote in Crux that wrote that, while in Mexico, Pierre managed "to weave with an artist's skills unity among Catholics, thereby overcoming the political divisions and culture wars that have caused so much damage". Traslosheros credited Pierre with bridging Mexico's secular establishment and the Catholic populace.[9]

United StatesEdit

Pope Francis named Pierre as apostolic nuncio to the United States on 12 April 2016.[10] Advocating for immigrants, he joined demonstrations and meetings with Texas-Mexico border bishops in October 2016 in Nogales, Arizona,[11] and in February 2016 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.[12] Pierre celebrated Mass at the National Scout Jamboree in July 2017 and discussed his five years in Scouting in a sermon that tied Scouting's ideals to Christian service.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Malone, David (1998). Decision-making in the UN Security Council: The Case of Haiti, 1990-1997. Oxford University Press. p. 237n13. ISBN 9780198294832. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  2. ^ Cornwell, John (2007). The Pontiff in Winter: Triumph and Conflict in the Reign of John Paul II. Doubleday. ISBN 9780307424037. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  3. ^ "State and church at odds over condom use". IRIN. 4 August 2000. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  4. ^ Canfiru, Grace (12 March 2016). "Church vs. AIDS in Africa". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 27 February 2009.
  5. ^ "Perfil: Christophe Pierre, nuncio apostolico en Mexico". El Universal (in Spanish). 21 March 2007. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  6. ^ San Martín, Inés (March 10, 2016). "Pope Francis' political edge comes out to play in Latin America". CRUX. Retrieved 14 March 2016. Francis demanded that the bishops not live like 'princes,' calling on them to avoid 'proud self-sufficiency,' insisting they embrace transparency and reject corruption by 'trivial materialism,' gossip or intrigue, as well 'unproductive groups that seek benefits or common interests....
  7. ^ "Church magazine in Mexico City questions Pope's rebuke of bishops". Catholic Herald. Catholic News Service. 9 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  8. ^ Pentin, Edward (10 March 2016). "Pope's Ambassador to Mexico to Be New Nuncio in Washington?". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  9. ^ Traslosheros, Jorge E. (16 May 2016). "Why the U.S. won the lottery with new papal envoy". CRUX. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  10. ^ McElwee, Joshua J. (12 April 2016). "Francis replaces Vatican ambassador Vigano days after he's lauded by US bishops". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  11. ^ Wiechec, Nancy (24 October 2016). "Nuncio at border Mass prays for an end to barriers that separate people". Catholic News Service. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  12. ^ Guidos, Rhina (16 February 2017). "Border bishops call for dignity regardless of 'migration condition'". Catholic News Service. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Day before Trump's speech, pope's representative tells Scouts world needs their values". CRUX. Catholic News Service. 28 July 2017. Archived from the original on 20 August 2017. Retrieved 19 August 2017.

External linksEdit

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti
12 July 1995 – 10 May 1999
Succeeded by
Preceded by Apostolic Nuncio to Uganda
10 May 1999 – 22 March 2007
Succeeded by
Preceded by Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico
22 March 2007 – 12 April 2016
Succeeded by
Preceded by Apostolic Nuncio to the United States
12 April 2016 – present