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Britain names first Catholic ambassador to Vatican since Reformation

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Britain names first Catholic ambassador to Vatican since Reformation

CNS via Denver Catholic Register ^ | 30 November 2005

Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2005 12:58:40 PM by A.A. Cunningham

Britain names first Catholic ambassador to Vatican since Reformation

LONDON (CNS) — Britain has appointed its first Catholic ambassador to the Vatican since the Protestant Reformation. The Foreign Office announced in mid-November that it had chosen Francis Campbell, 35, as a replacement for Kathryn Colvin, who retired in September. Campbell will take up his position in December. Diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and the Vatican were restored in 1914 after a break of 350 years, but in 1917 the Foreign Office issued a memorandum saying that Britain’s representative “should not be filled with unreasoning awe of the pope,” and the post has always been filled by a Protestant.

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: europeanchristians; uk; vatican

Mr Francis Campbell has been appointed Her Majesty's Ambassador to the Holy See in succession to Mrs Kathryn Colvin CVO who has retired from the Diplomatic Service. Mr Campbell will take up his appointment in December 2005.


Full Name: Mr Francis Martin-Xavier Campbell
Date of Birth: 20 April 1970

2005 - Senior Policy Director, Amnesty International
2003 - 2005: 1st Secretary, British Embassy to Italy
2001 - 2003: On secondment to No 10 Downing Street as Private Secretary to the Prime Minister
1999 - 2001: On secondment to No 10 Downing Street as Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister
1998 - 1999: European Enlargement Unit, FCO
1997 - 1998: On secondment to the European Commission – appointed to the EC Delegation at the UN in New York for the UK Presidency of the EU
1997: European Enlargement Unit, FCO
1996 - 1997: University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (MA)
1994 - 1995: Katholieke University of Leuven, Belgium (MA)
1989 - 1992: Queen's University Belfast, (BA)


1. The Foreign Secretary announced in Parliament on 15 December 2004 that the FCO would widen the pool of potential candidates to beyond current Diplomatic Service staff when appointing a new Ambassador to the Holy See.

2. This is the first time we have appointed an Ambassador by open competition, although it is not unusual now for senior civil service positions to be filled by open recruitment.

3. The advertisement inviting applications appeared in national newspapers in July. Over 120 applications were received from individuals with a variety of backgrounds and experience. A short-list for interview was drawn up and interviews took place in September.

4. This recruitment has enabled the FCO to ensure that the new Ambassador has the skills appropriate to the specific professional demands of the role. It is in line with the Government's policy of recruiting people with appropriate skills and experience from all areas of public life.

Further Reading:

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