Archbishop Joseph S. Marino, a Birmingham native who graduated from John Carroll High School, has been appointed apostolic nuncio to Malaysia and East Timor, and apostolic delegate to Brunei, the Vatican announced today on its web site.
An apostolic nuncio is essentially an ambassador to a country that
the Vatican has diplomatic relations with.
A delegate represents the
Vatican to a country that the church has no formal diplomatic relations
Marino in recent years has been papal nuncio to Bangladesh.
Marino ascended to the rank of archbishop in a service March 29, 2008, at St. Paul's Cathedral in Birmingham.
That's when Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as a Vatican diplomat, called a papal nuncio, to Bangladesh.
All papal nuncios must hold the rank of archbishop.
Marino graduated from John Carroll High School in 1971 and served as
an associate pastor at St. Paul's Cathedral from 1980 to 1984.
He's the first bishop or archbishop to graduate from John Carroll High School in Birmingham.
Marino grew up in Ensley, the son of Alabama Power Company electrical
engineer Salvador Marino and his wife, Josephine. His two brothers
As an archbishop, Marino does not supervise a diocese, but is honorary or titular Archbishop of Natchitoches, La.
Marino has represented the pope for more than four years in
Bangladesh, which has a population of more than 150 million, about
300,000 of them Catholics.
It's one of the 10 most populous nations on
earth, a predominantly Muslim country prone to disastrous flooding.
Marino previously served as a diplomat based at the Vatican embassy
in London and served with the secretariat of state for the Vatican in
Rome from 1997 to 2004.
He was a member of the Vatican delegation sent by Pope John Paul II
to Belgrade on April 1, 1999, at the height of the Kosovo conflict. He
was also part of a delegation sent to the White House before the 2003
start of the war in Iraq, as the pope sent a plea for peace.
in on a meeting between President George W. Bush and Cardinal Pio Laghi.
In Birmingham, Marino is well-known among non-Catholics for his
annual radio appearances during Christmas week on the Paul Finebaum
sports talk show.