Pope Benedict XVI will no longer give a speech to new foreign ambassadors to the Holy See as has been is custom up until now, but he will continue to meet them personally when they are appointed.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, S.J., explained the changes to the media Dec. 15. He said the move was being made for “reasons of simplicity and consistency with current diplomatic practice,” and that it should not be seen as a reflection of the 84-year-old Pope’s health.
It is diplomatic protocol for new ambassadors to submit a formal “letter of credence” to the head of state asking for diplomatic accreditation. It is at these ceremonies that speeches are sometimes exchanged.
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Pope ends individual speeches to new Vatican ambassadors :: EWTN News