Paul Gallagher (bishop)

For other uses, see Paul Gallagher.
The Most Reverend
Paul Gallagher
Secretary for Relations with States
Appointed 8 November 2014
Predecessor Dominique Mamberti
Other posts Titular Archbishop of Hodelm (2004–present)
Ordination 31 July 1977
by Derek Worlock
Consecration 13 March 2004
by Angelo Sodano
Personal details
Birth name Paul Richard Gallagher
Born (1954-01-23) 23 January 1954
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Denomination Roman Catholicism
Previous post Apostolic Nuncio to Burundi (2004–2009)
Apostolic Nuncio to Guatemala (2009–2012)
Apostolic Nuncio to Australia (2012–2014)
Alma mater Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy
Motto In omnibus caritas
In all things love
Styles of
Paul Gallagher
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Grace
Religious style Archbishop

Paul Richard Gallagher (born 23 January 1954) is the current Secretary for Relations with States within the Holy See's Secretariat of State, a position to which he was appointed on 8 November 2014.[1]


Early life

He was born in Liverpool, England, and was educated at St Francis Xavier’s College in Woolton.[2] Ordained by Archbishop Derek Worlock on 31 July 1977 for the Archdiocese of Liverpool, he served in Fazakerley, before taking courses at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. He later earned a doctorate in canon law, becoming a member of the Holy See's diplomatic service on 1 May 1984.


He held posts in Tanzania, Uruguay, the Philippines, the Vatican Secretariat of State and at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. He was appointed Counselor, First Class, on 1 May 1997, when working at the Nunciature in Burundi. He worked in its Second Section, from 1995 to 2000 at the same time as the present Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin.

The Vatican announced his appointment as the Apostolic Nuncio to Burundi in January 2004. His residence in that country was bombed in 2008.[3]

He was appointed nuncio to Guatemala in 2009.[4] Ruth Gledhill, the religious affairs correspondent of the London Times, mentioned him as a possible candidate for the position of Archbishop of Westminster in succession to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor,.[5] However, the successor, announced on 3 April 2009, was Archbishop Vincent Nichols.

On 11 December 2012, he was appointed as the Papal Nuncio to Australia, a post he held until being made Secretary for Relations with States on 8 November 2014 by Pope Francis.[6]

In 2015 a comprehensive agreement was signed by the Holy See and Palestine which may serve the twofold goal of stimulating peace in the Middle East and providing a model for similar treaties. The text of the treaty was agreed upon May 13, and the document was signed June 26 in the Apostolic Palace by Gallagher and by Riad al-Malki, minister of foreign affairs of Palestine. Gallagher voiced hope “that the present agreement may in some way be a stimulus to bringing a definitive end to the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which continues to cause suffering for both parties. I also hope that the much desired two-state solution may become a reality as soon as possible.”[7]

In an interview, Gallagher said that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed in 2015 is seen positively because it believes that controversies and difficulties must always be resolved through dialogue and negotiation. The deal reached is the result of years of negotiations over a question that had caused a great deal of concern. The fact that the solution found satisfies all sides is a very positive thing. Clearly, this agreement will require the continued efforts and commitment of everyone if it is to bear fruit. It is significant that there is a mutual trust between the Parties.[8]

In a February 2016 interview he said, "Let's not be kidding ourselves about what the stakes are here: If we are going to bring peace, if we are going to reconcile nations, if we are going to secure countries and communities, particularly minorities, particularly people who are persecuted, we are going to have to make an unprecedented effort," Gallagher speaking specifically of the crisis in Syria and Iraq, where so-called Islamic State militants have captured large swaths of territory and driven out tens of thousands of Christians and members of other minority groups, Gallagher said he is hopeful for a resolution of the conflict".[9]

Gallagher speaks native English, near-native Italian and fluent French and Spanish.


Media related to Paul Richard Gallagher at Wikimedia Commons

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Thomas Ludger Dupré
Archbishop of Hodelm
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Michael Courtney
Apostolic Nuncio to Burundi
Succeeded by
Franco Coppola
Preceded by
Bruno Musarò
Apostolic Nuncio to Guatemala
Succeeded by
Nicolas Thévenin
Preceded by
Giuseppe Lazzarotto
Apostolic Nuncio to Australia
Succeeded by
Adolfo Tito Yllana
Political offices
Preceded by
Dominique Mamberti
Secretary for Relations with States
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