Former Holy See Representative at the UN and specialized institutions in Geneva since 2016 appointed as Apostolic Nuncio to Canada.
On June 5, Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič as Apostolic Nuncio to Canada. The position had remained vacant since the previous nuncio, Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, was posted to Albania in December 2020.
Archbishop Jurkovič served as Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and Specialized Institutions in Geneva. The 68-year-old Slovenian archbishop has also acted as the Holy See’s Representative to the World Trade Organization and the International Organization for Migration.
Born in Kočevje, in southern Slovenia, Ivan Jurkovič was ordained on June 29, 1977. He graduated in theology from the University of Ljubljana and trained as a diplomat at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. In 1984 he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See, serving as secretary at the nunciature in South Korea.
In 1988 he received his doctorate in canon law. Until 1992 he served as a financial auditor at the nunciature in Colombia. Then, from 1992 to 1996, he worked at the nunciature in Russia.
On July 28, 2001, Pope John Paul II appointed Archbishop Jurkovič titular archbishop of Krbava and apostolic nuncio, to Belarus. He received his episcopal consecration on October 6 in Ljubljana from Cardinal Angelo Sodano and was designated to Ukraine on April 22, 2004.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed him nuncio to Russia on February 19, 2011, in the same year he was appointed nuncio to Uzbekistan.
In 2016, Pope Francis appointed him to the permanent observer role in Geneva, where he spoke on behalf of the Holy See on various issues, including Islamophobia, COVID-19 vaccines, and coronavirus lockdowns.
In a letter dated June 8, 2021, The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops “extending a warm welcome to the new Papal Representative on Canadian soil. They assure His Excellency the Nuncio of an ecclesial collaboration marked by respect, communion and fraternity” the letter continued:
“Canadian Bishops recognize particularly the Apostolic Nuncio’s crucial ecclesial mission entrusted to him with its two aspects: that of Representative of the Holy Father to the Church in Canada and that of Representative of the Holy See to the political authorities of this country. The Episcopal Conference, through its members, welcomes this much waited appointment and is eager to get to know him personally.”