Pietradefusi, 12 March 2017. The Delegation of Great Britain and Ireland with much regret notes the passing on 12 March 2017 of the Apostolic Nuncio Emeritus to Great Britain, His Excellency The Most Rev Luigi Barbarito, GCVO, GCGCO, aged 94.
Archbishop Luigi Barbarito was born in Atripalda, Italy on 19 April 1922. He was ordained a priest in 1944 and was appointed titular Archbishop of Fiorentino in 1969. Between 1969 and 1997 Archbishop Barbarito served in the Holy See’s diplomatic service and was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti from 1969-1975. In 1975, Pope Paul VI transferred Archbishop Barbarito to the Apostolic Pro-Nunciature in Niger and Senegal and appointed him Apostolic Delegate to Mali, Mauritania and Guinea-Bissau. In 1978, Pope Paul appointed him as Apostolic Nuncio to Australia.
On 21 January 1989, Pope John Paul II appointed Archbishop Barbarito as Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Great Britain, becoming Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain on 13 April 1993. He served in this post until his retirement on 31 July 1997. During his time in the United Kingdom, he became Dean of the Diplomatic Corps as the longest-serving foreign diplomat to the Court of St James’s and was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) by HM The Queen in 1996. During his career, he was also a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and wrote many books explaining and reflecting on the location and situation of the Church in time.
Archbishop Luigi Barbarito was first invested into the Constantinian Order in 1986 by decree of HRH Prince Ferdinand of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro and was an active member and chaplain. In December 2013, he was promoted by decree of HRH Prince Carlo of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro, to the rank and dignity of Ecclesiastical Knight Grand Cross of Grace during a ceremony held at His Excellency’s residence in Rome and presided over by the Delegate, Anthony Bailey.
“Archbishop Barbarito was a remarkable and much loved priest and confidant. In Britain, he was admired and respected as a diplomat and as Dean of the Diplomatic Corps. As a Chaplain of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George for over 30 years, Archbishop Barbarito’s support and pastoral care of our knights and dames was significant. He will be greatly missed and will be remembered in prayer at our forthcoming St George’s Day mass.“, Delegate Anthony Bailey said.
Rest in peace. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam. Requiescat in pace.