Australian Catholic University (ACU) conferred its highest honour, Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa), on Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, STB, LSS, JCD, GCHI, Secretary for Relations with States within the Holy See’s Secretariat of State on 24 June at a ceremony in Rome.
His Excellency received a Doctor of Laws in recognition of his service to the Catholic Church and his commitment to evangelisation through international diplomacy, and in particular for a lifetime of outstanding service to the Church through the Holy See’s Diplomatic Corp.
Archbishop Gallagher’s achievements have been driven by his identity as a priest. He has dedicated his lifetime to evangelisation and to the promotion of the Catholic faith through the means of international diplomacy. He has represented the Holy See in parts of the world where Catholicism exists on the margins, and has worked towards the peaceful resolution of international conflicts.
ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Craven said ACU Honorary Doctorate degrees recognised individuals who have provided outstanding contributions to the community and to humanity.
“Our honorary degrees exemplify the exceptional contribution being made by individuals, on a local or international scale in line with the University’s mission, goals and philosophy.
ACU’s Vice President, Fr Anthony Casamento csma, who was in Rome for the ceremony, noted that the award recognized the significant and critical role that the Holy See plays in international diplomacy.
“In recognising the achievements of Archbishop Gallagher, the University is also recognising the critical role that the Holy See plays in advancing diplomacy as a means of dialogue and collaboration between nations to advance the Gospel message of peace,” Fr Casamento commented.
Archbishop Gallagher was ordained as a priest in the Archdiocese of Liverpool in 1977. There, he served as a priest in the parish of Fazakerley. His career has taken him far and wide, but Archbishop Gallagher remains committed to his home city of Liverpool, and considers himself an ongoing member of Liverpool’s clergy.
In 1984, Archbishop Gallagher officially entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See, and as served as Secretary of State, before being made Apostolic Nuncio. His mission has taken him to Tanzania, Uruguay, Burundi, Guatemala and Australia. In 2014, Pope Francis made Archbishop Gallagher Secretary for Relations with States. In this capacity, Archbishop Gallagher has advocated for greater diplomatic engagement and openness in international relations.
In one of the most significant moments of these last few years, in 2015 Archbishop Gallagher signed an Agreement on behalf of the Holy See with the State of Palestine. The result of 15 years of negotiation, the Agreement also seeks to promote peace in the Middle-East with an eye to ending the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Archbishop Gallagher continues to work with The Holy Father on issues of global politics, collaborating with him to promote harmony between nations and resolve conflicts. He considers it an honour to coordinate, lead and work with a group of highly motivated.
With thanks to the ACU.