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Bishop Burbidge Requests Prayers on Death of Archbishop Sambi

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The Vatican has announced the death of Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. Archbishop Sambi, 73, died July 27, 2011, following complications from lung surgery three weeks ago. A veteran Vatican diplomat, he was appointed to the position of Papal Nuncio by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. His previous assignments included nunciatures in Jerusalem, Cuba, Algeria, Belgium and India.

In his six years of ministry in the United States, Archbishop Sambi developed a close relationship with the bishops in the country, addressing them at their annual meetings.

“Archbishop Sambi offered an extraordinary life of service to the Church in many areas of the world,” said the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge. “The Church in the United States has been immensely blessed by his labors most recently as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. He was beloved by all the Bishops, and his zeal, joy and profound love for our Lord Jesus and His Church were a great inspiration for all of us.”

Bishop Burbidge is requesting the faithful of the Diocese to “join with my brother bishops in thanking God for the gift of Archbishop Sambi’s life and for the constant fraternal support he offered to us. I ask the faithful in the Diocese of Raleigh to pray for the Archbishop’s eternal peace and happiness.”

Bishop Burbidge is asking that a prayer for Archbishop Sambi be included at all Masses this weekend.