Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Tue Aug 28 11:50:56 UTC 2012

As far as I know, "nuncio," usually "papal nuncio," is used only to refer to
a Vatican diplomat or diplomatic mission, although not necessarily to one of
ambassadorial rank--any priest assigned to a diplomatic post is a "nuncio."
I've never seen it used for other church officials, and it someone did, I
would assume they didn't know the meaning of the word.

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Victor Steinbok
Sent: Monday, August 27, 2012 10:58 PM
Subject: nuncio

OED WOTD today is "nuncio". The primary meaning is given as " 1. R.C.
Church. A papal ambassador to a foreign court or government." Then, more
broadly, as "messenger". (Also member of the Polish Diet, but that's
irrelevant.) I'd like to know if I have not been imagining routine movie and
news references to "nuncio" as either the Pope himself, rather than his
ambassador or messenger, or to high-ranking members of the Church hierarchy,
such as cardinals and archbishops. My recollection is somewhat vague on this
subject, but I believe it to be the case.

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