THE ARCHDIOCESE OF MONACO
The Christian presence in the territory of the current Principality of Monaco probably dates back to the 4th-5th century, but it is only from the 11th century that the presence of a stable Christian community dependent on the diocese of Nice is attested. Subsequently, for some centuries and due to the historical and socio-geographic situation between the County of Nice and the Republic of Genoa, Monaco was dependent on two bishoprics (that of Nice and that of Genoa).
With the papal Bull dated 15 March 1887 (Bulla Quemadmodum Sollicitus Pastor), the "nullius diocesis" Abbey was raised to the status of bishopric, directly dependent on the Holy See. Mgr Carlo Francesco Bonaventura Theuret, the then Apostolic Administrator, was appointed first bishop of the new bishopric. The Bull, which received the approval of Prince Charles III, and a soveriegn ordinance dated 28 September 1887, gave him the force of law in the Principality. Thus was born the diocese of the current Principality of Monaco. In 1981 (30 July), Pope John Paul II raised the episcopal see to the rank of archepiscopal see, when the rights of patronage and collation, historically due to the sovereign, were suppressed.
Since 2000, Mgr Bernard Barsi has been the Archbishop of Monaco. The Archbishop, who is not a member by right of the French Bishops’ Conference, regularly attends, as an invitee, the works of their Plenary Assemblies. He is also associated with the work of the various national and regional commissions.
In 1982 the Principality of Monaco and the Holy See raised the status of the Legation in Monaco to that of Embassy, within the framework of the specific relations which unite the Holy See and the Principality. Twenty-four years later, Prince Albert II received the credentials of the first Apostolic Nuncio to the Principality, the Extraordinary Ambassador and Plenipotentiary of the Holy See.