Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the USA and Permanent Observer to the Organization of American States (OAS), will be the 2009 recipient of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation’s (HCEF) Path of Peace Award in recognition of his personal lifelong effort for a just and secure peace in the Holy Land.
HCEF’s annual Path of Peace Award is the Foundation’s highest award. It honors persons, who with singular personal dedication, have advocated and worked for the cause of peace in the Middle East, and who have promoted peaceful reconciliation of Arabs and Israelis — Muslims, Christians and Jews.
The award will be presented to Archbishop Sambi at the Foundation’s 11th International Conference & Awards Banquet on the evening of Friday, October 23, 2009 at the Bethesda Marriott in Bethesda, Maryland, and this same evening H.E. John Cardinal Foley will be the guest of honor and he will, on behalf of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, receive the 2009 Living Stones Award.
During his years as the Apostolic Nuncio in Israel and Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine, Archbishop Sambi has played a prominent role in bringing together leaders of all faiths-rabbis, bishops and imams-in the pursuit of peace, inspiring them to take chances where the usual political process fails.
“I have watched how kind, diplomatic and gently persistent Archbishop Sambi is when he is handling all parties involved in a diverse and sensitive issue, says Rateb Rabie, HCEF President and CEO, and I am very impressed with his skill, genuine concern for people, his passion for truth and understanding, and his devotion to building peace using faith and dialogue.”
As Apostolic Nuncio to the United States he continues this vital role, building on his four decades of experience in the Diplomatic Corps of the Holy See.
Born in 1938 in Sogliano al Rubicone, Forli, Italy, Archbishop Sambi was ordained a priest in 1964. He was consecrated as Bishop and made Titular Archbishop of Belcastro in 1985. He began his diplomatic career in 1969 as an Attaché in the Apostolic Nunciature in Cameroon. In 1971 he was transferred to the Apostolic Delegation in Jerusalem. In the following years he served the Holy See in diplomatic postings in Cuba, Algeria, Nicaragua, Belgium, India, Burundi and Indonesia. In June 1998 he was named Apostolic Nuncio in Israel and Cyprus and Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine. He assumed his present position as Nuncio to the USA in December 2005.
Archbishop Sambi holds doctorates in Sacred Theology and Canon Law. He is fluent in Italian, English, French and Spanish.
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