"Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, died at Johns Hopkins Hospital July 27. He was 73. Staff at the nunciature, his residence in Washington, on July 22 asked for prayers of the Catholic community for him.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Archbishop Sambi was a friend of the United States.
“As the personal representative of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Sambi enjoyed the highest respect and deepest affection of the bishops of the United States and of our Catholic people,” Archbishop Dolan said in a July 28 statement.
Archbishop Sambi was appointed U.S. nuncio, or ambassador, in December 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI. Prior to the U.S. appointment, Pope John Paul II had named him nuncio to Israel and Cyprus and apostolic delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine in 1998. The appointment made him only the second Vatican ambassador to Israel, after the Vatican and Israel established diplomatic relations in 1994.
Archbishop Sambi was a native of central Italy and was ordained a priest in 1964. He was named an archbishop and nuncio to Burundi in 1985, a position he held for six years until being named nuncio to Indonesia."