BALTIMORE -- Italian Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Vatican nuncio to the United States, died late July 27 at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore after a hospitalization that began with lung surgery. He was 73.
On July 22, the apostolic nunciature in Washington announced that the archbishop had been "placed on assisted ventilation to attempt recovery of his lung function" two weeks after undergoing "a delicate lung surgery."
A veteran Vatican diplomat, Archbishop Sambi was appointed as U.S. nuncio, or ambassador, in December 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI. Prior to the U.S. appointment, he had been nuncio to Israel and Cyprus; he was the second Vatican ambassador to Israel, after the Vatican and Israel established diplomatic relations in 1994.