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John McCarthy QC recently served in Rome as the Australian Ambassador to the Holy See from 2012-2016.

Prior to his ambassadorial appointment, he was a Queens Counsel and a barrister in Sydney appearing in cases at the High Court on native title, trade practices and electoral matters. McCarthy acted as Senior Counsel for the National President of the St Vincent de Paul Society and served as Senior Counsel for the Church of the Torres Strait, an indigenous church of former Anglicans and for the Anglican Catholic Church of Australia. McCarthy became Senior Counsel for the Australian Labor Party in NSW in 1988.

McCarthy served as Pro-Chancellor University of Sydney, President of the St Thomas More Society—the Guild of Catholic Lawyers, and Australian Board member of Aid to the Church in Need. A member of the Order of Malta, McCarthy also received a Papal Knighthood, being appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory the Great by the Holy See for services to the Catholic Church and the wider Australian community.

After his appointment by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, McCarthy presented his diplomatic credentials to Pope Benedict XVI. He led the development of the Vatican Cricket Team. McCarthy assisted in the creation of the Global Freedom Network, an initiative supported by Pope Francis and other religious leaders aimed at eradicating modern slavery and human trafficking across the world by 2020.

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