Sunday, September 29, 2013

Francis makes several significant Curia appointments

On Saturday last, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has made several personnel changes in the Roman Curia. 

In addition to confirming the already-appointed leadership of two Vatican congregations, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, he has also made several significant new appointments. 

They include:

-          Archbishop Beniamino Stella, currently president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy (which is responsible for training Vatican diplomats), has been named prefect of the Congregation for Clergy. The current prefect, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, has been appointed head of the Apostolic Penitentiary. 

-          American Archbishop Augustine DiNoia, who had been serving as vice president of the Pontifical Council Ecclesia Dei, will return to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as adjunct secretary. Archbishop DiNoia served as secretary of the CDF from 2009 to 2012.

-          Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, has been named apostolic nuncio to Germany, and will be replaced at the head of the synod by Archbishop Lorezno Baldisseri, currently secretary for the Congregation for Bishops. 

Catholic World News provides analysis of several of Pope Francis’ curial appointments. On Cardinal Piacenza’s move to the Apostolic Penitentiary: 

This appointment could raise some eyebrows, since the prefect of a major congregation has considerably more influence over everyday Vatican policies than the Major Penitentiary. The Apostolic Penitentiary is the Vatican tribunal with jurisdiction over matters involving the "internal forum"--the relationships involving matters of conscience between a penitent and confessor, or an individual and his spiritual director. Cardinal Piacenza replaces Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, who is retiring at the age of 75. 

On Archbishop DiNoia’s return to the CDF: 

Pope Benedict XVI had named the American Dominican as vice-president of the Ecclesia Dei commission last year, in an evident attempt to reinvigorate dialogue with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). By detaching him (at least formally) from the Ecclesia Dei commission, Pope Francis may be signaling that the talks with the SSPX are no longer a high priority. 

It has also been widely noted that the appointment of Archbishop Baldisseri as general secretary of the Synod of Bishops follows remarks from the Holy Father about his desire to see significant changes to how that body operates in the governance of the Church. 

The pope’s most recent comments on that subject came in his interview published in America this week, in which he said there is a need “to change the methods of the Synod of Bishops,” as its current operations are “not dynamic” and need to be “less rigid.” 

The Vatican Radio announcement of the new Curia appointments is below: 

The Holy Father has implemented the following changes in the organisation of the Roman Curia.
- He has accepted the resignation from the role of Major Penitentiary of Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, who has reached the age of retirement. He has confirmed as successor in the same role Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, who until now was Prefect for the Congregation of the Clergy.

- In the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he has confirmed as Prefect Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, and as Secretary Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer. He has appointed as Adjunct Secretary Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, who until now was Vice President of the Pontifical Council “Ecclesia Dei”. He has furthermore confirmed the Members and Consultants, and has appointed as Consultant Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, Adjunct Secretary of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.

- In the Congregation for the Evangelisation of the People, he has confirmed as Prefect Cardinal Fernando Filoni, as Secretary Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, and as Adjunct Secretary Archbishop Protase Rugambwa. He has furthermore confirmed the Members and Consultants.

- In the Congregation for the Clergy, he has appointed as Prefect Archbishop Beniamino Stella, who until now was President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. He has confirmed as Secretary Archbishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta. He has appointed as Secretary for the Seminaries Jorge Carlos Patrón Wong, who until now was Bishop of Paplanta, elevating him at the same time to the dignity of Archbishop.

- In the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, he has appointed as Delegate of the Ordinary Section Msgr. Mauro Rivella, of the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Turin.

His Holiness has also appointed as Legate in Germany His Excellency Archbishop Nikola Eterović, was until now was General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops. He has appointed as successor in the same role His Excellency Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, who until now was Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops.

His Holiness has furthermore appointed as Legate in Sierra Leone Archbishop Mirosław Adamczyk, Legate in Liberia and Gambia.

His Holiness has finally appointed as Legate and President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy Giampiero Gloder, Head of Office with Special Responsibilities in the Secretariat of State, elevating him at the same time to the dignity of Archbishop.