Saturday, February 17, 2024

Pope appoints former Italian army chief to Vatican City post

Salvatore Farina | IAI Istituto Affari Internazionali

Until February two years ago, General Salvatore Farina was the Chief of Staff of the Italian Army and even before that, the commander of NATO in Holland and Kosovo. 

Now that he is retired and teaches peacekeeping and conflict transformation at the Lateran University, Pope Francis has called him to the Vatican and appointed him as the Director of the Directorate of Infrastructure and Services of the Governorate, practically all the organizational decisions of the technical services - which include construction, plant laboratories, the florist, the motor pool, and the care of the Vatican gardens - including naturally the contracts, must pass through his table. 

Naturally, Farina will also have to work on the preparation of the Jubilee and will therefore be a valuable interlocutor for the Italian State.

Farina, originally from Gallipoli where he was born in 1957, is a military expert often interviewed on war scenarios. His curriculum reflects a brilliant military career. 

He has three master's degrees - in electrical engineering, strategic sciences, international and diplomatic sciences - and a second-level master's degree in "defence resource management" at the US Defense Institute in Monterey, California.

In the Vatican this morning his appointment aroused a lot of curiosity also because the general has not formally been charged with overseeing anything to do with security or telecommunications. 

He replaces the priest Rafael García de la Serrana Villalobos, of the Prelature of Opus Dei who recently left the post.

The new procurement law updated in January by the Pope stipulates that it is the Director of the Directorate of Infrastructure and Services who designates the names of the employees belonging to the Projects Office to be registered in the specific List of designers. 

It should also allow for greater simplification of procurement procedures. 

The text, made up of 86 articles, also ensures, the Vatican emphasizes, "an optimization of functional purchases so that people and administrations concerned are put in a position to operate easily". 

In this context, the controls for the registration of economic operators in the Register have also been updated, simplifying the verification procedures.