We have a new Vatican constitution, but where are the new curial appointments?


Cardinal-elect Arthur Roche, who met the pope last week, was describe on the audience roll as prefect of the new Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. CardinalMarc Ouelletwho met the pope on June 11, was reference as Prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops.

On the official website of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch is present as prefect of the new dicastery.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Taglemeanwhile, had no title on the sheet June 9. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, until now president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, was described simply as “titular archbishop of Voghenza” even then press conference presenting the message for the World Day of the Poor.

One possible explanation is that the heads of departments that simply changed names are still in office. Nevertheless, a new appointment is necessary to define the heads of the dicasteries which have changed not only in names but also in competences.

The impression given is that of a “sede vacante” curia. In this situation, without formalizing new roles, no curial employee can feel totally secure. Everything will remain suspended until new appointments arrive or the pope issues transitional norms. Time is crucial: for the moment, there is only the pope in charge, with a curia devoid of landmarks.

How will the new Curia be designed?

There are various rumors about how Pope Francis will design the new curia.

The latest assumptions suggest that the leaders of the Secretariat of State will be confirmed in place, along with the following:

  • Cardinal Mario Grechgeneral secretary of the Synod (formerly the Synod of Bishops);

  • Cardinal Kevin FarrellPrefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life;

  • Cardinal Michel CzernyPrefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development;

  • Cardinal-elect Arthur Roche, Prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments;

  • Cardinal-elect Lazarus You Heung-sik, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy;

  • Cardinal João Braz de AvizPrefect of the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life;

  • Cardinal Marcello Semeraroprefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of the Saints;

  • Cardinal Miguel Angel Ayuso GuixotPrefect of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue;

  • Cardinal Kurt Koch, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity;

  • Paolo Ruffini, lay prefect of the Department for Communication.

There should also be temporary confirmations. So, for example, Cardinal Luis Ladariaprefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches, could remain until September. And perhaps Ouellet will remain there for a while at the head of the Dicastery for the bishops.

Who will replace Ladaria? Some think it will be Tagle, but others think he will rather succeed Ouellet in the Dicastery for Bishops.

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Since 2019, the Filipino Cardinal has served as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, which under the new constitution is absorbed into the Flagship Dicastery for Evangelization. But it seems that Tagle will not be pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization for the Propaganda Fide section. Fisichella, however, should be pro-prefect of the new evangelization section.

When Sandri retires, her place could be taken by Cardinal Dominique Mamberti, currently Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. Msgr. Filippo Iannone, head of the Dicastery for Legislative Texts, should therefore go to the Signing. He would be replaced by Bishop Marco Mellino, secretary of the Council of Cardinals and editor-in-chief of predicate evangelium. It would therefore be Mellino who would be responsible for resolving the various disputes concerning the interpretation of the new constitution.

If De Donatis does not go to the apostolic penitentiary, another major penitentiary will have to be appointed, as well as a pro-prefect for evangelization in place of Tagle.

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski should remain prefect of the Dicastery of Charity, which replaced the Office of Papal Charities (Elemosineria Apostolica). As there is no continuity between the two offices, a formal appointment will be required.

The pope will also have to appoint the new prefect of the Dicastery for Culture and Education, which replaces the Congregation for Catholic Education, headed by Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldiand the Pontifical Council for Culture, headed by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi. Both men are over 75 years old. Indeed, Ravasi is almost over 80 years old, so he will also lose all positions in the Curia.

The new prefect should be Cardinal Jose Tolentino of MendoncaArchivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church, who will also manage the Apostolic Library.


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