Sat 25th Oct 2014 | Last updated: Fri 24th Oct 2014 at 18:39pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Comment & Blogs

Slew of new faces in new places

The Vatican announces appointments to major curial positions

By on Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Slew of new faces in new places

After weeks of being on tenterhooks about the new president of the Congregation of Bishops the Pope has announced that Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Archbishop of Quebec will take up the post. Cardinal George Pell was one of the people whose name was originally being bandied about but a smear campaign and poor health made him turn down the appointment, according to Vatican watchers.

In this Curial turn-around–which places a Canadian at the top of a curial department dominated by Italians–other important posts have also been filled and people shifted across departments.

Archbishop Rino Fisichella (pictured above), a controversial figure who headed the Pontifical Council for Life as well as being the rector of the Lateran University has been moved to the Pope’s new department the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, while Don Enrico dal Covolo, SDB takes over as Rector at the Lateran and Mgr Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Life, is taking over as head.

Mgr Carrasco de Paula is a medical doctor as well as a prominent moral theologian and bioethicist. He is a member of the Opus Dei, which reminds me of this John Allen Jr article from 2001 about the Opus Dei in the Vatican.

He held a personal friendship with Jérôme Lejeune, the French pro-life pedeatrician and first president of the Pontifical Academy for Life who discovered the link between chromosome abnormalities and Downs Syndrome. The Spaniard is 73-years-old and was ordained to the priesthood in 1966. Here are a couple of interviews he did (unfortunately both in Spanish).

The first is on the anniversary of Humanae Vitae in which he speaks about contraception, children and marriage and defends the 1968 document by Pope Paul VI. In the second, he speaks of the most important themes in bioethics, which he identified as the moments at the origin of human life and at its end. In the third interview, in English, he speaks about the Human Genome Project and the new frontiers of genetics. He is also the director of the Institute of Bioethics in the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery “Agostino Gemelli” at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome and an advisor to the World Medical Association.

Fr dal Covolo is an Italian Salesian (Like Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Benedict XVI’s Secretary of State) who is turning 60 in October and made his first vows in the order in 1973 He was ordained at the age of 31 in 1979. A professor of ancient Christian literature and an expert on the Church Fathers, Fr dal Covolo led the Papal retreat this year.

He joined Pope Benedict’s former department as a consultor to Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in 2002 as well as being a consultor to the Congregation for the Clergy. He is a member of the Pontifical Council for Historical Sciences and Postulator General for the causes of saints of the Salesian Family and is also on the Commission for Sacred Archeology. Here is an interview he did with Zenit about vocations.

Meanwhile the Swiss newspapers have said that the Diocese of Basel has confirmed that Bishop Kurt Koch is going to Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

  • Johnfmccolley

    I'm sure you are aware of the recent appointment of Msgr Ignacio Carrasco de Paula as the President of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

    Most, and perhaps all, of you may be glad to hear that Archbishop Rino Fisichella is no more in charge of the most authoritative Vatican institution for the defence and promotion of human life. However, the removal of Mrgr Fisichella as the President of the Academy was expected to restore the Academy's best reputation through the appointment of a blameless prelate who had not been involved in the public denial of the Church’s solemn teaching about the intrinsic evil, and therefore absolute impermissibility, of direct abortion.

    Unfortunately, this is not the case of Msgr Carrasco de Paula. While he was the Chancellor of the Academy, he strongly supported and defended Msgr Fisichella's article published in L’Osservatore Romano about the case of the 9 year old Brazilian girl who was pregnant with twins that were aborted. In Msgr Carrasco's view, there is nothing morally wrong in the article and the statement of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith concerning Msgr Fisichella's paper fully support his position on abortion. Msgr Carrasco expressed his view on the matter of grave concern several times, both within and outside the Academy.

    Sadly, we must be prepared to a very troublesome succession to the leadership of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

    John F. McColley

  • Sacred Site

    Vatican intrigue in memory has taken a new turn today with the report that Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the 66 year-old archbishop of Quebec and primate of Canada, is now expected to be named prefect of the Congregation for Bishops “in the coming weeks” upon the retirement of Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re.