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Pope appoints British woman president of papal academy

By on Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences

The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences

Pope Francis has named British sociologist and professor, Margaret Archer, president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

She is the second female president of the papal academy and succeeds US law professor and former US ambassador to the Vatican, Mary Ann Glendon, who served two five-year terms as head of the academy from 2004 to 2014. The Vatican made the announcement on Saturday.

Archer, who was born in 1943, has been a member of the pontifical academy since its establishment in 1994.

A prolific author, Archer has published works focusing on solidarity and subsidiarity; culture and social theory; human agency and identity; and education. She studied sociology and social science at the London School of Economics and the Sorbonne in Paris. She had been teaching at the University of Warwick since 1979 before recently joining the College of Humanities as Chair in Social Theory at the Ecole Polytechnique in Lausanne, Switzerland.

She was elected the first female president of the International Sociological Association, leading the international organisation from 1986 to 1990.

Also on Saturday, the Vatican announced the Pope had confirmed Msgr Guido Marini as master of papal liturgical ceremonies.

The Italian monsignor holds degrees in canon law and in psychology and served as master of ceremonies to four archbishops of Genoa, including Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the former Vatican secretary of state. He also had served as Cardinal Bertone’s private secretary.

Benedict XVI named Msgr Marini to be master of papal liturgical ceremonies in 2007.

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