Pope makes appointments to dicasteries for development, doctrine

By Carol Glatz | Catholic News Service

Salesian Sister Alessandra Smerilli has been appointed by Pope Francis as the secretary of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in this Feb. 11, 2022, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis formalized new appointments to the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and named the new secretaries to the restructured Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.

After serving as interim prefect and interim secretary respectively since Jan. 1, Canadian Cardinal Michael Czerny has been appointed to a five-year term as prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and Italian Salesian Sister Alessandra Smerilli as the secretary of the same dicastery.

Scalabrinian Father Fabio Baggio, who had been co-undersecretary of the dicastery’s Migrants and Refugees Section along with Cardinal Czerny, is now undersecretary of the dicastery with responsibility for the Migrants and Refugees Section and for special projects, the Vatican announced April 23.

The pope also appointed new secretaries to the newly restructured Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Italian Msgr. Armando Matteo, 51, currently assistant undersecretary of the congregation, is the new secretary for the doctrinal section of the dicastery, and Irish Msgr. John Joseph Kennedy, 53, is the new secretary of the disciplinary section.

Cardinal Michael Czerny looks on as Pope Francis delivers his Easter message and blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world) April 17, 2022. The pope has named Cardinal Czerny as the new prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

In February, Pope Francis approved the restructuring of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which will be known as the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith when “Praedicate Evangelium” (“Preach the Gospel”), the papal constitution reforming the Roman Curia, goes into effect June 5.

Msgr. Kennedy, a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin, is a canon lawyer, and he served as an official of the doctrinal congregation from 2003 to 2017. Since 2017, he has been head of the congregation’s disciplinary section.

The dicastery’s new discipline section handles those offenses and crimes reserved to the congregation — particularly clerical sexual abuse cases — and its supreme tribunal. It prepares and elaborates procedures in accordance with canon law so as to “promote a correct administration of justice,” and it promotes formation initiatives for bishops, dioceses and canon lawyers for “a correct understanding and application of canonical norms.”

The papal constitution places the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors within the doctrinal dicastery; the commission’s task will be to provide the pope with advice and expertise and to propose appropriate initiatives for the protection of minors and vulnerable people.

Author: Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ news and information service.

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