Why 2022 could upset the Roman curia | Catholic National Register

VATICAN CITY – Last year ended with a major change in the Roman Curia: the departure of Cardinal Peter Turkson as Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development.

Pope Francis has decided not to renew the mandate of the 73-year-old Ghanaian cardinal, despite being two years from the usual retirement age.

Cardinal Michael Czerny, Undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development. Pablo Esparza / AIIC.

The Pope has appointed Cardinal Michael Czerny to replace Acting Cardinal Turkson. The Canadian Jesuit, who has overseen the migrant and refugee section of the dicastery since 2016, is 75, the age at which curia officials are supposed to hand in their resignations to the pope.

The departure of Cardinal Turkson means that the Vatican no longer has a single African at the head of a curial department.

The curia has had at least one African departmental head since 1977, with the exception of a brief period from December 2008 to October 2009.

Among the prominent African figures serving in the central bureaucracy of the Catholic Church was Cardinal Bernardin Gantin of Benin, whose curial career from 1977 to 1998 included leadership positions on the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Pontifical Council Cor Unum and to the Congregation for Bishops.

Cardinal François Arinze.  Padre Mimmo Spatuzzi via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Cardinal François Arinze. Padre Mimmo Spatuzzi via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Another notable leader was Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze, who served between 1984 and 2008 as President of the Secretariat for Non-Christians (the precursor of the Pontifical Council for Interfaith Dialogue) and Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the discipline of the sacraments. .

Cardinal Robert Sarah, of Guinea, was President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum and Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship from 2010 to 2021.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, during a press conference in the Vatican on July 7, 2020..  Daniel Ibáñez / AIIC.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, at a press conference in the Vatican on July 7, 2020. Daniel Ibáñez / CNA.

Cardinal Turkson began serving in the Curia in 2009, when Pope Benedict XVI appointed him President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, which merged with the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development in 2016.

With his departure, the highest African prelate in the curia is now the Tanzanian Archbishop Protase Rugambwa, secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

Meanwhile, the geographic region of Oceania remains unrepresented at the top of the curia following the departure of Cardinal George Pell. The Australian cardinal served as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy from its inception in 2014 to 2019.

Cardinal George Pell gives an interview to EWTN News in Rome, Italy, December 9, 2020. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez / CNA.

Cardinal George Pell gives an interview to EWTN News in Rome, Italy, December 9, 2020. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez / CNA.

This year could see radical changes at the top of the Curia, even without the publication of the Vatican’s long-awaited new constitution which should be called “Predicate evangelium”.

The five-year term of Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, 77, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will expire in July.

Other leaders over the age of 75 include Cardinal Leonardo Sandri (78), prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Churches, Cardinal Marc Ouellet (77), prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi ( 78), Prefect of the Congregation. for Catholic education.

They are joined by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza (77), major penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary, and Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, who will be 80 in October.

Cardinal Piacenza, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, celebrates Mass on November 1, 2020, at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Third Millennium in Rome, in Tre Fontane.  .

Cardinal Piacenza, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, celebrates Mass on November 1, 2020, at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Third Millennium in Rome, in Tre Fontane.

Meanwhile, Archbishop Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, recently appointed president of the governorate of Vatican City State, will turn 77 in March.

A number of heads of curia are currently under 75 years of age:

Cardinal Pietro Parolin (66), Vatican Secretary of State;

Cardinal Marcello Semeraro (74), prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints;

Bishop Arthur Roche (71), Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments;

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle (64), Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples;

Bishop Lazarus You Heung-sik (70), Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy;

Cardinal João Braz de Aviz (74), Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life;

Cardinal Kevin Farrell (74), prefect of the dicastery for the laity, family and life, and camerlingue of the Holy Roman Church;

Cardinal Dominique Mamberti (69 years old), prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signing;

Cardinal Kurt Koch (71), president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity;

Bishop Filippo Iannone (64), President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts;

Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot (69), President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue;

Bishop Salvatore Fisichella (70), president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization;

Bishop Nunzio Galantino (73), president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA);

Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves (62 years old), prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy;

and Paolo Ruffini (65), prefect of the dicastery for communication.

The Roman Curia has 16 Europeans in leadership positions, comprising nine officials from Italy, four from Spain and one from England, France and Switzerland.

There are also three North Americans, two from Canada (Cardinal Ouellet and Cardinal Czerny) and one from the United States (Cardinal Kevin Farrell), although Cardinal Czerny was born in Czechoslovakia and Cardinal Farrell in Ireland.

Bro. Juan Antonio Guerrero.  .  Office of Communication Society of Jesus.

Father Juan Antonio Guerrero. Office of Communication Society of Jesus.

In addition, there are two South Americans, one from Argentina and one from Brazil, and two Asians, from the Philippines and South Korea.

This is an adapted version of an article which first appearance to “ACI Stampa”, the Italian information partner of AIIC.

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