Latest Vatican gig cements Farrell as Francis’s favorite American

ROME – The appointment of Irish-born American Cardinal Kevin Farrell as President of the Supreme Court of Vatican City State last week marked another rise in his star, making him arguably the most prominent American and one of the most significant figures ever of this pontificate .

Born in Ireland, Farrell moved to the United States and became a priest in the Archdiocese of Washington in 1984. Despite his distinctive Dublin accent, he considers himself an American.

Last Friday, the Vatican announced that Farrell had been appointed as the new President of the Court of Cassation, which is essentially the Vatican’s Supreme Court. The position will come into effect on January 1 next year.

Until recently, the President of the Court of Cassation has always been the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Supreme Court of Appeal of the Holy See, a position currently held by Cardinal Dominque Mamberti of Italy. Pope Francis changed the rules of the Vatican judiciary in April, separating these roles, among other things.

Farrell’s appointment to the Court of Justice is the latest high-profile assignment given to him under Pope Francis, who has now put him in charge of five key offices.

Former Bishop of Dallas Farrell, 75 – whose brother Bishop Brian Farrell is secretary of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity – was appointed prefect of the then newly formed Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life in mid-August 2016.

At the time, this department was the first new mega-dicastery under Pope Francis’ reform of the Roman Curia, combining several different offices into one, and Farrell was one of the Pope’s first major appointments under his curial reform.

Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson was appointed head of the Mega Dicastery for Integral Human Development a few weeks later in late August 2016, but Farrell beat him by around two weeks.

Read  Jack White breaks silence on latest swipes at ex-wife and White Stripes bandmate Meg White's drumming - Music News

Since then, Turkson has been demoted for management and administrative failings and has been chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences since last year. Not only does Farrell remain in his position, but his influence in the papacy of Francis has continued to grow over the past seven years.

In February 2019 he was selected for the key position of camerlengno, a position responsible for the administration of the Vatican after the death or resignation of a pope and before the election of a new pope.

A year later, in October 2020, Farrell was appointed to head a Vatican commission that will determine which of his economic activities remain confidential.

This commission was set up under a new set of transparency laws the Pope enacted earlier this year, covering contracts for the purchase of goods, property and services for both the Roman Curia and offices within Vatican City State, with the aim to centralize control over Vatican finances.

One of the main aims of the laws is to save money by establishing central purchasing offices in the Vatican City Government and the Holy See Heritage Administration, which manages the Vatican’s real estate and assets.

Under Farrell’s leadership, this commission is tasked with assessing on a case-by-case basis which Vatican financial activities and public procurement should remain confidential.

In June 2022, Farrell was also appointed head of the Vatican Investment Committee, established by Pope Francis in his Apostolic Constitution to reform the Roman Curia. predicate gospeland composed of four experts in the field of financial investments from around the world.

Read  Today FM’s latest ‘consultation’ meeting: Journalists, newsreaders told to reapply for jobs

Accordingly predicate gospelmeaning “to proclaim the gospel,” the investment committee is responsible for “ensuring the ethical character of the movable investments of the Holy See, in accordance with the social teaching of the Church, while ensuring their profitability, adequacy and risk.”

With the authority increasingly vested in him through his growing list of important responsibilities, Farrell is increasingly emerging not only as a trusted papal adviser, but also as one of the most influential figures in Francis’ papacy.

He also appears to be Pope Francis’ favorite American, as the Pope has promoted him over other Americans who were initially touted as top aides-de-camp but whose star has since faded, such as American Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who who heads the Pontifical Commission for the Church However, the protection of minors is widely seen as less effective than when he took office almost a decade ago.

Many observers have noted the irony that a pope is viewed as being quite skeptical of Americans, who in essence make him arguably one of the most powerful officials in his papacy.

The fact that Pope Francis appointed him President of the Court and appointed several other close allies as judges, including Cardinals Matteo Zuppi of Bologna; Paolo Lojudice of Siena; and Mauro Gambetti, papal vicar for Vatican City, signals another trend unique to Francis, shunning those traditionally considered close collaborators, such as his foreign minister Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and instead opting for those with whom he associates feels enjoys a shared vision and a high degree of personal trust.

Read  Scandal-hit Tokyo Olympic committee lacked sports know-how

Critics of the papacy have sometimes derided Farrell as “Bergoglio’s hatchet,” a sort of underhanded homage to his importance.

Farrell has come out not only because of his ideology and commitment to the Franciscan agenda, but also because of his knowledge and awareness of the allegations against former priest and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of sexual abuse of minors and sexual molestation of young people People accused and found guilty were seminarians and priests.

Prior to his appointment as Archbishop of Dallas in 1984, Farrell was a minister of the Archdiocese of Washington, where McCarrick served as Archbishop from 2000 until his retirement in 2006.

Shortly before McCarrick came on board, Farrell was appointed vicar general of the archdiocese and in 2001 appointed auxiliary bishop for Washington, where he remained until his appointment to Dallas in 2007.

Although Farrell has repeatedly denied knowledge of McCarrick’s misdeeds or the rumors of his conduct, he was questioned on the matter. Although the excitement eventually died down, some still believe Farrell must have known more than he was admitting due to his closeness to McCarrick.

However, such question marks have not hindered his rise up the church ladder. His appointment as President of the Vatican Supreme Court for a five-year term, despite having already reached the legal retirement age of 75, suggests he is going nowhere for the foreseeable future and is likely to remain an influential figure in Francis’ Vatican .

Follow Elise Ann Allen on Twitter: @eliseannallen


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button