Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

New head for top Vatican tribunal

Catholic World News - January 05, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed a new head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, one of the Vatican’s three top tribunals.

Archbishop Manuel Monteiro de Castro, who has been serving as secretary for the Congregation for Bishops, becomes the new Penitentiary Major. He succeeds Cardinal Fortunato Baldelli, who is retiring at the age of 76.

Archbishop Monteiro de Castro was born in Portugal in 1938 and ordained to the priesthood there in 1961. As a member of the Vatican diplomatic corps he served as apostolic nuncio to El Salvador, Honduras, South Africa, and Spain before his appointment in 2009 to the Congregation for Bishops. His appointment as Penitentiary Major makes him a likely candidate to receive a cardinal’s red hat at the next consistory, although his age (nearing 74) puts him close to the mandatory retirement age.

Cardinal Baldelli, the outgoing Penitentiary Major, also served for years in the Vatican diplomatic corps, with postings as apostolic nuncio in Angola, the Dominican Republic, Peru, and France prior to his appointment in June 2009 to head the Apostolic Penitentiary. He remained at that post, at the wish of Pope Benedict, for nearly 18 months after submitting his formal resignation.

The Apostolic Penitentiary is the Vatican tribunal with jurisdiction over matters involving the "internal forum"--the relationships involving matters of conscience between a penitent and confessor, or an individual and his spiritual director. The tribunal's competence also extends to the granting and use of indulgences. Because of the sensitivity of the issues handled by the Apostolic Penitentiary, the head of the tribunal-- known as the Major Penitentiary-- is the one member of the Roman Curia whose appointment does not lapse upon the death of the Roman Pontiff.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our July expenses ($32,725 to go):
$35,000.00 $2,274.95
94% 6%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Making Moral Progress? July 3
Vatican statement clarifies duties of Catholic faithful after Obergefell decision July 2
Political battles vs. sacrificial service: The Brooks paradox revisited July 2
A Baptist leader with a message the Synod of Bishops should hear June 30
'Helpful' advice for social conservatives: ignore causes, deal with effects June 30

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope approves process for holding bishops accountable in abuse cases CWN - June 10
Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical released (includes link to full text) CWN - June 18
US Supreme Court rules all states must recognize same-sex marriage CWN - June 26
Archbishop Nienstedt, auxiliary bishop resign CWN - June 15