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Pope adds bishop to staff of top Vatican tribunal

August 26, 2013

Pope Francis has named Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca as adjunct secretary of the Apostolic Signatura.

Bishop Sciacca, a 58-year old Italian, had been the secretary of the Governorate of the Vatican city-state. He will serve alongside the current secretary, Bishop Frans Daneels, under Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Church’s top canonical tribunal.

The appointment could be significant for two reasons:

First, Bishop Sciacca has been serving in an office that was embroiled in controversy before his arrival. At the Vatican governorate he succeeded Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who is now apostolic nuncio to the US. Archbishop Vigano’s letters to Pope Benedict XVI, complaining of corruption in the Vatican government, were the most provocative documents unearthed by the “Vatileaks” scandal. Calm returned to the office after Bishop Sciacca’s arrival. His new appointment could therefore mean that he has earned the Pope’s trust, and/or that he is being transferred to an office less troubled by Vatican internal disputes.

Second, for the second time in recent weeks Pope Francis has added a new official to the staff of a Vatican office rather than replacing an outgoing official. Early this month he named Archbishop Guido Pozzo as secretary of the Ecclesia Dei commission, returning him to a position that had been vacant.


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