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Two key appointments to Roman Curia

Catholic World News - October 07, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI has made two key appointments to the Roman Curia, naming Archbishop Mauro Piacenza as the new prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy and Archbishop Robert Sarah as president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

Archbishop Piacenza, a 66-year-old Italian prelate who is generally regarded as an ally by conservative Catholics in Rome, will replace Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the Brazilian Franciscan who has been prefect of the Congregation for Clergy since 2006. Cardinal Hummes had submitted his resignation more than a year ago, upon reaching the age of 75. As the prefect of a Vatican congregation, he is likely to be elevated quickly to the College of Cardinals.

Archbishop Sarah, a 65-year-old from Guinea, replaces Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes as the head of Cor Unum, the charitable arm of the papacy. Cardinal Cordes, too, is resigning at the age of 76, after a 15-year term as head of Cor Unum.

The appointment of Archbishop Piacenza breaks with ordinary Vatican practice in one way. It is quite unusual for the Pope to promote the second-ranking official in a Vatican dicastery to the top position. Yet Archbishop Piacenza had been serving as secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy. Archbishop Sarah had been the secretary of the Congregation for Evangelization. The Vatican has not yet announced their replacements.

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