Action Alert!

The mounting Italian influence in the Roman Curia

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jul 10, 2018

Last week, in commenting on two important appointments, I failed to make an obvious point: Both Bishop Nunzio Galantino (the new head of APSA) and Paolo Ruffini (the new head of the dicastery for Communications) are Italians.

Vatican-watcher Andrea Gagliarducci sharpens the point:

This is the paradox: despite his will to make the Curia always more international, and to make the College of Cardinals always more representative of the world peripheries, Pope Francis’ latest top ranking appointments in the Vatican were given to people coming from the Italian bishops’ conference ranks.

(Bishop Galantino was the secretary-general of the Italian episcopal conference. Ruffini was director of the Italian bishops’ television network.)

At the dicastery for Communications, Ruffini will take up the task of uniting the Vatican’s publishing and broadcasting outlets: a task that had begun under the leadership of Msgr. Dario Edoardo Vigano. Who is Italian.

As head of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, Bishop Galantino will supervise the Vatican’s enormous real-estate holdings—which are, naturally, mostly in Italy. In theory, the work of APSA would be subject to the scrutiny of the Secretariat for the Economy, but that office is missing its prefect (Cardinal Pell is on leave in Australia), its secretary (Archbishop Xuereb is now apostolic nuncio in Korea), and its auditor general (Libero Milone was ousted nearly a year ago). Right now the ranking official at the Secretariat for the Economy is Father Luigi Misto. Who is Italian. And came to the Secretariat from his previous job at… wait for it… APSA, where he was the #2 man serving under Cardinal Domenico Calcagno. Who is Italian.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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