Pope Francis appoints Cardinal Farrell as Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church
February 14, 2019
Cardinal Kevin Farrell, the prefect of the dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life, has been named camerlengo by Pope Francis.
The camerlengo (chamberlain) is the head of the Apostolic Camera, the Vatican office responsible for administration of the Vatican and the temporal goods of the Holy See during the vacancy created by the death or resignation of a Roman Pontiff.
Because the serious work of the camerlengo occurs only during a papal interregnum, Cardinal Farrell will be able to continue his work as head of the dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life. His appointment fills an opening created when the previous camerlengo, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, died last July 5.
A native of Ireland, Kevin Farrell was a prominent member of the Legionaries of Christ until 1984, when he was incardinated as a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC. He became an auxiliary bishop of Washington and vicar general of the archdiocese, serving under then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. In 2007 he was appointed Bishop of Dallas, serving there until he was named in 2016 to his current post. He was raised to the College of Cardinals by Pope Francis later that year.
The appointment of Cardinal Farrell comes, ironically, at a time when reports in Rome suggest that the new camerlengo’s mentor, McCarrick, will soon be laicized. Cardinal Farrell has said that although he lived with McCarrick, he was completely unaware of the former cardinal’s misconduct, and “shocked” by the revelations that occurred last year. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who has , remarked: “I think no one can honestly believe him.”
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