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Diocese of Rome shake-up: Pope Francis transfers vicar to Vatican post

April 08, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: Pope Francis has named Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, his vicar for Rome since 2017, as Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary, succeeding Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, 79, who had held the position since 2013.

The Pontiff also transferred Auxiliary Bishop Daniele Libanori, SJ, out of the Diocese of Rome, and named him to the new and ill-defined role of assessor for consecrated life.

Cardinal De Donatis has faced criticism for the vicariate’s support of Father Marko Ivan Rupnik’s Aletti Centre, while Bishop Libonari has been outspoken in defense of the women who allege abuse by the Slovenian priest and artist.

In a 2023 reorganization of the Diocese of Rome, Pope Francis significantly reduced the cardinal vicar’s influence in governing the diocese. The Austrian bishops’ news agency reported that Bishop Libonari, who was responsible for pastoral care in the center of Rome, was “regarded as a man with a strong will to assert himself, who relied more on orders than on consensus.”

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