Aprile 2013

Named the new Secretary

Pope appoints Franciscan

National Catholic Reporter

VATICAN CITY – In his first appointment to the Vatican’s central bureaucracy, Pope Francis has named the head of the main group of Franciscans as the Vatican’s second-in-command for religious life.

The pope has named Franciscan Fr. José Rodríguez Carballo as secretary for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the Vatican announced Saturday.

A Spaniard who was serving in Rome as the minister general of the Orders of Friars Minor, which traces its roots directly to St. Francis of Assisi and represents some 15,000 friars in 113 countries, Rodríguez replaces in the post U.S. Archbishop Joseph Tobin.

Tobin was unexpectedly named archbishop of Indianapolis last fall.

Rodríguez’s appointment will likely be scrutinized by those looking to see if Francis is undertaking a reform of the Vatican’s bureaucracy, known as the curia, following a series of scandals, including last fall’s trial of the papal butler for stealing personal documents of Pope Benedict XVI.

The Vatican announced Rodríguez’s appointment in a press release Saturday, and said he would also be made an archbishop.

Rodríguez’s appointment to the congregation for religious represents something of an unusual step, as it is not always the head of a religious order who takes the post.

Additionally, Rodríguez had been serving as president of the Union of Superiors General, an international group based in Rome that represents male members of religious orders around the world.

Rodríguez holds degrees in biblical theology and sacred scripture from Jerusalem’s Studium Biblicum Franciscanum and the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, respectively.

According the Friars’ website, he speaks Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, and English, and was ordained a priest in 1977 by Pope Paul VI.

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