Pope begins Vatican Curia shake-up

Pope Benedict XVI has maed Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, the president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, apostolic nuncio to Egypt, in what is seen as the first of a large number of changes to the makeup of the Roman Curia..

Catholic World News reports that Archbishop Fitzgerald will also serve as the Vatican's representative to the Arab League.

The Vatican announcement of Archbishop Fitzgerald's new assignment, released yesterday, did not include the name of his successor at the Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue. Catholic World News suggests that rumours circulating in Rome about shifts and consolidation within the Roman Curia, indicate that his departure may be a signal that the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue will be eliminated, with its duties assigned to other Vatican offices.

Archbishop Fitzgerald will replace Archbishop Dino Marco Brogi, who has been apostolic nuncio in Egypt and delegate to the Arab League for the past 4 years. The two roles fit together naturally, since the Arab League headquarters are located in Cairo.

A native of Birmingham, in the UK, Archbishop Fitzgerald joined the White Fathers and was ordained a missionary priest in 1961. After studies in Rome and London he taught at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic studies, serving as director of that institute from 1972 to 1978. He was raised to the rank of archbishop in 2002 when he became president of the Pontifical Council.

After his election last April, Pope Benedict confirmed all of the leaders of the Roman Curia in the positions they had held under Pope John Paul II. Aside from naming Archbishop William Levada as his own replacement at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the only significant change the Pontiff had made in the leadership of the Curia, prior to yesterday's announcement, was the replacement of Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino as secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Vatican prelate reassigned; more changes to follow? (Catholic World News 15/2/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue
Roman Curia
Roman Curia (catholic-hierarchy.org)

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16 Feb 2006