ROME – The shake-up at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith continues, as Pope Francis appointed Monsignor Giacomo Morandi to be its second highest-ranking official.
The Italian Biblicist had already been chosen by the pope in 2015 to be the undersecretary of the congregation charged with ensuring the coherent and correct interpretation of Catholic theology.
The promotion follows the announcement on July 1 that Spanish Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, the former deputy of the doctrinal congregation appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008, was to be its new prefect.
Ferrer replaced the German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, 69, who had taken a more conservative interpretation of Francis’s encyclical Amoris Laetitia concerning divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.
Morandi, at the relatively young age of 51, is therefore the pope’s new inside man within the congregation, after serving as a priest in the northern Italian diocese of Modena-Nonantola since 1990.
In his native city of Modena, Morandi had also been the episcopal vicar for catechesis, evangelization, and culture. In 2008 he earned his doctorate in missiology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he also worked as a professor and vice-rector.
Among his other accomplishments, the new deputy obtained his license in Biblical studies in 1992 at the Vatican’s Biblicum Institute and was a lecturer on patristic exegesis at the Academy of theology named after Czech Cardinal Tomáš Špidlík, with ties to the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome.
“As a diocese we are honored by the decision made by Pope Francis, who recognized in one of our priests the qualities and gifts necessary to perform such a delicate and complex service for the Universal Church,” the bishop of Modena Erio Catsellucci told local newspapers.
The bishop added that the date of Morandi’s ordination as Archbishop of Cerveteri, though still unconfirmed, will probably be at the end of September at the Duomo of Modena.