Pope Francis Appoints First Lay Head of Roman Curia’s Disciplinary Commission

The flag of Vatican City with St. Peter’s Basilica in the background. Credit: Bohumil Petrik/CNA.

Pope Francis appointed on Friday the first lay head of the Roman Curia’s disciplinary commission.

The Holy See press office announced on Jan. 8 that the pope had named Vincenzo Buonomo, rector of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, as president of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia.

Buonomo succeeds the Italian Bishop Giorgio Corbellini, who served in the role from 2010 until his death on Nov. 13, 2019.

The commission, founded in 1981, is the main disciplinary body within the curia, the administrative apparatus of the Holy See. It is responsible for determining sanctions against curial employees accused of misconduct, ranging from suspension to dismissal.

Buonomo, 59, is a professor of international law who has served as a consultant to the Holy See since the 1980s.

He worked with Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, Vatican Secretary of State from 1979 to 1990, as well as Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State from 2006 to 2013. He edited a book of Bertone’s speeches.

Pope Francis appointed the law professor as an adviser to Vatican City in 2014.

Buonomo made history in 2018 when he became the first lay professor to be named rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, also known as the “Pope’s university.”

The disciplinary commission consists of a president and six members appointed for five-year terms by the pope.

Its first president was Venezuelan Cardinal Rosalio Castillo Lara, who served from 1981 to 1990. He was succeeded by Italian Cardinal Vincenzo Fagiolo, who led the commission from 1990 to 1997, when he stepped aside for Italian Cardinal Mario Francesco Pompedda, who served as president until 1999.

The Spanish Cardinal Julián Herranz Casado oversaw the commission from 1999 to 2010.

The Holy See press office also announced on Jan. 8 the appointment of two new members of the commission: Msgr. Alejandro W. Bunge, the Argentine president of the Labor Office of the Apostolic See, and the Spanish layman Maximino Caballero Ledero, secretary-general of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy.

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