Pope Francis today appointed Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi to the longest string of functions and offices that a cardinal in the Curia can conceivably have. The 71-year-old cardinal, who headed the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See from 2011 to today, is now all of the following:
- Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education (for Educational Institutions)
- President of the Pontifical Work for Ecclesiastical Vocations
- Patron of the Pontifical Superior Institute of Latinità
- Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
- Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology
- Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music
- Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Gregorian University
All this while he already was, and continues to be
- Member of the College for the review of appeals by clergy accused of delicta graviora
- Pontifical Delegate for the Congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Conception
In short, Cardinal Versaldi is now in charge of the educational work of the Holy See, with one exception: responsibility for the seminaries lies with the Congregation for Clergy. Cardinal Versaldi succeeds Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, who retires at the age of 75. The Polish cardinal held the positions listed above since 1999. He remains, like Cardinal Versaldi, a Member of the College for the review of appeals by clergy accused of delicta graviora, which was established by the Holy Father in January.
As the Vatican is in the middle of a major overhaul of its economic and financial activities, it will be ineresting to see who will succeed Cardinal Versaldi as of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
Cardinal Versaldi was born in 1943 and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Vercelli in 1967. He was vicar general under the later Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and was appointed as Bishop of Alessandria (della Paglia) in 2007. In 2011 he came to Rome to become President of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI created him Cardinal-Deacon of Sacro Cuore di Gesù a Castro Pretorio. The cardinal is a member of the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
In 2013, Cardinal Versaldi showed himself to be firmly in the camp of those who see no merit in changing the Church’s teaching on marriage.