Pope Francis names lay person head of Vatican’s disciplinary body

Pope Francis has named a lay person as head of the Vatican’s disciplinary commission, the main disciplinary body within the curia, the administrative apparatus of the Holy See.

The pope named Vincenzo Buonomo, rector of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, as president of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia, on Jan. 8.

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

The Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia was established in 1981 to determine sanctions against employees of the curia who are accused of misconduct.

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, and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State from 2006 to 2013.

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

In 2018, 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.

Also named members of the commission are Monsignor Alejandro W. Bunge, president of the Labor Office of the Apostolic See, and Maximino Caballero Ledero, a lay person and secretary-general of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy.

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