Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix. CNS photo

Quebec bishops named to new dicastery

  • March 3, 2023

VATICAN CITY -- After uniting two offices in June to form the Dicastery for Culture and Education, Pope Francis named a full slate of 34 members and 40 consultants for the office which promotes human values in culture and education and works with Catholic schools and universities around the world.

Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Quebec, and Archbishop Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau, are among the members of the brand new dicastery, as is Cardinal Marc Ouellet. The prefect of the dicastery, since September 2022, is Portuguese Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça.

The appointments were announced by the Vatican Feb. 18.

The new members include 15 cardinals, 16 bishops and three laymen: Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication; Francesc Torralba, director of the ethics chair at Spain’s Ramon Llull University in Barcelona; and Rafael Vicuña, a professor of molecular biology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in Santiago.

Most of the consultants — 19 priests, three religious sisters and 18 lay men and women — are rectors of Catholic universities or professors at Catholic-run institutions of higher learning.

Many of the consultants teach at or are involved in the administration of pontifical universities in Rome. But they also include Barbara Jatta, director of the Vatican Museums, and Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, director of the Rome-based Jesuit journal, La Civiltà Cattolica.

The dicastery was born from the merger of the former pontifical council for culture with the congregation for Catholic education. It was in March 2022 that Pope Francis promulgated the apostolic constitution Praedicate Evangelium, reforming the Roman Curia and creating 16 dicasteries.

Durocher and Lacroix were members of the Pontifical Council for Culture. Ouellet was a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Marianne Evans Mount, outgoing president of the Catholic Distance University, based in Charles Town, West Virginia, was among the consultants named. The university, which began as a catechetical institute offering correspondence courses, says it is now “the world’s only exclusively online, fully accredited Catholic university.”

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