Pope names members of Dicastery for Culture and Education

Pope Francis talks with Portuguese Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça, Vatican archivist and librarian, during a ceremony in the Vatican Library Nov. 5, 2021. Pope Francis has named Cardinal de Mendonça to be prefect of the new Dicastery for Culture and Education. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – 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.

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.

Canadian Cardinal Gérald Lacroix of Quebec and U.S. Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, N.J., were among the cardinals named members.

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

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."

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.



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