“I believe I could be the last cleric in charge of this dicastery,” Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, told America on June 20 in an hour-long interview. He spoke about Pope Francis and the speculation about him resigning, as well as the World Meeting of Families, and the major changes he has brought about in this important Vatican office since the pope made him prefect in 2016.
The Irish-born American cardinal and former bishop of Dallas, Tex., is considered a big hitter in the Vatican because of the many important responsibilities that Pope Francis has entrusted to him in recent years. In the interview, we discussed the significance of these roles, which include overseeing investments and approving “reserved legal and financial matters” in the Vatican City State, along with the crucially important one of camerlengo (chamberlain), a key role in the interregnum in the Vatican when the pope resigns or dies.
It is with good reason that Cardinal Farrell is considered a big hitter in the Vatican, not only in his dicastery but also with regards to Vatican finances. These responsibilities reveal the great trust Pope Francis has placed in an American cardinal who had never worked in the Vatican before the pope called him and who speaks with the pontiff in fluent Spanish.
To continue reading this interview, click here.
Gerard O’Connell is America’s Vatican correspondent and author of The Election of Pope Francis: An Inside Story of the Conclave That Changed History. He has been covering the Vatican since 1985. @gerryorome
With thanks to America and Gerard O’Connell, where this article originally appeared.