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Wednesday, August 17, 2016
#PopeFrancis establishes New Dicastery on "Laity, Family and Life" with Bishop Farrell as Prefect
On Wednesday, the Vatican released a motu proprio by Pope Francis which officially establishes the new dicastery on the Laity, Family, and Life.
“For many centuries, the Church, a caring mother, has had care and respect for the laity, the family, and life, manifesting the love of the merciful Savior for humanity,” reads the new document, which was signed August 15.
“Our thoughts turn to the laity, the family, and life, to whom we wish to offer support and help, because they are active witness to the Gospel in our time and an expression of the goodness of the Redeemer.”
The new Vatican department will take on the duties of the current Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family.
The Laity, Family, and Life dicastery will take effect on Sept. 1. At that point, the Pontifical Councils for the Laity and the Family will cease.
Bishop Kevin Joseph Farrell, who until now has served as the bishop of Dallas, Texas, has been appointed as the first prefect of the new dicastery.
He is the brother of Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary for the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
In his Apostolic Letter the Pope wrote that the new Dicastery will be "governed by special Statues" and all the responsibilities and functions held by the current Pontifical Councils for the Laity and for the Family will be transferred to the new Dicastery from September 1st. After that date the two Councils in question will cease to exist.
As a loving Mother, the Pope wrote, the Church has always throughout the centuries shown her concern for the laity, the family and life, by witnessing our Lord’s merciful love for humanity and we want to ensure that “the riches of Jesus Christ are poured out appropriately and with profusion among the faithful.”
For this reason, we are taking prompt moves so that that "the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia can respond to the situation of our times and adapt to the needs of the universal Church. In particular, our thoughts are turned towards the laity, the family and life to whom we wish to offer our support and help so that they are active witnesses of the Gospel in our times and as a sign of the goodness of the Lord." (Combined Reports from Vatican Radio)