Pope chooses Franciscan leader as Secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for religious

From La Stampa:
In his first significant appointment to the Roman Curia, Pope Francis has taken the highly unusual step of naming the actual head of a religious order, Father Jose Rodriguez Carballo, as Secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated life and the Societies of Apostolic Life (formerly known as ‘The Congregation for Religious’).

When the Pope chose him, the 59-year old Spanish priest was Minister General or head of the largest group of the Franciscan family – the Order of Friars Minor (OFM), which has some 15,000 friars in 113 countries. He was first elected to that post in 2003, and re-elected for another six-year term in 2009 as head of an order that is contracting in Western Europe and North America, holding steady in Latin America, and gaining vocations in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.

The Vatican broke the news of Father Carballo’s appointment on April 6, and said Pope Francis has raised him to the rank of archbishop.
Anybody know about Fr Carballo’s history?

Vatican City, Apr 6, 2013 / 09:27 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis made his first appointment within the Roman Curia this morning, choosing his friend, Franciscan Father José Rodríguez Carballo, to help run the Vatican’s congregation for consecrated religious.

The Vatican announced April 6 that Pope Francis appointed Fr. Carballo to serve as secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, simultaneously raising him to the level of archbishop and giving him the titular see of Belcastro.

Until his appointment today, Fr. Carballo was the Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, the 119th successor of St. Francis of Assisi.  He was elected to that position on June 5, 2003 and re-elected for another six years on June 4, 2009.

Besides being the head of one of the largest international religious orders, Fr. Carballo also personally knows Pope Francis.

In a March 14, 2013 video greeting to the new Pope, Fr. Carballo explained that he received the news of Francis’ election with joy because “I know him personally” and because of the name he chose.

“In 2004 he came to visit me at our Franciscan General Curia in Rome. He wanted to ask about some things referring to the Church of Argentina and the Order,” he recalled.

The meeting lasted for an hour, and during that time Fr. Carballo said that “it seemed to me that I had before me a Franciscan brother, a companion, a friend as if we had known each other all our lives.”

“We met on other occasions as well, especially at the Synods, and I was always struck by his simplicity, austerity, closeness and ability to listen,” he said in the video.

That Pope Francis would choose someone he knows as the second in command for the congregation makes sense, given that his familiarity with the personnel in the Church’s central administration is not extensive.

Fr. Carballo succeeds American Archbishop Joseph Tobin, who was appointed to lead the Indianapolis archdiocese in October 2012. The congregation has been involved in a visitation of U.S. religious sisters that was not well received by all the orders involved.

Cardinal Franc Rodé, the congregation's former prefect, began the visitation in December 2008, to “look into the quality of life” of communities nationwide. In January 2011, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz took over from Cardinal Rodé as head of the congregation for religious.

Fr. Carballo was born in 1953 in Lodoselo, Spain. He speaks Spanish, Galician, Italian, French, English and Portuguese, and also knows Latin, Biblical Greek and Biblical Hebrew.

He has published numerous articles in Journals on Consecrated and Religious Life, on Pastoral Theology, Sacred Scripture, Biblical Theology, and Franciscan spirituality.

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Full article…

I wish i had a penny for Bro. Jay’s thoughts on this. :slight_smile: For me, it 's a pleasant surprise.

Accordiing to my Jesuit friend and mentor: he will bring a sympathetic and deep understanding of the potentials and challenges of the religious life to his new job.

Here’s another take on that:

American nuns have seen the election of a Jesuit pope devoted to the poor as a glimmer of hope following a Vatican crackdown under Francis’ predecessor, Benedict XVI. The nuns were accused of focusing too much on social justice — one of Francis’ priorities — at the expense of other church issues, like abortion.

From usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/04/06/pope-francis-curia-appointment/2058653/

Whether the glimmer of hope is warranted or not probably depends on exactly what it is that they hope. It would not surprise me at all if Francis embraces the social justice issues of some of these religious orders more strongly, and overlooks a few more problematic issues than Benedict was prepared to do. I don’t think open support for abortion is going to be tolerated, however.

While he might be a little more lenient on dress, I’m not sure that he won’t take quite a uncompromising line on matters of the Faith. Vatican Radio talks about a homily he gave today, 6 Apr, at Casa San Marta:The Pontiff asked this question: “How’s our faith? Is it strong? Or is it sometimes a bit superficial? (watered down)” When difficulties come, “are we courageous like Peter or a little lukewarm?” Peter – he pointed out– didn’t stay silent about the Faith, he didn’t descend to compromises, because “the Faith isn’t negotiable.” “There has been, throughout history of the people, this temptation: to chop a piece off the Faith”, the temptation to be a bit “like everyone else does”, the temptation “not to be so very rigid”. “But when we start to cut down the Faith, to negotiate Faith, a little like selling it to the highest bidder”, he stressed, “we take the path of apostasy, of disloyalty to the Lord.”
And while I do not doubt he will stress our need to perform corporal works of mercy, I am not at all convinced that he is going to support what most left-wingers call “social justice” (i.e., heavy government redistribution, massive socialism, etc.)

I also read from a Catholic news source, that Pope Francis is considering either closing or completely reorganizing the Vatican bank.

[quote="markomalley]And while I do not doubt he will stress our need to perform corporal works of mercy, I am not at all convinced that he is going to support what most left-wingers call “social justice” (i.e., heavy government redistribution, massive socialism, etc.)
[/quote]

I agree that he’s not going to go that route, but if individual religious share their opinion that happens to lean that direction, I don’t think he is going to care that much.

My understanding of the LCWR issue was that one of the main issues was the succession of very poor choices (some even heretical) as speakers at their conferences. That kind of open support of abortion, or women’s ordination to the priesthood, etc is likely to be condemned. However, Francis did take stands and make compromises in Buenos Aires that were sometimes dubious and certainly raised eyebrows. I think he is likely to have tolerance for some of these positions or actions that may be at the edge of what is acceptable, so long as it is clearly in the context of the true goals and mission of these religious orders.

At the same time, now that he’s won over so many since his election, he will soon have to flex his muscles a bit to show that the new sheriff in town is not a pushover.

I think you will find that some of these “stands” that you are referring to is not true. I have been doing a lot of research since he was elected and I’m pretty darn sure that nowhere did he agree with abortion or women’s ordination as Cardinal. Could you elaborate on what you are referring to?

I also think he will soon have to flex his muscles. Now that the crazy, busy time of Holy Week is over I tend to think he’ll start to really settle in and we’ll start seeing some more flexing. However, I suspect that a lot of that will not be reported so prevalently in the mainstream media, unlike his comments about the poor, etc.

That was my point, that he isn’t going to even tacitly support things that are clearly contrary to doctrine, like abortion or women’s ordination to the priesthood.

However, you may recall that he apparently was willing to support gay civil unions. He may not have been excited about them, but he seems to have made a prudential judgement that if the state moved in that direction, it would be less likely to enact full-fledged gay marriage. I think this was an unusual move by a high-ranking Church official at the time; I don’t recall a lot of support for this sort of strategy here on this board, nor do I recall any other bishop taking this approach. That is the type of thing I think he will tolerate on the part of religious.

I thought that that was refuted.

Looking back, I see that there was a denial on the part of one person who would seem like a reliable witness, and in a position to know. This against Bergoglio’s official biographer, who we have to assume has similar qualifications.

How can they disagree?[LIST=1]
*]One is lying
*]They have different recollections (or the people they spoke with have different recollections) of the same events
*]Bergoglio said different things at different times, and so both are accurately reporting statements or posiitions from different occasions
[/LIST]I lean toward #2, but I think #3 is possible. Bergoglio’s biographer presumably held extended discussions with him, and also with many people he worked with. Why would he come to his conclusion, if it were not so? I can only assume that Bergoglio’s position, actions, or words were wishy-washy enough that if he didn’t tacitly support gay civil unions, he came close enough to doing so that there was room for confusion. Further investigation is called for, but in the meantime, with two equally credible but opposing claims, I don’t think it’s accurate to simply write the first one off as “refuted.”

The principle source of the claim, Bergoglio biographer Sergio Rubín, “never said who told him, when they told him,” said Woites. “It’s not correct to write something like that out of thin air. That (New York Times) article was very criticized by the bishops. He certainly would have referred to unions of convenience but not that anything be legalized.”

Eh, this seems to suggest that the biographer didn’t hear this straight from the Cardinal’s mouth, so I’m leaning towards it’s not true.

Oh and then we have the gay activist seconding the biographer;s ideas:

The claim has been seconded by homosexual activist Marcelo Marquez, who told the Times that Bergoglio “told me that homosexuals need to have recognized rights and that he supported civil unions, but not same-sex marriage.”

He clearly lends credibility to this claim. :rolleyes:

Of course the source for this suggestion is the person who disagrees with Rubin.:shrug:

More than likely, Franciscan Archbishop Carballo as the new Secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Religious will not make too many waves with the Franciscan ‘nuns on the bus’ ministry for social justice. Maybe attempt to introduce a balance of Catholic teaching regarding the unborn, as well as for social justice for those who are born…a difficult task considering the divisive politics in America and the incomplete Catholic social and moral teaching represented by each of the two political parties.

[quote="Digitonomy]he apparently was willing to support gay civil unions
[/quote]

New reporting on this from respected journalist John Allen: Hard questions about Francis in Argentina

I was told by three sources in Argentina that the Times basically got it right: Bergoglio did, in fact, favor civil unions.

That was confirmed on background by two senior officials of the bishops’ conference in Argentina, both of whom worked with Bergoglio and took part in the behind-the-scenes discussions as the conference tried to shape its position…

Guillermo Villarreal, a Catholic journalist in Argentina, said it was well known at the time that Bergoglio’s moderate position was opposed by Archbishop Héctor Rubén Aguer of La Plata, the leader of the hawks. The difference was not over whether to oppose gay marriage, but how ferociously to do so and whether there was room for a compromise on civil unions…

“At that time, there were different views within the bishops’ conference on how open the church should be [to compromise solutions],” Oesterheld said. “The cardinal went along with what the majority wanted. He didn’t impose his own views. He never publicly expressed his own feelings on the matter, because he didn’t want to seem to be undercutting the common position of the bishops.”

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