Pope keeps retiring cardinal on as papal delegate to Legionaries

By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Italian Cardinal Velasio De Paolis as head of the Vatican’s economic affairs office but is keeping him on for the time being as papal delegate to the Legionaries of Christ.

Bishops are required by canon law to submit their resignations when they turn 75, and it is up to the pope to decide when to accept that request for retirement.

The pope only accepted Cardinal De Paolis’ request to step down as president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See. He appointed Italian Bishop Giuseppe Versaldi to be the prefecture’s new president, elevating him to archbishop.

The Vatican released the written announcement Sept. 21.

Pope Benedict appointed Cardinal De Paolis to head the prefecture in 2008 at the age of 72.

The cardinal was given a second appointment in 2010 as the pope’s personal delegate with broad powers of authority over the Legionaries of Christ while the order undergoes a Vatican-led reform and reorganization. The reform efforts came after revelations that the order’s founder, the late Mexican Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, had fathered children and sexually abused seminarians.

The 76-year-old cardinal, an expert in church law who specializes in religious institutes, will continue as papal delegate to the order until the pope decides otherwise.