Irish priest to head Vatican Congregation disciplinary section

Msgr John Kennedy joined CDF in 2003 under then cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

Msgr John Kennedy: The CDF’s disciplinary office includes among its responsibilities dealing with credible allegations of clerical child sexual abuse

Msgr John Kennedy: The CDF’s disciplinary office includes among its responsibilities dealing with credible allegations of clerical child sexual abuse

 

An Irish priest, Msgr John Kennedy, has been appointed by Pope Francis to head the Vatican’s disciplinary office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). It is one of the four separate sections at the CDF which include the doctrinal office, the matrimonial office, that for priests, and the disciplinary office.

The disciplinary office includes among its responsibilities dealing with credible allegations of clerical child sexual abuse submitted by bishops across the world.

From Clontarf

A priest of the Dublin archdiocese, Msgr Kennedy is from Clontarf and has been working with the CDF since 2003, beginning his service there under then CDF prefect cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

He was ordained in 1993 and worked in Crumlin and Francis Street parishes before undertaking postgraduate studies in Canon Law in Rome in 1998. He entered the service of the Holy See in September 2002.

In an interview with the Zenit website he described his reaction to the resignation of Benedict in February 2013: “You sometimes meet people who ask you: ‘Do you remember where you were on the day when JFK was shot, or the Twin Towers came down, or when World War II ended?’ I can think very clearly of exactly where I was.

Ski trip

“I was in the north of Italy, and I was just ready to leave the hotel after a two-day ski trip, and my brother phoned and said: ‘What’s going on in Rome?’ I said, ‘I don’t really know. I’m not there.’ He said: ‘Switch on the TV as soon as you can, and you’ll see exactly what’s going on.’”

Benedict is “a shy, but extremely intelligent man, a person who was very sincere, very gentle”, he said.