CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 23 June 2018

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Layperson heads Pontifical Lateran University for the first time

VATICAN (CNS): Pope Francis named 57-year-old Vincenzo Buonomo, rector of Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University—the first layperson to head the institution, according to a Vatican press release announced June 2.
 
Effective July 1, he will succeed 67-year-old Salesian Bishop Enrico dal Covolo, who was appointed rector in 2010.
 
Born on 17 April 1961, in Gaeta, Italy, Buonomo specialises in international law and received his doctorate from the Lateran in 1983. He began teaching civil law at the university in 1984 and became a full professor in 2001.
 
He also assisted the Holy See’s permanent observer at the United Nations food and agriculture agencies based in Rome—the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme—in 1983 and became its office manager in 2007.
 
Pope Francis named him an adviser of the Vatican City State in 2014.
 
Buonomo’s predecessors at the Lateran University include: Cardinal Angelo Scola (1995 to 2002), patriarch of Venice; and Archbishop Rino Fisichella (2002 to 2010), president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation. 
 
The Congregation for Catholic Education named the first woman rector of pontifical university in Rome in 2014 when it appointed then-49-year-old Angeline Franciscan Sister Mary Melone as rector of Rome’s Pontifical Antonianum University.
 
Known as the pope’s university because it is the university of the Bishop of Rome, the Lateran traces its roots to 1773 when Pope Clement XIV merged Rome’s seminary with the college of theology.
 
Today about 3,000 seminarians, priests, women and men religious and lay students from 100 countries study at the university for degrees in theology, philosophy, civil and canon law.

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