Pope names Argentine bishop, author of kissing book, to top Vatican post

Pope names Argentine bishop, author of kissing book, to top Vatican post

Pope Francis has appointed an Argentine theologian and prolific author, who previously wrote a book on the healing properties of kissing, to be the new head of the Catholic Church’s doctrinal chief, one of the Vatican’s top positions. The Vatican announced on Saturday that Francis had chosen Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, also from Argentina, to lead the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF). The DDF is responsible for promoting and safeguarding doctrine on faith and morals, and it oversees theological work to ensure it aligns with Church doctrine and provides guidance, clarifications, and corrections.

In a letter to Fernandez, Francis acknowledged the department’s past use of “immoral methods” and its own doctrinal mistakes, making an apparent reference to the Inquisition, which was notorious for its persecution of heretics and employed torture and executions during Medieval times. The position of DDF prefect was previously held by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger for 23 years before he became Pope Benedict in 2005.

Fernandez, who is 60 years old, has authored around 300 books and articles and previously served as the rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, where he was also the dean of the theology department. In 1995, when he was 33 years old, Fernandez wrote a book titled “Heal Me With Your Mouth – The Art of Kissing,” which was later published in English in 2017. In the book’s introduction, Fernandez clarified that it was not based on his personal experiences but rather on the lives of people who kiss, as well as the writings of poets on the subject. He described the kiss as a moment when two individuals come together, with nothing else mattering.

The Vatican did not mention Fernandez’s book in the list of his publications that accompanied the announcement of his appointment. However, it is likely that Francis will elevate Fernandez to the rank of cardinal, as the prefect of the DDF traditionally holds that position. Fernandez is expected to assume his new role in September, succeeding Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria, a Spanish Jesuit, who is nearing the end of his term.

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Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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