June 16, 2012. (Romereports.com)
Up until just a few days ago, Cardinal Raffaele Farina
looked over one of the world's most famous libraries. But now, he will no longer head the Vatican's Apostolic Library or its Secret Archive.
The Cardinal decided to retire as his 80th birthday approaches in September. So now, Benedict XVI is looking for someone else to take over that job.
That won't be easy though, since Farina has a very extensive cultural background. For years, he was the rector of the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome. Since 1997, he also worked in the Pope's library. Over the years, he served as its director and then in 2007 he became the Pope's librarian, where he would also look over the archive.
Perhaps more than anything, he will be remembered for leading the impressive re-structuring of the library. For three years it closed its doors and was completely modernized to improve safety and to prevent the misplacement of volumes.
His work is also marked with the Vatican exhibit titled “Lux in Arcana.” It goes through 400 years of writings to show key documents from the Vatican's Secret Archive. Among them is the sentence of Galileo Galilei and the trial of the Templars.
For now, it seems that the leading candidate who could take over the job, is Msgr. Cesare Pasini, who currently serves as the director of the Library.
Another candidate is Italian Sergio Pagano. Since 2007, he has served as the prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives.
Whoever is chosen will be the Pope's new Librarian. In addition, he will look over historical treasures like the manuscripts of Virgil, and the Divine Comedy with illustrations by Boccacio.
The job won't be easy, since he will also be in charge of overseeing that volumes are transferred into a digital format. That job alone, is expected to take roughly ten years.
The end result though, won't go unnoticed. Every year, roughly 20,000 PhD students from all religions and from about 60 countries go through the doors of the Vatican's Apostolic Library, to do research with books and treasures that are truly one of a kind.