We use our own and third party cookies to improve your user experience; by continuing to browse, we understand that you accept their use. You can get more information on our cookies policy.

Rome Reports

You are using an outdated browser

In order to deliver the greatest experience to our visitors we use cutting edge web development techniques that require a modern browser. To view this page please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer 11 or greater

Card. Farrell on being named Camerlengo: I accept, if the pope speaks at my funeral

The Holy See's Camerlengo position has been vacant since early July, after the death of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, but that is no longer the case. Among other things, he is the person who officially declares the Holy Father's death to the public.

The position has been given to Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect for the Dicastery of Laity, Family and Life. 

Prefect for the Dicastery of Laity, Family and Life
“I was shocked. I was surprised I, you know, told the Holy Father that, 'Yeah, I'd accept, but on one condition - that he speak at my funeral.” So what can I say? To be quite honest with you, I have never thought of anything like this. I will confess that I really don't even know the details of what the Camerlengo does. and but I'm sure there will be somebody who will coach me and tell me exactly what I'm supposed to do.”

All joking aside, he presumes the nomination at this point in time is not significant of health problems with Pope Francis, but rather a task the Holy Father hadn't gotten around to doing.

Prefect for the Dicastery of Laity, Family and Life
“I guess somebody put a piece of paper in front of the Holy Father sometime recently and said to him, 'Holy Father, you have to name a Camerlengo. It's part of the structure of the Church. I'm sure he said, 'Oh, yeah, you better get me a list of all the Cardinals?' I don't know. But that's my guess.”

Upon the death of a pope, the Camerlengo is one of only two officials in the Curia to keep their position.

Editor of Crux
“The only ceremonial role of significance left to the Camerlengo is that he still is the official who formally certifies the pope's death, removes his ring and shatters it, so that no one can falsify documents using the pope's seal.”

The Camerlengo also acts as the Vatican City head of state until a new pope is elected and administers the financial affairs during the 'sede vacante.'