Julián Herranz Casado

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His Eminence
Julián Herranz Casado
President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts
Appointed 19 December 1994
Term ended 15 February 2007
Predecessor Vincenzo Fagiolo
Successor Francesco Coccopalmerio
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of Sant’Eugenio pro hac vice
Ordination 7 August 1955
by Juan Ricote Alonso
Consecration 6 January 1991
by Pope John Paul II
Created Cardinal 21 October 2003
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Born (1930-03-31) 31 March 1930 (age 87)
Baena, Spain
Nationality Spanish
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
  • Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts (1983–1994)
  • Titular Archbishop of Vertara (1990–2003)
Motto domine ut videam
Coat of arms Julián Herranz Casado's coat of arms

Julián Herranz Casado (born 31 March 1930) is a Spanish Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He served as president of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts in the Roman Curia from 1994 to 2007, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 2003.

One of two cardinals – along with Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne – who belong to Opus Dei, Herranz Casado is the organisation's highest-ranking member in the Church's hierarchy. He is also considered one of the foremost experts in canon law, and to have been one of the Vatican's most influential figures during the period shortly before the death of Pope John Paul II.


Born in Baena in the Province of Córdoba, Herranz Casado joined Opus Dei in 1949 after reading a conspiratorial story about it as editor of a university newspaper.[1] He was ordained as a priest of Opus Dei on 7 August 1955 by Bishop Juan Ricote Alonso, after obtaining doctorates in medicine from the Universities of Barcelona and Navarra and in canon law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome.[2] He taught canon law at the University of Navarra and travelled worldwide on behalf of Opus Dei until 1960, when he began to work for the Roman Curia.

During the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), Herranz Casado served as an assistant of study on the commissions for discipline of clergy and the Christian people. In 1984, he was appointed secretary for the Pontifical Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of the Code of Canon Law.[3] On 15 December 1990, he was appointed Titular Archbishop of Vertara by Pope John Paul II. Herranz Casado received his episcopal consecration on 6 January 1991 from John Paul II himself, with Archbishops Giovanni Battista Re and Justin Francis Rigali serving as co-consecrators, in St. Peter's Basilica. On 9 December 1994, he was named President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts for the Roman Curia, a position in which he was responsible for advising the pope on matters of Church law.

Styles of
Julián Herranz Casado
Coat of arms of Julian Herranz Casado.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

He was created Cardinal-Deacon of S. Eugenio by John Paul II in the consistory of 21 October 2003.[3]

According to Vatican journalist Sandro Magister, by the end of 2004, Herranz Casado was "constantly gaining influence" in the internal affairs of the Vatican.[citation needed] Along with Joseph Ratzinger, Angelo Sodano, and the Pope's private secretary, Archbishop Stanisław Dziwisz, Herranz Casado is believed to have been largely responsible for leading the Curia at times when the Pope was incapacitated by illness.[4] Herranz finds conspiracy theories about Opus Dei particularly offensive, claiming that it has "no hidden agenda. The only policy is the message of Christ".[5]

Upon the death of John Paul II on 2 April 2005, Cardinal Herranz Casado and all major Vatican officials automatically lost their positions during the sede vacante. Herranz Casado was later confirmed as president of Legislative Texts by Pope Benedict XVI on the following 21 April.[6] He was one of the cardinal electors in the 2005 papal conclave yet was not generally considered a strong candidate for the papacy himself; instead, he was described as a highly influential insider, potentially playing the role of a "kingmaker" at the conclave. It has been reported that, both before and after Pope John Paul's death, Herranz convened meetings of cardinals at a villa in Grottarossa, a suburb of Rome.[7]

Pope Benedict XVI accepted Herranz's resignation as President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts on 15 February 2007.[8]

In March 2012 Pope Benedict XVI established a Commission of Cardinals to investigate leaks of reserved and confidential documents on television, in newspapers, and in other communications media (in what is known as the Vatileaks scandal). It first met on Tuesday, 24 April 2012. Cardinal Herranz served as the Chair, and was accompanied by Cardinals Jozef Tomko and Salvatore De Giorgi.[9]

Having served ten years as a cardinal-deacon, he was promoted to cardinal-priest by Pope Francis on 12 June 2014.[10]


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Vincenzo Fagiolo
President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts
19 December 1994 – 2 April 2005;
21 April 2005 – 15 February 2007
Succeeded by
Francesco Coccopalmerio