Kevin Farrell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Kevin Joseph Farrell)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Kevin Joseph Farrell
Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church
Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life
Bishop Farrell in 2007.jpg
Farrell in 2007.
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
AppointedAugust 17, 2016
InstalledSeptember 1, 2016
Other posts
OrdinationDecember 24, 1978
by Eduardo Francisco Pironio
ConsecrationFebruary 11, 2002
by Theodore Edgar McCarrick
Created cardinalNovember 19, 2016
by Pope Francis
Personal details
Birth nameKevin Joseph Farrell
Born (1947-09-02) September 2, 1947 (age 71)
Dublin, Ireland
Previous post
MottoState In Fide
("Stand in Faith")
Coat of armsKevin Joseph Farrell's coat of arms
Ordination history of
Kevin Farrell
Priestly ordination
Ordained byEduardo Francisco Pironio
DateDecember 24, 1978
PlaceRome, Italy
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecratorTheodore Edgar McCarrick
Co-consecratorsJames Aloysius Hickey
Leonard Olivier
DateFebruary 11, 2002
Elevated byPope Francis
DateNovember 19, 2016
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Kevin Farrell as principal consecrator
J. Douglas DeshotelApril 27, 2010
Mark J. SeitzApril 27, 2010
John Gregory KellyFebruary 11, 2016
Styles of
Kevin Joseph Farrell
Coat of arms of Kevin Joseph Farrell (Camerlengo).svg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal

Kevin Joseph Farrell (born September 2, 1947) is an Irish-American prelate and a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, and a former member of the Legion of Christ, he was appointed the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, effective September 1, 2016. He was created a Cardinal on November 19, 2016. He was the seventh Bishop of Dallas, as well as the chancellor of the University of Dallas.

In July 2018, revelations that Farrell's mentor and former Archbishop of Washington Theodore McCarrick was guilty of abusing many young seminarians and priests over several decades brought calls in countless American publications for Farrell to clarify whether he knew of the allegations and did nothing. McCarrick consecrated Farrell to the episcopacy in 2001 and Farrell served as an auxiliary bishop under McCarrick in the Archdiocese of Washington through 2006 before Farrell was transferred to Dallas.[1][2][3][4] On February 14, 2019, Pope Francis named Farrell Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church.[5]

Early life[edit]

Farrell was born in Dublin and grew up speaking Gaelic.[6]

The second of four sons, he has an older brother, Brian, who currently[when?] serves as Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in the Roman Curia. Farrell studied under the Christian Brothers in Drimnagh, and entered the novitiate of the Legion of Christ in 1966. In 1967, he visited the United States[7] while raising funds for the missions of Latin America through the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith.[citation needed]

He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Salamanca in Spain, followed by studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned a Master's degree in Philosophy and licentiate in theology. He also attended the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), receiving a master's degree in dogmatic theology (1976) and Licentiate of Sacred Theology in pastoral theology (1977).[8] He also holds a Master's in business and administration from the University of Notre Dame.[9] Notre Dame also granted him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2017.[10]


Farrell was ordained to the priesthood in Rome on December 24, 1978. He then served as chaplain to the University of Monterrey in Mexico, where he also conducted seminars in bioethics and social ethics. He was also General Administrator of the Legion of Christ with responsibilities for seminaries and schools in Italy, Spain, and Ireland.[citation needed]

In 1984, Farrell was assigned to the United States and incardinated in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. He served as an associate pastor at St. Peter's Church, Olney, Maryland, St. Bartholomew Church, Bethesda, Maryland, and St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Washington, D.C. He succeeded Seán O'Malley, OFM Cap as director of the Spanish Catholic Center in 1986.[citation needed]

Farrell became acting director of Catholic Charities in 1988, and was the Archdiocesan Secretary of Finance from 1989 to 2001. He was raised to the rank of Honorary Prelate of His Holiness in 1995. In 2001, he was named vicar general for the archdiocese and pastor of Annunciation Church in Washington.[citation needed]


On December 28, 2001, Pope John Paul II appointed Farrell as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington with the titular see of Rusuccuru. He was consecrated on February 11, 2002, by Theodore Edgar Cardinal McCarrick, and served until 2007 as Washington's moderator of the curia and chief vicar-general.[citation needed]

He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on March 6, 2007 to replace the retiring Bishop of Dallas, Texas, Charles Victor Grahmann. He was installed on May 1, 2007.[11]

Within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Farrell was a consultant to the Committee on Migration, which oversaw the Migration and Refugee Services department. This department serves and advocates for refugees, asylees, other forced migrants, immigrants and people on the move.[12]

Farrell was the 2009 chair of the USCCB Committee on National Collections, which supports stewardship and coordinates the collections for social justice, evangelization, education and institutional development. His brother, Bishop Brian Farrell, is the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Kevin Farrell commented: "I'm younger, but I became bishop first, 12 months earlier. And we still have a little sibling rivalry."[13]

On August 17, 2016, Pope Francis appointed Farrell prefect of the newly established Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.[14]

On October 9, 2016, Pope Francis announced he would raise Farrell to the rank of cardinal in a consistory on November 19, 2016.[15] He was created a Cardinal-Deacon on that day and assigned to the church of San Giuliano Martire.[16] He became the highest ranking American clergyman serving in the Vatican since William Cardinal Levada.[citation needed]

In November 2016, Farrell stated that the United States' Roman Catholic bishops as a whole should have discussed pastoral guidelines for implementing Pope Francis's exhortation on the family before individual bishops began issuing guidelines for their own dioceses. Implementing the Pope's post synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, he said, "has to be done in communion with our bishops. I think that it would have been wiser to wait for the gathering of the conference of bishops where all the bishops of the United States or all the bishops of a country would sit down and discuss these things." Farrell was asked specifically about pastoral guidelines issued for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by Archbishop Charles Chaput. Among other things, the Philadelphia guidelines state that while divorced and civilly remarried couples should be welcome in parishes and accompanied by priests, they may not receive Communion unless they live as brother and sister.[17]

On June 10, 2017, Pope Francis named him a member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See,[18] and on December 23, 2017, a member of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State.[19]

On February 14, 2019 Pope Francis named him Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church.[20] With this new appointment, Farrell will oversee the preparations for a papal conclave and manage the administration of the Holy See in the period between a pope's death or renunciation and the election of a new pope.[5]


Association with Cardinal McCarrick[edit]

In July 2018, after publicity over a 50-year-old accusation that former Archbishop of Washington Theodore McCarrick had been accused of molesting a teenage boy, news came out that there were also many accusations and legal settlements in the three dioceses where McCarrick had served as ordinary that McCarrick had harassed and molested adult men in his seminary formation programs as well as young priests. Questions were presented in many news articles as to which of the bishops who served with McCarrick were aware and did nothing. Farrell is the highest ranking of these bishops, having been chosen in 2001 by McCarrick as an auxiliary bishop and then having served with McCarrick through the next six years in the leadership of the Archdiocese of Washington. In those years Farrell also served in the high ranking position of vicar general. He also shared an apartment with McCarrick in those years.[1][3][2] Journalist Michael Sean Winters called McCarrick Farrell's "mentor in the episcopacy."[21]

In September 2018, the Italian daily newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano claimed to have obtained a dossier on Cardinal Farrell, part of the 300-page report on financial corruption, homosexuality, and blackmail, centered around a gay mafia within the Vatican. Il Fatto Quotidiano asserted that the dossier was from the investigation conducted by Cardinals Julián Herranz, Salvatore De Giorgi, and Jozef Tomko in response to the 2012 Vatican leaks scandal. As of September 14, 2018, the newspaper has yet to release the dossier.[22]

University of Dallas Farrell Hall Controversy[edit]

Despite a reputation amongst the student body at the University of Dallas for supporting efforts to change the University into a more moderate institution, the university's Board of Trustees in 2016 announced they would honor Farrell by naming their newest building after him.[23][24] In 2018, the decision drew renewed criticism in light of the negative publicity surrounding Farrell's mentor and friend McCarrick.[3]

In the summer of 2018, after continued bad publicity regarding the relationship between Farrell and McCarrick, a website was formed arguing against honoring Farrell by the university and a petition was circulated through that website among students and alumni demanding that Farrell's name be removed from the new administration building.[25]


Gun control[edit]

Farrell is a supporter of gun control initiatives and opposes congressional deference to the "gun lobby".[26]


  1. ^ a b "Catholic Bishops Beg for a Clear Policy against Evil | National Review". National Review. July 26, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "McCarrick, the Bishops and Unanswered Questions". National Catholic Register. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "What Did The Cardinals Know?". The American Conservative. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  4. ^ "Cardinal Farrell claims 'shock' at Cardinal McCarrick abuse. Really?". LifeSiteNews. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ Hodges, Sam. "Bishop Kevin Farrell has whirlwind first year as Dallas' Catholic Diocese leader". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on June 29, 2010.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Bio".
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Diocese of Dallas, United States". October 18, 2008. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  12. ^ "Committee Membership". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Retrieved November 18, 2008.
  13. ^ Gaetan, Victor (March 26, 2015). "The Bishops Farrell: An Answer to an Irish Mother's Prayers". National Catholic Register. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  14. ^ "Rinunce e nomine" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. August 17, 2016.
  15. ^ "Annuncio di Concistoro per la creazione di nuovi Cardinali" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. October 9, 2016. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  16. ^ "Titular churches and diaconates of the new cardinals" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. November 19, 2016. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  17. ^ "Bishops need shared approach to Amoris Laetitia, new cardinal says". Catholic Herald. November 16, 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  18. ^ "Resignations and Appointments" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. June 10, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  19. ^ "Resignations and Appointments" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. December 23, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  20. ^ "Resignations and Appointments" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. February 14, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  21. ^ Winters, Michael Sean. "Bishop Farrell heads to Rome: What it means". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  22. ^ Fagnani, Francesca. "Vaticano, un dossier sul vescovo Farrell: ha convissuto per anni col cardinale dello scandalo McCarrick". Il Fatto Quotidiano.
  23. ^ "University Names New Building Cardinal Farrell Hall". Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  24. ^ "University of Dallas Celebrates Completion of Cardinal Farrell Hall - Hill & Wilkinson". Hill & Wilkinson. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  25. ^ "#FarewellFarrell". Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  26. ^ "Horror in Las Vegas polarises the world of religion". The Economist. October 3, 2017.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Charles Victor Grahmann
Bishop of Dallas
Succeeded by
Edward J. Burns
New title Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life
Preceded by
Jean-Louis Tauran
Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church