Luis Ladaria Ferrer
Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer
|Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith|
|Appointed||1 July 2017|
|Predecessor||Gerhard Ludwig Müller|
|Ordination||29 July 1973|
by Teodoro Ubeda Gramage
|Consecration||26 July 2008|
by Tarcisio Bertone
|Created cardinal||28 June 2018|
by Pope Francis
Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer
19 April 1944
|Motto||In sanctitate et iustitia|
|Coat of arms|
Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer Jesuit, theologian and a cardinal of the Catholic Church. After a thirty-year career teaching theology, he joined the Roman Curia in 2004 as Secretary-General of the International Theological Commission. He was made an archbishop when named secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in 2008 and was raised to the rank of cardinal in 2018, after becoming prefect of the CDF in 2017.(born 19 April 1944) is a Spanish
Birth and education
Ladaria Ferrer was born in Manacor, on the island of Majorca, Spain. He studied at the University of Madrid, graduating with a degree in law in 1966. He entered the Society of Jesus on 17 October 1966. After attending the Comillas Pontifical University in Madrid and the Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Ladaria was ordained to the priesthood on 29 July 1973.
Ladaria Ferrer became professor of dogmatic theology and the history of dogma at the Comillas Pontifical University. In 1984, he assumed the same position at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he was vice-rector from 1986 to 1994. He became a member of the International Theological Commission in 1992 and a consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1995.
In March 2004, Ladaria Ferrer was named Secretary-General of the International Theological Commission. He led the Commission's evaluation, beginning in 2006, of the concept of limbo and the prospects for salvation of infants who die unbaptized. The Commission concluded, in his words, that "there are more appropriate ways to address the issue of the fate of children who die without having received baptism, for whom a hope of salvation cannot be ruled out."
Episcopal ministry and work in the Curia
On 9 July 2008, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Ladaria Ferrer the Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and made him an archbishop with the titular see of Thibica. His episcopal consecration took place on 26 July 2008. The principal consecrator was Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, his predecessor as Secretary of the CDF. The co-consecrators were Cardinal William Joseph Levada and Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, one of the founders of the Community of Sant'Egidio. His appointment was criticized by some who considered his writings like Theology of original sin and grace and Theological Anthropology unorthodox. He told an interviewer: "I don't like extremisms, either progressive, or traditionalist ones. I believe that there is a via media, which is taken by the majority of professors of Theology in Rome and in the Church in general, which I think is the correct path to take.... Everyone is free to criticize and make the judgments they want. If you ask me if I'm concerned I have to say that these opinions don't concern me too much. Besides, if I was appointed to this office, I must presume that my works do not deserve these judgments."
He continued to be general secretary of the International Theological Commission until 22 April 2009, when he resigned and was succeeded by Charles Morerod, O.P. On 13 November 2008, he was appointed a consultor of the Congregation for Bishops and on 31 January 2009, a consultor of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. He was named a member of the Holy See's team charged with the dialogue with the Society of St. Pius X that began on 26 October 2009.
Ladaria Ferrer is considered to be theologically orthodox. He also has a predilection for the early Church fathers, patrology, and Christology. When asked in August 2008 to describe the issues facing the CDF he said: "I can't go into details. Our Congregation always moves with discretion and speaks exclusively through its acts."
On 1 July 2017, Pope Francis appointed Ladaria prefect of CDF succeeding Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller. Ladaria also succeeded to the offices held ex officio by the prefect: president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (suppressed January 2019), president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and president of the International Theological Commission.
Ladaria was named as a co-defendant in a private prosecution in France of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin for failing to report a sexual abuser. In October 2018, the Vatican invoked diplomatic immunity on his behalf, since he was a minister of the Vatican City State, and the trial proceeded without him. Barbarin was found guilty in March 2019 and acquitted in late January 2020.
On 14 February 2019, Pope Francis named Ladaria a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Pope Francis named him a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches on 6 August 2019. He was named a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture on 11 November 2019.
Views and theology
Cardinal Ladaria in 2018, announcing changes to the Catechism regarding capital punishment, said that it was consistent with Pope John Paul II's 1995 papal encyclical Evangelium Vitae and that the change "affirms that ending the life of a criminal as punishment for a crime is inadmissible because it attacks the dignity of the person, a dignity that is not lost even after having committed the most serious crimes". Ladaria further noted that opposition to the death penalty was based on an "understanding that the dignity of a person is not lost even after committing the most serious crimes".
The cardinal also said that the changes were a "decisive commitment to favor a mentality that recognizes the dignity of every human life" while calling for "respectful dialogue with civil authorities" to formulate conditions to eliminate capital punishment wherever it is still in effect.
Female diaconate and ordination
Ladaria, just before his elevation to the cardinalate in 2018, said that while female deacons did exist in the early Church, they were not the same as their male counterparts, ie an equivocation of terms. He said that the commission he headed on the subject had to determine what the meaning of 'deaconesses' was. Ladaria had repeatedly said prior to this that the commission was not tasked with making an actual determination, but rather to present their findings to Pope Francis.
In a letter addressed to Brother René Stockman in 2017, Ladaria affirmed the Church's "adherence to the principles of the sacredness of human life and the unacceptability of euthanasia". Ladaria addressed the letter in response to the practice of euthanasia in psychiatric hospitals of the Congregation of the Brothers of Charity's Belgian branch. Ladaria said that "euthanasia remains an inadmissible act, even in extreme cases" and affirmed that "Catholic teaching affirms the sacred value of human life" irrespective of age or circumstances such as disability or illness.
He further criticized "the moral unacceptability of euthanasia" and "the impossibility of introducing this practice into Catholic schools" since it was akin to collaborating with a secular agenda from a secular authority, not a religious authority.
In 2021 the CDF stated the Catholic Church did not have the power to bless same-sex unions. It stated that it is "impossible" for God to "bless sin" but the CDF did note the existence of some "positive elements" in the non-sexual aspects of same-sex relationships. Pope Francis approved the response by the CDF, saying it was "not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite".
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