Priests celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Denver Jan. 17, 2015 (Credit: Catholic Charities Jeffrey Bruno CC BY 2.0)

Thursday the Vatican announced Pope Francis' appointment of Fr. Matteo Visioli as the new under-secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, following the appointment on Tuesday of Fr. Andrea Ripa as under-secretary of the Congregation for Clergy.

Fr. Visioli, 51, replaces Fr. Giacomo Morandi, who had been under-secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2015 and was promoted to secretary of the dicastery on July 18. Fr. Ripa, 45, was appointed Sept. 12 and replaces Mons. Antonio Neri, who died on June 5.

Both canonists, Fr. Visioli is the author of more than 30 articles and books in the area of church law, including the topics of ecumenical dialogue, the mystery of communion, and the right to receive the sacraments. He also has several forthcoming publications, including one on confessionalism and the doctrinal principles of the Second Vatican Council, which will be published in the Journal of Law and Religion from Cambridge University Press.

Fr. Visioli was born in Parma, Italy on July 20, 1966, and ordained a priest in May 1992. He studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University, receiving licenses in theology in 1994 and canon law in 1996. The following year he received a specialization in jurisprudence. He received a doctorate in canon law in 1999.

Fr. Visioli held the position of Episcopal Vicar of the Church-World sector from 1999-2008 and was a member of the Committee for the Entities and the Ecclesiastical Property of the Italian Bishops' Conference from 2001-2008. He also ministered to parishes in the province of Parma and since 1999 has been head of the Legal Office for the Diocese of Parma. He is presently the President of Caritas Children Onlus and Episcopal Vicar for Pastoral Care for the diocese. He is the director and professor of the Inter-diocesan Institute of Religious Sciences, “S. 'Ilario di Poitiers,” as well as a professor of canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Studium Generale Marcianum of Venice.

Fr. Ripa was born in Rimini, Italy on January 5, 1972 and ordained a priest for the Diocese of Rimini in 2004. He received his license in canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University in 2006 and his doctorate in canon law in 2010. His doctoral thesis was titled, “The missed innovation: the probative value of the parties' declarations from the 1983 Code to Dignitatis Connubii, the contribution of case law of the Sacred Roman Rota.” He received a diploma of a Roman Rota lawyer in 2013 and has published multiple scientific articles.

Fr. Ripa was a professor of matrimonial and canon law for the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences in Rimini and of the “General Norms” at the Lugano Faculty of Theology and the Pontifical Lateran University. He was also a judge and vicar of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of Flaminio in Bologna. He has been a part of the Congregation for Clergy since 2013 and in addition to Italian, knows English, French, Spanish and Latin.