The commission itself is dedicated to strengthening ties between the Vatican and the Church in Latin America, assisting with doctrinal and pastoral needs. The cardinal will count on Carriquiry as chief counsel and collaborator.
Uruguayan by birth, Carriquiry is trained in law and social sciences. He organized Catholic university students and directed the Uruguayan bishops’ communications before making the move across the Pacific.
The “Roman phase” of his life began in 1971, when he arrived along with his wife and their firstborn. He was called to work in the newly-formed Consilium de Laicis which evolved into the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
Forty years in the same department, four children and eight grandchildren later, he has been called up again for a big move.
But, he is no stranger to breaking “glass ceilings” in the Vatican. He became the first lay “capo ufficio” - head of office – of the department for laity under Pope Paul VI. In 1986, John Paul II tapped Carriquiry for another unprecedented step when he chose the Uruguayan as sub-secretary of the same department.
Other men without Roman collars have held important positions in the Vatican. Joaquin Navarro-Valls was John Paul II’s press office director. Also, the Pontifical Academy for Science has had numerous non-clerical heads, but never has this high of a Vatican curial position been held by a layman.