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Pope Francis nominates new prosecutor, judges for Vatican Court of Appeal

4881257901_060e1b519f_k.jpg The Vatican flag. Credit: Mazur/www.thepapalvisit.org.uk.

Pope Francis on Friday tapped a long-time Rome prosecutor to be public prosecutor for the Vatican City State’s Court of Appeal.

He also nominated two new judges for the same court: Msgr. Francesco Viscome of the Roman Rota and Italian judge Massimo Massella Ducci Teri.

Catia Summaria, 73, will be the new promoter of justice, filling the position left vacant since Italian jurist Raffaele Coppola ended a six-year term in April 2019.

Summaria, who is married and has two daughters, is the first woman to be a prosecutor of the Vatican court. 

The three appointments mark the start of a generational change within the Court of Appeal of the Vatican City State, whose president, Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto, is close to retirement. The appointments also follow Pope Francis’ trend of appointing Italian judges and prosecutors to the Vatican court.

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The Court of Appeal is the second level of judgment in the Vatican tribunal system. The other courts are the tribunal of first instance, whose president is Giuseppe Pignatone, and the Court of Cassation, presided over by Cardinal Dominique Mamberti, who is also prefect of the Apostolic Signatura. 

Catia Summaria has had a long career as a prosecutor in Italy. She was judicial auditor from 1980 to 1989 before being appointed deputy prosecutor at the District Prosecutor’s Office of Rome.

Summaria also served as deputy prosecutor of the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Ordinary Court of Rome from 2000 to 2011, becoming deputy prosecutor of Rome’s Court of Appeal until 2017.

She was also a member of the Italian Ministry of Justice’s study commission for the reform of the judicial system in 2015.

Msgr. Viscome has worked in the Roman Rota since 2010, most recently as prelate auditor. Ordained a priest in 1992, he was defender of the bond in a regional ecclesiastical court in Italy. From 2011 to 2015, he was the substitute defender of the bond in the Roman Rota, and from 2015 to 2016 he was promoter of justice.

Ducci Terri, 71, has been a part of The State Advocacy, a body of the Italian legal system which protects and represents the Italian state in legal disputes, since 1973.

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Married with three children, Ducci Terri has broad experience across the Italian legal system, including in the Council of the State, the Court of Cassation, the Constitutional Court, and the Court of Justice of the European Community.

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