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Bishop Brian Farrell
Secretary

 

Bishop Brian Farrell, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Vice-President of the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with Judaism, was born in Dublin, Ireland, on 8 February 1944.

In 1961 he entered the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ. From 1961‒1963 he studied at the Congregation’s House of Studies in Salamanca, Spain. He continued his training at the Gregorian University, Rome, and in the United States, and was ordained to the priesthood in Rome on 26 November 1969.

After ordination, Bishop Farrell worked to establish the Legionaries of Christ in the United States and for a number of years was Director of the Legionaries of Christ House of Formation in Connecticut.

In 1978 he began doctoral studies at the Gregorian University, Rome, obtaining a Doctorate in Theology in 1983 with a thesis on Communicatio in Sacris: A Theological Study of the Policy Adopted by the Second Vatican Council under the direction of Father (later Cardinal) Karl Becker, SJ.

In 1981 he entered the Secretariat of State, and in the 1990s became Department Head of the English language Section. In that capacity he accompanied Saint Pope John Paul II on many apostolic journeys to various parts of the world.

On 19 December 2002 he was nominated Titular Bishop of Abitinae and appointed Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. He was ordained Bishop by Pope John Paul II in Saint Peter’s Basilica on 6 January 2003. He has been a consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and a member of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.

Representing the Pontifical Council, Bishop Farrell has been a member of the the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission II and Co-Chair of the International Dialogue Commission between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East. He is currently member of the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, Co-Chair of the Joint Commission for Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Malankara (Jacobite) Syrian Orthodox Church, Co-Chair of the Joint Commission for Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, a member of the Joint Working Group between the Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches, and of the International Catholic–Jewish Liaison Committee.

Bishop Farrell has published articles on ecumenical and Jewish themes in L’Osservatore Romano, The Ecumenical Review, The Furrow and other publications. He has given conferences on these subjects in various settings around the world.