Francis' Appointments: Not Pastoral but Political

On 3rd February Francis appointed Domenico Beneventi, 50, as the new Bishop of San Marino - Montefeltro.

San Marino is an independent mini-republic surrounded by Italy and part of the Episcopal Conference of Emilia-Romagna.

Since 2013, Reverend Beneventi has been an ordinary lecturer in pastoral theology, catechetics and pedagogy at the Theological Institute of Basilicata, but only in 2016 did he obtain a licence in "theology of education" and in 2018 a doctorate in pastoral theology.

In other words, he taught for three years without the appropriate academic qualifications.

According to, Beneventi was appointed bishop to act as an anti-Catholic counterweight within the Episcopal Conference of Emilia-Romagna.

The reason: On 15 January 2024, Archbishop Giacomo Morandi of the Diocese of Reggio Emilia - Guastalla was elected President of the Episcopal Conference of Emilia-Romagna, replacing Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, who is the President of the Italian Bishops' Conference.

Monsignor Morandi was elected by a large majority. One of the missing votes was that of the Bishop of Rimini, Monsignor Nicolò Anselmi, a promoter of the "Lavender - Party".

The election had great resonance because Morandi, then Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in 2021 opposed Francis' wish to [pseudo] bless homosexual concubines and was therefore sacked by Francis in 2022 and moved to Reggio Emilia.