William Daniel, assistant professor of canon law, was recently appointed to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura by Pope Francis. A special department of the Holy See, the Apostolic Signatura processes and monitors tribunal proceedings from dioceses around the world. Also, if the decisions of a bishop or religious superior are challenged on a local level, they may eventually rise to the level of the Apostolic Signatura, which will then make a final decision.
In his new role, Daniel will serve as a referendary, or an advisor, who can provide an opinion on questions of canon law. Daniel did not apply for this appointment and did not know he was going to be selected in advance. He says he was "stunned, extremely humbled, and pretty much speechless" when he first learned of his designation.
“I was delighted because I’ve been studying the work of the Apostolic Signatura very closely and writing about it. If the Dicastery ever wants an opinion from me, it will be a great privilege to offer one,” he says.
Though he admits to feeling “unequal to the task in many ways,” Daniel is looking forward to making a positive contribution to the life of the Church and learning more about the kinds of questions being discussed at that high level.
“It’s an exciting way to express my love for the Church and the successor of St. Peter by offering some service to the Pope,” he says.