A quick note about Msgr. Perl

After the restructuring of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", there was a question about whether or not the position of Vice-President had been retained and whether Msgr. Perl might remain part of the Commission.

I have clarified the situation in the simplest way: I asked Msgr. Perl.

The long-suffering, long serving, Msgr. Perl has retired!

I sincerely wish him well.  He worked in an unenviable position for over two decades years.  He is also one of the kindest people I know in Rome.  Certainly one of the kindest clerics!

Msgr. Perl remains a Canon of St. Peter’s Basilica and so he will remain for the time being in Rome.

I sincerely wish Msgr. Perl a happy retirement!


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. TJM says:

    I hope this wonderful man enjoys his retirement. Tom

  2. RichR says:

    I’m sure his was a thankless job. May he enjoy a well-earned rest.

  3. Hidden One says:

    I’m sure that he deserves his retirement. How is old he, now?

  4. Jay says:

    Uh ohhhhhhh!!!!! We’ll keep praying for him and for PCED.

  5. Flambeaux says:

    Thank you for clearing this up, Father. We’ll keep him in our prayers. And may he enjoy his well-earned retirement.

  6. Albert Huntz says:

    Fr. Zulsdorf,

    What happened to Msgr. Calkins? I truly liked Msgr. Perl he was a real gentleman and held his office with dignity considering all the abuse he took. God Bless him.

  7. Sal says:

    Here’s a quotation from “Inside the Vatican,” which implies Perl was fired:

    “I waited for 20 minutes, then the meeting ended.

    I could see Monsignor Perl coming down the corridor. He looked tired.

    “Monsignor,” I said.

    “Oh,” he said. “Hello.”

    “I wondered if I could talk to you…”

    “No,” he said. “Some other time.”

    He turned, his shoulders bent as if under a heavy load, his face grey with suppressed emotion, and went out the door of the office where he has worked for 21 years for the last time…”


    [No… that doesn’t imply a sacking. I could imply anything from something he ate to a sleepless night.]

  8. Jack says:

    Msgr Pearl deserves his retirement, anyone who works for the PCED over the last 20yrs has had the most difficult job in the Church !

  9. jarhead462 says:

    I hope that Msgr. Pearl’s retirement consists of quiet days of prayer and Mass, where nobody is busting his chops.
    I do believe he has earned it.

    Semper Fi!

  10. David says:

    Throughout the centuries, have Cardinals, priests and bishops t always retired? Is retirement among clergy and religious a modern concept?

  11. Michael says:

    One senses that the counter-attack against traditionalism is gathering strength. Now that the staunchest defenders of tradition have been swept out of the way the spirit of VCII will show itself to not be beaten.

  12. Hidden One says:

    The false spirit of VII, that is, Michael.

  13. Emanuele says:

    Msgr. Perl is 70 years old.

  14. CDN_Canonist says:

    I agree with Fr. Z’s response to Sal’s comment above. The personal anecdote implies nothing. If you read the entire post at Inside the Vatican, however, it does imply that Msgr. Perl was removed from office or, at least, mistreated. It indicates that he was recently reappointed for a five-year term (“ad quinquennium”) which had not yet expired [and he has not reached the mandatory retirement age]. Furthermore, the related encounter occurred on the same day as the motu proprio was released after a meeting with Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, Cardinal Levada, Monsignor Pozzo, and the staff of Ecclesia Dei.

    I’m not familiar with Inside the Vatican magazine. Is this post on their website concerning the reorganization of the PCED any indication of its journalistic standards?

    I wish Msgr. Perl a well-deserved retirement.

  15. David, the practice and especially the rule for the retirement of bishops at age 75 etc. is post-Vatican II. The Holy Father does not have to accept the proffered resignation and often enough he delays but it must be offered. Before the post-Vatican II changes bishops normally died in office.

    The rule that Cardinals automatically lose the right to vote in a conclave on their 80th birthday dates to about the same time.

    Now that the topic has come up, I wonder if there is any provision covering the possibility that a Cardinal might celebrate his 80th birthday while he is in a Conclave.

  16. Patrick says:

    CDN Canonist,

    What is the retirement age or non-bishop curial officials? Is it the same as pastors which (here in the US) is 70 yrs old?

  17. CDN_Canonist says:


    Pastor bonus, a document which regulates the Roman Curia, specifies the following:

    Art. 5 — § 1. The prefect or president, the members of the body mentioned in art. 3, § 1, the secretary, and the other senior administrators, as well as the consultors, are appointed by the Supreme Pontiff for a five-year term.

    § 2. Once they have completed seventy-five years of age, cardinal prefects are asked to submit their resignation to the Roman Pontiff, who, after considering all factors, will make the decision. Other moderators and secretaries cease from office, having completed seventy-five years of age; members, when they have completed eighty years of age; those who are attached to any dicastery by reason of their office cease to be members when their office ceases.

  18. RBrown says:


    I don’t see any answer in that text.

  19. Orville says:

    Thank you Msgr. Perl, from everyone at Summorum Pontificum Wangaratta.

Comments are closed.