Julián Herranz Casado (born March 31, 1930) is a Spanish Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as President of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts in the Roman Curia from 1994 to 2007, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 2003.

One of only two cardinals—along with Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne—who belongs to Opus Dei, Herranz is the organization's highest-ranking member in the Church's hierarchy. He is also considered one of the foremost experts in canon law, and to have been one of the Vatican's most influential figures during the period shortly before the death of Pope John Paul II.


Born in Baena in the Province of Córdoba, Herranz joined Opus Dei in 1949 after reading a conspiratorial story about it as editor of a university newspaper[1]. He was ordained as a priest of Opus Dei on August 7, 1955 by Bishop Juan Ricote Alonso, after obtaining doctorates in medicine from the Universities of Barcelona and Navarra and in canon law from the Angelicum in Rome.[2] He taught canon law at the University of Navarra and travelled worldwide on behalf of Opus Dei until 1960, when he began to work for the Roman Curia.

During the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), Herranz served as an assistant of study on the commissions for discipline of clergy and the Christian people. In 1983, he was appointed secretary for the Pontifical Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of the Code of Canon Law. On December 15, 1990, he was appointed Titular Archbishop of Vertara by Pope John Paul II. Herranz received his episcopal consecration on January 6, 1991 from John Paul II himself, with Archbishops Giovanni Battista Re and Justin Francis Rigali serving as co-consecrators, in St. Peter's Basilica. On December 9, 1994, he was named President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts for the Roman Curia, a position in which he was responsible for advising the pope on matters of Church law.

Styles of
Julián Herranz Casado
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Vertara (titular)

He was created Cardinal Deacon of S. Eugenio by John Paul II in the consistory of October 21, 2003.

According to Vatican journalist Sandro Magister, by the end of 2004, Herranz was "constantly gaining influence" in the internal affairs of the Vatican. Along with Joseph Ratzinger, Angelo Sodano, and the Pope's private secretary, Archbishop Stanisław Dziwisz, Herranz is believed to have been largely responsible for leading the Curia at times when the Pope was incapacitated by illness[3]. Herranz finds conspiracy theories about Opus Dei particularly offensive, claiming that it has "no hidden agenda. The only policy is the message of Christ"[4].

Upon the death of John Paul II on April 2, 2005, Herranz and all major Vatican officials automatically lost their positions during the sede vacante. Herranz was later confirmed as President of Legislative Texts by Pope Benedict XVI on the following April 21.[5] He was one of the cardinal electors in the 2005 papal conclave yet was not generally considered a strong candidate for the papacy himself; instead, he was described as a highly influential insider, potentially playing the role of a "kingmaker" at the conclave. It has been reported that, both before and after Pope John Paul's death, Herranz convened meetings of cardinals at a villa in Grottarossa, a suburb of Rome[6].

Pope Benedict XVI accepted Herranz's resignation as President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts on February 15, 2007,[7] after twelve years of service.

Preceded by
Vincenzo Fagiolo
President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts
19 December 1994–2 April 2005; 21 April 2005–15 February 2007
Succeeded by
Francesco Coccopalmerio


  1. TIME Magazine. The Ways of Opus Dei April 13, 2006
  2. Cf. Sala Stampa della Santa Sede, Il Collegio Cardinalizio, Cenni biografici, Herranz Card. Julián (Italian)
  3. Chiesa. Ruling in the Shadow of John Paul II: The Vatican Four 2005
  4. TIME Magazine. Power and Mystery September 29, 2002
  5. Cf. Sala Stampa della Santa Sede, Bollettino quotidiano del: 21.04.2005, Rinunce e nomine, Nomine e conferme nella Curia Romana (Italian)
  6. Times Online UK. Lobbying Begins for Papal Rivals April 10, 2005
  7. Cf. Sala Stampa della Santa Sede, Bollettino quotidiano del: 15.02.2007, Rinunce e nomine, Rinuncia del Presidente del Pontificio Consiglio per i Testi Legislativi e nomina del nuovo Presidente (Italian)

External links

ru:Эрранс Касадо, Хулиан sv:Julián Herranz Casado

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