A priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin has been appointed by Pope Francis as one of two Secretaries to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The body has a Doctrinal and Disciplinary section, each coordinated by a Secretary who assists the Prefect in the specific area of his competence.

Monsignor John Kennedy has been appointed Secretary with responsibility for Discipline.

The appointment follows a document issued by the Vatican last month, Praedicate Evangelium, on the Roman Curia and its service to the Church and the World.

The document stated that the task of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith is to help the Roman Pontiff and the bishops in proclaiming the gospel throughout the world.

It also aims to promote and protect "the integrity of Catholic doctrine on faith and morals, drawing on the deposit of faith and also seeking an ever deeper understanding of it in the face of new questions".

Msgr Kennedy was ordained as a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin in 1993.

In 1998, he was invited by Cardinal Desmond Connell to study Canon Law at the Gregorian University in Rome.

He began working at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in January 2003 and was made a Chaplain of Honour to the Pope, with the title of Monsignor in 2008.

The Archdiocese of Dublin has congratulated Msgr Kennedy on his new position, wishing him "every blessing in this important leadership role in the Church, contributing significantly to the proclamation of the gospel throughout the world".