He succeeds Cardinal Francis Stafford, who was named the major penitentiary of the Church, the Vatican press office announced Saturday. The new president also will receive the title of archbishop.
Bishop Rylko, 58, has been a friend and collaborator of the Pope for decades.
Stanislaw Rylko was born in Andrychow, Poland. He focused his theological studies on the role of the laity in the Church, and helped to implement the Second Vatican Council in his native country.
He is also a consultor of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and a member of the pontifical councils for the family and for migrants, and of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
The laity council has competence in matters that refer to “the apostolate of the laity, namely, its participation in the life and mission of the Church, either as members of associations of the apostolate or as private” individuals, the Pontifical Yearbook explains.
This council also advises the Pope on lay movements and communities, and helps to organize World Youth Days.