Thursday, July 1, 2010

Shuffling The Curial Deck

Lots of major moves going on right now.

First, I was reminded never to get excited over rumored Vatican appointments. Allegedly, Cardinal Pell of Sydney was supposed to be the guy tapped to head the Congregation of Bishops. This is a big deal because this is where the Pope gets his recs for episcopal appointments. What seems to have been a concerted smear campaign torpedoed Cardinal Pell's candidacy. The guy actually getting the job is Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who was the subject of some of our recent commentary.

Second, the Pope invented a whole new commission for "new evangelization" that will be targeted places where the Faith has already been preached but has since grown cold. I'm assuming this means the entire Western world. Archbishop Rino Fisichella will be its president.

Third, Bishop Kurt Koch will be replacing Cardinal Kasper as our chief ecumenist.

Other than what I've already posted about Cardinal Ouellet, I know nothing about these people. What I do know comes from this John Allen report, and it is somewhat encouraging. Consider this comment by Bishop Koch:

“Instead of accusing others, and even the pope, of wishing to go back to before the council, everyone would be well advised to look over their own books and reassess their own personal position on the council,” he wrote. “Not everything that was said and done after the council, was therefore done in accordance with the council.”

Some might look at this and say, "Geez, Your Excellency. Tell us something we don't know." The fact is, though, that this kind of talk is regarded by many as some kind of blasphemy. Bishop Koch is asking folks to check themselves before they wreck themselves on this issue. That can't be said enough, in my opinion.

Allen also commented that:

In sound-bite fashion, one might say that today’s appointments complete the triumph of theologians over diplomats under Benedict XVI.

Not a bad thing, I think. Cardinal Kasper passed himself off as a theologian but chose instead to be a diplomat. The result was dismal failure.

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