Wars and rumors of wars, I guess. Curial politics have always been a very weird animal to try and analyze, mostly because you never really know what's going on or much about the personalities involved. However, when you've got this much news flowing out of the Vatican at once, all from vastly different ends of the spectrum, it seems a safe bet that there is some huge conflict going on behind the scenes. Take a look at the following items from the last couple of months:
Saturday, February 11, 2012
1. The Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace releases a "white paper" calling for a global economic authority and central bank. All sorts of haywire is unleashed in Rome and around the world, with semi-retractions and confusion reigning.
2. A resurrection of scandal surrounding the Vatican Bank and the awarding of Vatican contracts, with denials and clarifications flowing out in rapid succession.
3. The approval/non-approval of the NeoCatechumenal Way practices of some nature that may or may not be liturgical, depending on who you talk to.
4. The super-weird situation surrounding Fr. Karl Becker, called by Rorate "the most traditional-minded of the cardinals to be created," and his being tapped for the next consistory. It was reported that he would be made a cardinal. Then, this was retracted, and it was said that he would never get the red hat. THEN, it was said that he would be made a cardinal some day but in private.
Now, it looks like he's back on for the consistory. You might have to use Google translate for the article.
5. On top of all this, we have what might be the most bizarre papal rumor of my lifetime. Cardinal Paolo Romeo allegedly went on a trip to China and completely went off in front of some Italian businessmen and local representatives of the Church (no indication if it was the real one or the fake one) about how Pope Benedict wouldn't live more than another year. The shpiel was so convincing for the folks he was talking to that they figured he was meaning an assassination plot. They blabbed it to the Vatican, Fr. Lombardi's head exploded, and everyone has gone into full-blown denial mode since then.
Not only is His Eminence quoted as saying that the Pope is done for, but he's apparently tapped Cardinal Scola as his successor and despises Cardinal Bertone, the latter point getting separate confirmation from both Tornielli and Magister.
6. As a throwaway, I'll add the ongoing SSPX saga, where you've hadreports of "rejections" by both sides (most recently the CDF- need to translate here too) but very positive language from Bishop Fellay and others.
Like I said, this is all fairly recent news. As in the last four months or so. I submit that this type of Curial buzz doesn't happen all that often. I certainly don't recall anything like it. Lots of controversial stuff coming out, with lots of reversals and retractions. It was so bad that the Pope allegedly called all the dicastery heads together to try and bring everyone into line. This type of stuff doesn't happen.
Keep your ears open.
Posted by Throwback at 10:43 PM