Friday, October 14, 2005

They Don't Get It!

It seems the Voice of the Faithful are at it in northern California now. They want to vote for SF's new archbishop.

The meeting probably began with one of the vaticanisti's favorite examples of bad "new" liturgical music (do pieces composed in the 70's and early 80's still count as "new"?), "Sing a New Church into Being." It's pretty telling that the article begins by mentioning that the meeting was populated by "gray-haired Roman Catholics." These are the same people who were radical in the late 60's and 70's and conceived of the Second Vatican Council as a "reworking" of the Church: a far cry from the future of the Church, the crowds of young people devoted to the Magisterium and our Holy Father, who gathered at WYD in Cologne!

They don't get it: we're not talking about a political entity that will be changed by well-mobilized political action, but rather the Church, the Bride of Christ.

The issue is not changing structures in the Church--picking the archbishop won't do anything. The issue is changing hearts--true conversion of the heart and the mind through authentic renewal of our committment to Christ, the sacraments, prayer, and catechesis. This will not only produce better shepherds, but also better sheep . . . .

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Senate Approves Rooney for Vatican Ambassador

The US Senate unanimously approved Francis Rooney as the new ambassador to the Holy See. The vaticanisti questioned who this guy was back in August.

In the hearing, Rooney, the chairman and CEO of Rooney Holdings Inc., an investment and holdings company, touched on future relations between the U.S. and the Vatican. "The United States and the Holy See share the fundamental values of the inherent dignity and right to freedom of each person," he said. "Pope Benedict XVI has made clear that he intends to continue the work of Pope John Paul II in defending human rights, promoting human dignity and working to advance dialogue among people of different faiths, races and ethnicities."

RIP Rocco and Papabile

So sad. We profusely weep over the apparent blogospheric suicides of our dear comrades Rocco and Papabile. Oh, well...only the good die young. Huzzah! The vaticanisti perdure.

Friday, September 30, 2005

American Opus Dei Bishops Outed!

With John Allen's new book on Opus Dei coming out November 1st, vaticanisti cannot let Allen have all the fun reporting on The Work's "secrets." Something that hasn't been widely reported are the number and identity of Opus Dei bishops in the United States. There are currently 4 American Opus Dei bishops. The only numerary priest who is a bishop is Archbishop José Gomez of San Antonio. His affiliation with The Prelature of Opus Dei is well-known. The other 3 bishops are what's known as supernumerary priests because of their status as diocesan priests. They are members of The Work through the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross -- an association of clergy intrinsically united to Opus Dei made up of the clergy of the Prelature, who are automatically members, and other diocesan priests and transitional deacons. Archbishop John Myers of Newark, New Jersey is counted among this group and his affiliation is fairly public. However, two other bishops have kept their connection very private: Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, New York.

According to the Opus Dei communications office, the diocesan clergy who belong to the Priestly Society seek exclusively spiritual help and strive for holiness in the exercise of their ministry, according to the spirit of Opus Dei. Their membership in the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross does not involve incorporation into the presbyterate of the Prelature. Each one continues to be incardinated in his own diocese and depends solely on his own bishop (or if bishop, to himself), to whom alone he gives an account of his pastoral work.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Canonical Abuse Trials Heat Up!

The number of canonical trials for those priests accused of sexual abuse have increased dramatically this month and will continue through November. Most of these canonical trials are occurring in Rome and many bishops along with the accused priests have been showing up lately in the Eternal City. Once again, Bishop Tod Brown of Orange is in the news. He is presently in Rome for a variety of matters, but most notably the canonical trial of former Orange Vocations Director Msgr. Daniel Murray.

The Orange Diocese had the record $100 million abuse settlement. In Murray's case, he is accused of sexually abusing a boy from the time the boy was 8 to his early teens, back in the 1970's. The Orange Diocese settled this particular case last December for $500,000. What makes this case interesting is because the settlement was unannounced for months and because the priest, Msgr. Daniel Murray, is technically still the pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newport Beach. Murray has denied the allegations and has been on paid leave for the past year and a half pending a church investigation. Well, now the canonical trial is occurring in Rome, and our sources say it doesn't look good for Murray.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Universal Indult in the works?

In the interests of stirring the proverbial bucket with more liturgical discussion, you can go here to read Karl Keating's recent ruminations on the question of a Universal Indult.

Keating makes the important point that current attendance at Indult Masses is not necessarily a reliable indicator of interest, given that the Mass of St. Pius V endures step-child status in most dioceses, having been relegated to crypt chapels in the mid-afternoon in many cases. However, his use of the economic analogy leaves something to be desired. Ultimately, neither popular opinion nor the law of supply-and-demand should guide what is done regarding the Liturgy: Truth must take the day!

Nevertheless, the faithful do have a part to play in the ongoing debates over the Liturgy and authentic renewal. The actions of the faithful can assist the bishops in discerning the deepest desires of their flock (e.g., beauty in the Liturgy matters, as indicated by the fact that people travel from around the Chicagoland area to get to St. John Cantius parish and others like it).

The vaticanisti, at least, are reminded of Cardinal Newman's perceptive analysis in his classic article, On Consulting the Laity in Matters of Doctrine.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

He's Got Style!


Many thanks to a faithful reader that passed along these photos of His Eminence George Cardinal Pell in cappa magna and biretta at WYD 2005. The vaticanisti would be remiss not to mention the exquisitely ornamented rochet, as well. Even if fashion alone were the measure of a good prelate, this guy would be the real deal.

Of course, fashion isn't enough. Thanks be to God that His Eminence shows himself to be the real deal in his pastoral care and theological acumen, as well.

Long live Cardinal Pell!

Monday, September 12, 2005

New Blood in the Secretariat of State

The vaticanisti have word from a reliable Italian source that Cardinal Sodano will soon be relieved from his duties as grandmaster of Vatican diplomacy by none other than Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin. Contrary to what others have said previously, we hear that the good archbishop will begin this work in the not-too-distant future.

The vaticanisti also hear that Martin is friendly with Communion & Liberation, the ecclesial movement that was the subject of one of our other recent posts. Does this mean anything, or is it merely coincidence? The vaticanisti don't always comment on the news; sometimes we just report it.

The big question, though, is what impact will the appointment of Martin have on the way the Holy See does diplomacy?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

More Bishop Gossip!

Yah, yah...reports surfaced this week that Cardinal McCarrick will be staying on as archbishop of Washington for a little while longer. Our sources told us back in July it looked like McCarrick's resignation would not be accepted this year. Bottomline: Pope Benedict has bigger fish to fry. Roman Curia reform and naming of new bishops for vacant sees takes priority. We do expect some movement by next summer, contrary to the 2 year timeframe published in the official Washington Archdiocese press release. Our sources tell us that the Vatican letter to McCarrick NEVER mentioned any length of time...yes, that's right...nowhere was there a peep of 2 years. Our best guess is that this was either McCarrick's personal interpretation (what's it with him and his interpretation of letters from Ratzinger?) or some wishful thinking on the part of some curial agent. We do wish His Eminence many years of good health.

On another note, before Archbishop Levada went to Rome last month, he vacationed in Maui with Bishop Tod Brown of Orange, CA. Rumor has it that Mahony was not to be found...unusual because they along with Neiderauer of Salt Lake City are old vacationing pals. So it was just the two of them...wonder if Levada was trying to close Brown on accepting San Fran? Brown has told numerous priests in Orange that he'd love to go to the City on the Bay. Some have even divulged they expect it.

Hitler's pope? A rabbi sets the record straight

Broadcaster and columnist Michael Coren has just reviewed Rabbi David Dalin's The Myth of Hitler's Pope for the Toronto Sun. If you have not yet read the review be sure to check it out. This book should prove to be an important antidote to the vitriol spread by the likes of John Cornwell about one of the twentieth century's great popes, Pius XII.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

More bureaucracy, please!

Bishop Donald Wuerl, whom the vaticanisti have previously mentioned as a possible replacement in San Francisco, has written an article in his diocesan newspaper suggesting that individual bishops should refrain from making statements regarding the ramifications in their individual dioceses for a Catholic politician who has taken policy positions counter to Catholic teaching on issues such as abortion, instead making such pronouncements as a college through the U.S.C.C.B. In his article, Wuerl asks the following, "if it is decided by a bishop that there are sufficient grounds to refuse Communion to a person, given the interrelatedness of the dioceses in this country, should such a decision be finalized only in concert with the conference of bishops whose purpose is to provide some level of pastoral collaboration and coordination?" Given that the bishop is pastor of a diocese, not representative to the Conference, the answer should be "no."

In some respects, the article sounds like code for "Let's allow some of these things to die in committee, so that we don't ruffle any feathers." Or, "Why did Burke and Chaput have to start so much trouble by being so vocal during the last election?"

Why? Most likely because after hours of prayer, reflection, and consultation, they decided that their pastoral responsibilities required such a response. Don't forget, the Catholic politicians who support legalized abortion, not the bishops, are the ones who forced this response by their vocal disregard for authentic Catholic teaching.

Bishops are shepherds for their respective dioceses--let's hope and pray that, when necessary, they will continue to speak as such even when it makes some of their brother bishops uncomfortable. The vaticanisti seem to recall that Christ did something similar in his day . . . .

Monday, August 29, 2005

Over and done with

Well, the meeting that has so occupied our readers for the past week came . . . and went . . . . Pope Benedict XVI and Bishop Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X met today at Castel Gandolfo. As far as the vaticanisti can tell, no one was hurt. No word yet on the attire worn by either man, either.

After the meeting, Bishop Fellay released the following statement: "The meeting lasted about thirty-five minutes; it took place in an atmosphere of calm. The audiences was an opportunity for the Society to manifest that it has always been attached —and always will be —to the Holy See, Eternal Rome. We broached the serious difficulties, already known, in a spirit of great love for the Church. We reached a consensus as to proceeding by stages in the resolution of problems. The Society of Saint Pius X prays that the Holy Father might find the strength to put an end to the crisis in the Church by 'restoring all things in Christ.'" The Holy See, through Dr. Navarro-Valls, expressed cautious optimism, as well. Now, only time will tell.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Getting to know Communion & Liberation



If you are not familiar with the ecclesial movement known in English as Communion & Liberation (CL), be sure to take a look at what John Allan had to say yesterday regarding the Movement's annual meeting in Rimini, which took place this past week. CL, founded by the recently-departed Fr. Luigi Giussani in Milan in 1954, "is an ecclesial movement whose purpose is the education to Christian maturity of its adherents and collaboration in the mission of the Church in all the spheres of contemporary life." Fr. Giussani himself described the essence of the charism of CL as three-fold: (1) the announcement that God became man (the wonder, the reasonableness, the enthusiasm for this): “The Word was made flesh and dwells among us"; (2) the affirmation that this man – Jesus of Nazareth dead and risen – is a present event in a “sign” of “communion,” i.e., of unity of a people guided, as a guarantee, by a living person, ultimately the Bishop of Rome; (3) only in God made man, man, therefore only in His presence and, thus only through – in some way – the experienceable form of His presence (therefore, ultimately only within the life of the Church) can man be truer and mankind be truly more human.

"The aim of life in CL is to propose the presence of Christ as the only true response to the deepest needs of human life in every moment of history. In the person who encounters and adheres to the presence of Christ there is generated a movement of conversion and witness, which tends to leave its mark on the environment in which he or she lives (family, work, school, neighborhood, society, etc.). Born in the schools as a proposal to young people, CL today extends its call to everyone, irrespective of age, occupation, or social position." Excerpted from CL: A Reality in the Church.

As Allan points out, the Movement was popular with Pope John Paul II and the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. In fact, members of Benedict's household include female members of Memores Domini, an association of celibate lay men and women consecrated to the charism of the Movement. In addition, Ratzinger, in the absence of an ailing John Paul II, was the homilist at Fr. Giussani's funeral earlier this year. The homily shows a deep respect and affection for CL and its founder. Though not as well-known in the United States, CL continues to grow here, as well. Get to know CL, as this movement and others like it will play an increasingly important role in the Church as we seek to understand ever more deeply the vocation of the laity to live their personal and professional lives in the service of Christ and the Gospel.

Veni Sancte Spiritus! Veni per Mariam!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

New Personal Prelature in the works?

Vaticanisti delayed posting until we were able to verify from other sources this news: Pope Benedict XVI and Bishop Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X ("SSPX") will be meeting in Rome on August 29th. This on-again off-again relationship between the Vatican and the traditionalist movement looks like its on-again.

Is another personal prelature in the works? Past talks have focused on the possibility both of making the Mass of Pius V readily available alongside the Mass of Paul VI and of permitting the jurisdictional status of a personal prelature, like Opus Dei.

Of course, this is alleged to have been the offer made during the famous talks between Castrillon de Hoyos and Fellay in 2001. SSPX didn't take the bait then and given their intransigence in the past, Vaticanisti would advise against holding your breath now. Nevertheless, one can continue to hope that they will return to the fold.

Monday, August 22, 2005

US Ambassador to the Vatican Nominee: Who Is This Guy?

The United States Ambassador nominee to the Vatican (or, more formally, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Holy See) is a veritable unknown in the Catholic world. Inside the Vatican was one of the first to report his nomination by the Bush administration back in April. It only became official when his nomination was sent to the US Senate a few weeks ago.

Everyone is asking: Who is this guy? Francis Rooney is CEO of Rooney Holdings, Inc., an investment and holding company based in Naples, Florida, with administrative offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Rooney Holdings emerged from nowhere to become one of the GOP's biggest donors during the last election, upping its campaign contributions from just $11,000 during the 2002 cycle to more than $500,000 in 2004. Thanks to his fund-raising efforts, Rooney himself was among the few individuals named as both a Bush Ranger, having raised at least $200,000 for the president's re-election, and a Super Ranger (among the elite donors who raised another $300,000 for the Republican National Committee). Rooney is the majority owner of Manhattan Construction Company, the fourth generation of his family to own that company. Manhattan Construction built the Oklahoma State Capitol, the George Bush Presidential Library, the Cato Institute headquarters, the Prayer Tower and other structures on the Oral Roberts University and is building part of the new visitors’ center at the United States Capitol. The subsidiary won an estimated $100 million in Pentagon contracts in 2003, nearly four times the amount the company won in 2002, according to the Center for Public Integrity. A Georgetown University and Georgetown Law graduate, Rooney is a member of the Advisory Board of the Panama Canal Authority. He was among the U.S. delegation led by Colin Powell to the inauguration of Panamanian president Martín Torrijos. Rooney and his wife have served on the board of many charitable organizations and he is a Knight of Malta.

Our sources tell us Rooney was very surprised to have received the Vatican nomination. Rooney expected to be named ambassador to a nation in Central or South America especially since he knows those regions so well from his vast business background (and being fluent in Spanish helps too). But Foggy Bottom wanted him for the Vatican. Our sources also tell us he has only met one cardinal in his entire lifetime: Ted McCarrick from DC. Rooney is not well schooled in the ways of Church uber-politics. Let's just hope he's a quick study and get's to know all the players very soon (if he's confirmed).

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I Must Decrease and He Must Increase





Friday, August 19, 2005

Snapshots from Cologne






















Thursday, August 18, 2005

Traditional Mass at WYD 2005!



Juventutem, an international organization of youth devoted to the Mass of St. Pius V and in communion with the Bishop of Rome, is making a splash in Cologne at WYD 2005, according to this news story.

Prelates joining Juventutem for events during WYD include two members of the American episcopacy, His Eminence Francis Cardinal George of Chicago and His Excellency Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis.

Of course, the traditional Mass is nothing new for Cardinal George or Archbishop Burke. George has provided for traditional liturgy in his archdiocese through the Society of St. John Cantius and now also through the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, which will open up a beautifully restored parish on Chicago's South Side to serve as their new national headquarters. Burke has also been a friend to the Institute, both while in LaCrosse and now that he is in St. Louis. In fact, he has given the Institute an Oratory church in St. Louis.

Pray that groups like Juventutem, religious communities like the Society of St. John Cantius and the Institute, and solid bishops like George and Burke will help to engender greater concern for the manner in which the Novus Ordo is celebrated, as well.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Confraternity of Catholic Clergy 2005 Resolutions

Go here to read the 2005 resolutions of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, an association of priests and deacons "pledged to the pursuit of personal holiness, loyalty to the Roman Pontiff, commitment to theological study and strict adherence to the authentic teachings of the Magisterium." Resolution #3, concerning the preaching of homilies, is particularly important to a fuller understanding of the relationship of the two parts of the Liturgy.

By the way, the Confraternity met in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles this year. Our guess is that the proceedings of this annual meeting were quite different from those of the annual Religious Education Congress hosted by the Archdiocese earlier this year (follow the link and be sure to look at the photos, esp. of masses celebrated during the Congress).

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Levada's Farewell Gala

San Francisco Archbishop Emeritus William Levada, 69, applaudes at his farewell gala, Saturday, August 13, 2005, in San Francisco. Levada is departing for the Vatican and will take the CDF Prefect job formerly held by Pope Benedict XVI. We're told it was quite an evening. Dominated by fat cats and their wives along with various bishops on their best behavior, the 2,300 guest gala was a veritable Levada lovefest. The archbishop received accolades even from SF mayor and Jesuit educated Gavin Newsom -- yes, the same Newsom who brazzenly violated California law by "marrying" same-sex couples. According to AP, Levada said that most Catholics were pleased with the way the archdiocese has handled sex abuse allegations. "On the whole, I can leave San Francisco with a good conscience," he said. Well, how about Portland?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Yet Another San Fran Update

We were hesitant to post this info for several reasons, but we've heard it now so often that its goin' up. Archbishop James Harvey, presently Prefect of the Papal Household and frequent sidekick of Pope Benedict, has a very good chance of being named the next archbishop of San Francisco. We have also heard, from several sources, that the announcement (whoever it may be) is expected "within days."

We think Harvey would be a better fit in Washington, DC. He has an impeccable diplomatic and administrative background which would serve him well, but Benedict may think such gifts would be better used in San Fran. It's really anyone's guess. There's been so much posteuring by California bishops (Brown, Walsh, Niederauer). . . it reminds us of the last song while playing musical chairs at a gradeschool dance. . . Quick, only one chair left! Wonder if dancin' is on tonight's Levada farewell dinner/gala's menu?

Friday, August 05, 2005

San Francisco Update


Our sources tell us Bishop George Niederauer of Salt Lake City was one of three bishops recommended by Archbishop Levada in a fairly recent meeting with Pope Benedict. This is a new name to add to the hopper. Things are heating up in San Francisco as the naming of Levada's successor draws ever closer. Bishop Daniel Walsh of Santa Rosa is still in the running. But this information may cause some of our dear readers to dab their eyes: a source of ours had a phone conversation recently with his friend Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ and the good father said he has "no chance" and such talk of his being named archbishop is "a dream."

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Warmest Affection from Ben XVI!


"...and to you, dear vaticanisti, I greet you with my warmest affection upon your return from the mission lands! May your noble work continue under the providential hand of the Almighty."

Thanks, Georg. You are the greatest.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Back from the Missions!

Apologies abound to our many readers who were so greatly concerned about our MIA status. The bottom line: we are back! The last month or so, we've been travelling around Europe and South America getting a better handle on the state of the Church. Of course, the fruits of such adventures will filter out in future vaticanisti insights.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Possible Replacements for Archbishop of Detroit

Cardinal Adam Maida turned 75 last March and submitted his resignation. Although Pope Benedict may keep him on as archbishop of Detroit for possibly two more years, the talk of him bowing out sooner rather than later is heating up. The listing of possible espiscopal relacements is rapidly becoming a speciality of the vaticanisti. So here it goes again: Bishop Joseph Perry (auxiliary of Chicago), Bishop Donald Wuerl (Pittsburgh), Bishop John Nienstedt (New Ulm, MN), Bishop Michael Burbidge (auxiliary of Philadelphia), and Bishop Robert Vasa (Baker, OR). Our sources tell us its pretty much between Perry and Wuerl. Perry is well-respected especially when it comes to sound liturgical and doctrinal teaching -- he is also one of the few African-American bishops. Wuerl has been waiting for a promotion for years. He has been bishop of Pittsburgh since 1988 and is known for his catechetical ministry. Neinstedt is the hometown favorite being a native of Detroit and a protege of both Cardinals Szoka and Maida. Burbidge and Vasa are long-shots but worth keeping an eye on for future openings down the road. Both are young, bright and orthodox. Burbidge was rector of St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia while Vasa is orginally a priest of Lincoln, NE.

Interesting note: While Detroit has traditionally been a cardinalic see, its now thought that Detroit's red hat will shift to an episcopal see in the southern US -- probably San Antonio, Galveston-Houston, or Miami.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

"Christ yes, the Church no!" JP II on the Contemporary "Appearance" of Openness

The Vaticanisti recently completed John Paul the Great's brilliant final book, Memory and Identity, wherein he reminds us yet again that it is through a community in time and space that we encounter Christ:
Christ yes, the Church no! is the protest heard from some of our contemporaries. Despite the negative element, this stance appears to show a certain openness to Christ, which the Enlightenment excluded. Yet it is only an appearance of openness. Christ, if he is truly accepted, is inseparable from the Church, which is his Mystical Body. There is no Christ without the Incarnation; there is no Christ without the Church. The Incarnation of the Son of God in a human body is prolonged, in accordance with is will, in the community of human beings that he constituted, guaranteeing his constant presence among them: "And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Mt 28:20). Admittedly, the Church, as a human institution, is continually in need of purification and renewal: the Second Vatican Council acknowledged this with courageous candor. Yet the Church, as the Body of Christ, is the normal locus for the presence and action of Christ in the world.

(pp. 116-117).

If you have not yet read Memory and Identity in its entirety, do it. This is a wonderful collection of John Paul's thoughts on so many issues, such as his first-hand experiences of totalitarianism, the promise and limitations of democracy, and the Church's ongoing mission to spread the Gospel.

In addition, the Vaticanisti would urge you to read Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's brilliant Declaration Dominus Iesus on the unicity and salvific universality of Jesus Christ and the Church.

Both documents serve to remind us that, while continuing to nurture a spirit of ecumenism and interreligious goodwill, we must take care not to confuse our interlocutors or ourselves--there is only means of salvation for man, Jesus Christ, and He established a Church, which he entrusted to the Apostles and their successors under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Monday, June 06, 2005

New Cardinals for Probable October 2005 Consistory

Our sources generally agree the following will most likely be included on the list of new cardinals for the upcoming consistory:

1) William Levada, 69, Prefect of Doctrine of the Faith
2) Stanislaw Dziwisz, 66, Archbishop of Krakow, Poland
3) Angelo Comastri, 61, Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica and Vicar General for the Vatican City-State
4) Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, 79, Archpriest of St. Paul’s Outside-the-Walls Basilica
5) Carlo Caffarra, 67, Archbishop of Bologna, Italy
6) Antonio Cañizares Llovera, 59, Archbishop of Toledo, Spain
7) Lluís Martínez Sistach, 68, Archbishop of Barcelona, Spain
8) Andre Vingt-Trois, 62, Archbishop of Paris, France
9) Gaudencio Borbon Rosales, 72, Archbishop of Manila, Philippines
10) Michel Sabbah, 72, Patriarch of Jerusalem
11) Emmanuel III (Emmanuel-Karim) Delly, 77, Patriarch of Baghdad, Iraq
12) Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, 73, Bishop of Hong Kong, China
13) Stanislaw Rylko, 59, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity
14) Franc Rodé, 70, Prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
15) Either Raúl Eduardo Vela Chiriboga, 71, Archbishop of Quito, Ecuador OR Antonio Arregui Yarza, 66, Archbishop of Guayaquil, Ecuador – probably will go to Yarza who is a priest of Opus Dei
16) Fernando Sáenz Lacalle, 72, Archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador (another Opus Dei priest)
17) Two Metropolitan Archbishops from Brazil – multiple Episcopal sees that have historically had cardinals leading them are currently lacking the red hat…see Benedict name the two Brazilian cardinals who most “fit” his theological vision…Brazil being the most populous Catholic country is under-represented in the college
18) Two Metropolitan Archbishops from Africa – may be some surprises here…watch for a possible Ethiopian
19) If Cardinal McCarrick of Washington, DC, USA retires before September and a successor is named, then his successor will be created a cardinal
20) Three eminent priest-theologians – great speculation here…watch for future postings

Notable exceptions include: Archbishop Sean O’Malley of Boston who supposedly has no desire to be named cardinal out of a sense of Franciscan humility, and Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald who is currently President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.

The list is quite interesting. There are obvious shoe-ins like Levada, Dziwisz, and Comastri. Caffarra and Llovera are both stand-outs adding profound intellectual and spiritual depth to the college. Sistach, Vingt-Trois and Rosales will also receive a red hat because of the importance of their episcopal sees. The naming of Sabbah, Emmanuel III, and Zen Ze-kiun are the most fascinating because it demonstrates Pope Benedict’s great support for the church leaders of these troubled regions of the world. Two Opus Dei bishops are also included which would double their representation in the college. John Allen, eat your heart out…

Saturday, June 04, 2005


Pope Benedict XVI meets with San Francisco Archbishop William Levada, newly nominated as guardian of church doctrine, at the Vatican, Friday, June 3, 2005. Levada, who succeeds Ratzinger as prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, holds the highest Vatican office ever held by an American. The vaticanisti were the first to officially confirm Levada's nomination. We relished the spotlight...and still do!

The late Pope John Paul II's personal secretary Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz. Pope Benedict has named John Paul's 'shadow', his long-time secretary and the man who cradled him in his arms after a 1981 assassination attempt, to be the new archbishop of Krakow in Poland. Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz will take over the leadership of the important archdiocese from Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, 78, who is retiring. The vaticanisti knew about the possible appointment over a month ago, but were beaten to the punch by a colleague verifying the nomination. Dziwisz has also disclosed he did not burn the late pope's personal papers as he was instructed. "Nothing has been burned," Dziwisz said. "Nothing is fit for burning, everything should be preserved and kept for history, for the future generations - every single sentence." A cardinal's red hat awaits...

Pope Benedict meets with the former archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Martini. Reports say Martini had the second highest number of votes after Ratzinger in the recent conclave. He now lives in Jerusalem and has dedicated the remainder of his life to writing and the study of theology. Wonder what they discussed?

Friday, May 27, 2005

Possible Replacements for Cardinal McCarrick as Archbishop of Washington, DC

Like it or not, the venerable Cardinal McCarrick of Washington will be hitting 75 this July 7th. You know what that means! Our sources tell us his resignation will be accepted "on an expedited timetable." Coupled with his public desire to retire early, Washington should have a new leader within the year. This episcopal see is highly visible due to it being located in our nation's capital and has been rewarded, since its inception, with its archbishops being created cardinals -- O'Boyle, Baum, Hickey, and McCarrick. The next archbishop will almost certainly follow in this tradition.

Here is the first official list, once again, of those candidates most often named as possible successors to McCarrick by our Vatican sources: Edwin O'Brien (U.S. Military Archdiocese), William Lori (Bridgeport), Charles Chaput (Denver), Raymond Burke (St. Louis), and John Foley (Pontifical Council for Social Communications). We tend to think that its O'Brien's to lose. He was rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome for many years prior to being named auxilary bishop in New York and then Archbishop of the Military Ordinate of the U.S. Currently at 66, O'Brien is the ideal age, being neither too young nor too old. Bishop Lori has deep ties to Washington, DC being Cardinal Hickey's longtime close collaborator and vicar general before being called to Bridgeport, CT. His only being 54 may work against him though. Archbishops Chaput and Burke are seen as "Rambo Catholic" bishops -- that is, they are not afraid of teaching the Church's moral truths in a very public manner. Both are seen as emerging leaders of the American episcopacy, and choosing either one would signal Pope Benedict's approval of their pastoral zeal. Their appointments would shake things up in our nation's capital, perhaps exactly what His Holiness desires. Archbishop Foley is a native of Philadelphia, but has been in his Vatican curial seat since 1984 (most likely the current recordholder!). So his time is due to move on to a new pasture. If he isn't named to Washington, he could also have a good chance at Baltimore. So there you have it, my dearest vaticanisti lovers. Start placing your bets.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Papal Coat of Arms Revealed on Sash!


Pope Benedict XVI reads his speech during a meeting with Bulgaria's president Georgi Parvanov in his private library at the Vatican City May 23, 2005. The vaticanisti, though preoccupied with recent episcopal nominations, need not neglect papal fashion. Take note of Benedict's sash -- this is the first photo showing his papal coat of arms emblazoned on the lower section of the white sash. Also notice the traditional red-hued papal shoes. Of course, His Holiness is once again donned in the mozetta (shoulder cape) and lacey rochet over his cassock. Well done!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Possible Replacements for Archbishop Levada in San Francisco

The vaticanisti have compiled the first official list of possible replacements for Archbishop Levada in San Francisco who was named to head the CDF in Rome last week. These five names are most often mentioned by our sources: Bishop Daniel Walsh (Santa Rosa, CA), Bishop Tod Brown (Orange, CA), Joseph Fessio, SJ, Archbishop Charles Chaput (Denver), and Auxilary Bishop Salvatore Cordileone (San Diego, CA). It is well known both Bishops Walsh and Brown highly desire being appointed to San Francisco. The rather more interesting candidates are Fessio, Chaput, and Cordileone. Fessio is a protege of Pope Benedict. Chaput is known for his publically taking strong theological stands and for his pastoral talents. Cordileone is a friend and protege of Archbishop Burke, worked in Rome for a number of years, and has received rave reviews for his episcopal abilities in San Diego. The vaticanisti smiles.

Friday, May 13, 2005

What's In a Name? Part II

Loyola University in New Orleans should take care to avoid suffering the same fate as Marymount College in Manhattan (see this post) (go here for the full story on Loyola). Check this for a Loyola response.

The Vaticanisti can only hope that Archbishop Hughes' statements will be heeded by the Jesuit leadership at Loyola-New Orleans, so that the Archbishop is not forced to take actions similar to those of Cardinal Egan in the Marymount case. Yet again, an historically Catholic college shows itself unable to comprehend what it means to be designated thus.

Loyola was also in the news earlier this Spring in conjunction with the University's policy concerning the performance of the Vagina Monologues on that campus.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for them . . . and us.

"Blessed" John Paul II: The Fast Track

Today, Pope Benedict XVI announced that the normal five-year period before the cause for beatification is opened has been waived in the case of Pope John Paul the Great. The Holy Father took the occasion of this accouncement as another opportunity to educate the Church, both the clergy and the laity, as he highlighted different aspects of the recently-departed Pope's ministry and life of holiness. You can look here for a full news story on this historic event.

Archbishop Levada Appointed to CDF

Well, what can we say? Our on-the-ground reporting in Rome paid off. The vaticanisti were the first to officially confirm the Levada appointment...even beating out Time Magazine by a few hours. Dear ones, trust the vaticanisti.