Rorate Caeli

Complete replacement... the helm of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

On the very day Cardinal Martini became a non-voting Cardinal, a bishop who served under him as Auxiliary of Milan and who was consecrated by him became the head of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. Bishop (now Archbishop) Francesco Coccopalmerio replaced Cardinal Herranz in the position of President. Bishop (now Archbishop) Bruno Bertagna, became the Vice-President of the Council.

Father Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, of the Holy Cross Prelature (Opus Dei), was named by the Holy Father for the position of Secretary of the Council.

All pontifical legislative texts, including those recent proposals of a very sensitive nature, are screened by the Council.


  1. So, NC, are you saying he's in Martini's mold? Do we know anything more about this fellow?

    This seems like one of the more decisive moves yet made by Pope Benedict ... what does it mean?!

  2. Anonymous6:32 PM

    "All pontifical legislative texts, including those recent proposals of a very sensitive nature, are screened by the Council."

    I.e., the Motu Proprio.

  3. A man who is made priest by Montini and bishop by Martini could be very good or very bad news!

  4. Yes, I make abrosius' questions my own: Do we know anything else about this guy.

    Many of the problems in America resulted from the appointment of the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Cushing, who had been consecrated by and a close friend of the very sound and orthodox Cardinal O'Connell. So sometimes these associations can be misleading.

  5. Anonymous7:13 PM

    As part of my JCL studies at the Gregorian in Rome, I studied under Archbishop Coccopalmerio. I certainly wouldn't call him a traditionalist, but he is loyal to the Church and the Pope.

  6. Ditto Ambrosius, and with Peter.

    Also can anyone make anything of the off topic briefing as reported, er, briefly here on CWN

    as touched upon on RC here yesterday, and also the latest article from Sandro Magister here

    about Bertone, and *all* this in the context of Magister's article of 23rd November 2006 here

    which speaks to severe problems in communication and obstruction in the Vatican.

    Is all this connected (with for instance the Motu Proprio and expected AE?)?

    I ask because I don't know and also because in the past here many - when speculating just a little - have been concerned about less-than-sympathetic Bishops planning or actually throwing a spanner or wrench in the works in implementation and interpretation (e.g. the rather weak instructions about homosexuals leaps to mind, new mass liturgical corrections routinely ignored, canon 915 scandal etc.).

    Thankyou very much.

  7. He was an auxiliary for 14 years - rather a long time. Does that mean Martini didn't advance his cause for a See of his own? something else? or nothing at all? Too many questions and none of us informed enough to know the answers.

    Let's leave these appointments to the good judgement of the Holy Father.

  8. I usually believe coincidences like this one are quite interesting.

  9. What does anyone make of Cardinal Biffi being called on give the Lenten addresses to the Curia during the FIRST week of Lent? Another strong indication?

    thank you.

  10. Anonymous7:38 PM

    'Benedict XVI speaks to the world. But his words reach the general public with great difficulty – and sometimes not at all.'

    B16 needs to start his own blog. :-)

  11. Yippie, Yippie! Martini's truly gone!!!!!!!!!!! Happy days are here, again!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Happy Birthday, Cardinal Martini. Don't let the door hit you on your way out.

  12. Yes, this is an interesting set of events. It's as big a shake-up of a single, and not very large, dicastery all at once as we are likely to see. It would be interesting to know more about the reputations of those involved. Let us not forget that this was the dicastery that gave us altar girls. I imagine the Pope has been taking its current temperature for quite some time, and we shall see what happens.

    The Biffi announcement is vaguely heartening. If there is a message in it, it's a good one. It will certainly do the Curia good to be chastised by him!

    As to Martini; well, parting is such sweet sweetness.

  13. Anonymous10:50 PM

    I too was taught by Coccopalmerio at the Greg as part of the JCL and thought him one of the most liberal of all those who taught us. I must dig out his articles again.

  14. Anonymous10:51 PM

    I too was taught by Coccopalmerio at the Greg as part of the JCL and thought him one of the most liberal of all those who taught us. I must dig out his articles again.

  15. Anonymous11:29 PM

    I hear that the entire department was changed. I wonder if that is preparation for the publication of that synod of bishops document?

  16. Anonymous4:24 PM

    In his column for today John Allen describes Coccopalmerio as a "protege" of Martini...

  17. "Let's leave these appointments to the good judgement of the Holy Father."

    Sorry, but that only works for a while. Pope Benedict XVI's choices, so far, have been pretty poor for a man who should know everybody who is anybody in the Church. The CDF, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Washington D.C., Warsaw ... none of them exactly worthy of a vote of confidence from a traditionalist.

    But, of course, God is in charge and He will lift the scales from the Holy Father's administrative eyes in the day of His choosing, not mine.

  18. Just to warn you, this post will be an exercise in hopeful thinking. Sometimes there are hidden factors in appointments.

    None of us are jumping in the streets because Archbishop Wherl's ambivalence toward Canon 915, but his appointment to the See of Washington DC is a definite improvement. Sometimes the appointment of a liberal to one place is made to pacify certain individuals who have the power to make problems. Sometimes it enables the smooth appointment of a traditionalist elsewhere.

    Of course the pope is free to appoint as he pleases, but for practical reasons, political factors have just about always been part of the process.

    Is this wishful thinking? Perhaps so. But I agree with John: we're all on God's clock. This is realistic thinking

  19. Anonymous1:03 AM

    Cardinal Herranz was Opus Dei, and had reached the age of retirement, as I recall it. The secretary position is thought to be a powerful one at these dicasteries, so the Work might still be pleased.

    I had thought that Cardinal Herranz was a friend of the motu proprio. I wonder if this change is a signal.

    Meanwhile, all we can do is sit in Casablanca and wait, and wait, and wait...

  20. Anonymous1:09 PM

    If Cardinal Herranz, a supposed friend of the coming "Moto proprio" has been replaced by a protege of Martini, this is not a good sign with regards to the supposed "Moto proprio" I suspect that Pope Benedict XVI is not so favorably inclined to Catholic tradition as many thought. I would not be surprised.
    This new appointment seems to be a bad thing for traditional Catholics. The only good thing is that Coccopalmeiro is 69, an old man with not much time in office. He'll probably be over 70 when He becomes a cardinal.
    Pope Benedict has been in office for two years. He's practically 80. He's had plenty of time to effect his influence and make changes in a traditional direction as He was expected to...but has done nothing. Now, I would expect nothing from Him. Maybe I will be suprised for the better, and cheer Pope Benedict. But for now, by His appointments such as this one....I don't trust Him at all.

  21. It occurred to me that if a liberal is in this position, it will strengthen the implementation of any documents approved by this agency. Imagine Martini's 'successor' imploring for pastoral openness in generously allowing for the celebration of the Tridentine rite.

    "Keep 'em where you can see 'em"


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