Rorate Caeli

Ruini's successor: Bagnasco

Marco Tosatti in La Stampa and the publishers of Il Foglio affirm that the successor of Cardinal Ruini at the helm of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI) will be (probably for Tosatti, certainly for Il Foglio) the new Archbishop of Genoa, Angelo Bagnasco, former Archbishop of the Italian Military Ordinariate and a "Bertonian". Il Foglio states that the change will probably be made public on March 7.


  1. New Catholic,

    Looks like you've scooped our friend from Philly. Bully for you!

    Is Bagnasco orthodox? Does he have gumption? Is he a leader or a slave to collegiality? Will he be another Ruini? Is this a good or a bad thing?

    Thanks, not too many questions;^)

  2. Anonymous3:09 PM

    Bagnasco is certainly orthodox - a Thomist, a protege of the late Cardinal Siri and a the most prominent supporter of the liberalization of the Mass of Pius V among the Italian bishops.

    He is more of a thinker than a politician, and if Sandro Magister's latest report is on the mark, this move would mean that Bertone has persuaded Benedict to abandon the Ruini model of the CEI. Which doesn't mean running away from a fight, just that the CEI head will no longer be on the front lines of that fight.

  3. I am reminded of this past article.

  4. anonymous,

    Your first paragraph is thumping good news. I'm puzzled regarding the second.

    If Bagnasco is as good as you imply, why would Benedict want his personality and potential for good swallowed up by the swamp monster of collegiality?

  5. New Catholic,

    That's great. I'd forgotten about that. It makes the appointment almost enough to make up for a Levada...well, maybe not quite!

  6. Anonymous3:58 PM


    Maybe Benedict XVI wishes to give him some experience and exposure, with an eye to preparing him for a possible future job that (perhaps) Benedict thinks he shows potential for...even if Benedict won't have any say in whether Bagnasco gets that particular job...

    Just speculating!

    I notice that the Italian media is playing this up as a compromise in the Ruini-Bertone disagreement over Ruini's
    succession. Apparently besides being a "Bertonian" he's a favorite of Ruini's, and so uniquely qualified to be the consensus candidate. Hmmm.

    (same anon as above)

  7. anonymous,

    And as a mere lad of 64, I see he'd have "potential" for that "possible future job" for quite sometime!

  8. Good choice!

    A blessed and holy Lent and Easter to all.

  9. More information please: is the the Popes first choice or not?

  10. Anonymous1:30 AM

    I read that Benedict XVI was going to relinquish his prerrogative to appoint the head the CEI.

  11. Anonymous1:35 AM


  12. Simon: we will have to wait and see, right?

    Last anonymous: I doubt it. But, as it is well known, Sodano and the former nuncio to Italy, now archbishop of Palermo, tried to force his hand in that direction.

  13. Oops, sorry, Simon!

    May you and your family have a holy Lent!

  14. Anonymous2:54 AM

    Dear New Catholic:
    Thank you for the spiritual food to begin Lent: the utter paradoxes of Our Dear Savior's life. How he suffered with the many souls he tried to teach 'the narrow path' to in order to save them. One parable in particular comes to mind at the beginning of Lent, a time of almsgiving, penance for our sins, and fasting.

    One of Christ's most interesting tete-a-tetes was with the Rich Man and how he dealt with the question of riches and things of this world.

    We see that the Rich Man was a minimalist and mediocritist who wanted to do the least to achieve the kingdom of heaven. Why? Because when Our Divine Teacher answered the Rich Man on 'what must I do to attain eternal life?', Christ was pleased that the Rich Man had practiced the commandments from his youth. But this was not enough. He told the Rich Man if he wished to become perfect he should go and sell all he had and come and follow Christ. The Rich Man could not do this. He could not give it up. In fact, he went away sad.

    Did the Rich Man lose his soul? It would defninitely seem so because this Rich Man did not respond affirmatively to the efficacious graces Christ offered him for the salvation of his soul and eternal life. Why? Because he did not have DETACHMENT.

    The late Father John Hardon, S.J. used to teach that we must have detachment from the things of this world if we wished to save our souls: "By detachment from things of this world, I mean, from everything, from everything, from everything."

    Our Divine Teacher buttressed this reasoning upon watching the Rich Man walk away sad: "Amen I say to you, with difficulty will a rich man enter the kingdom of heaven. And further I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 19: 23-24)

    Minimalism and mediocrity is the rationale of the devil and of many, many nominalist and minimalist Catholics in the West who cannot even climb out of bed anymore on Sundays to worship God for one mere hour and tithe to Our Divine Master's favorite charities on Sunday. And how rich we all are! How much Americans horde: multiple computers, cars, TV's, radios, stereos in one house.
    Mediocrity and materialism simply will not save one's soul from riches and the things of this world, for Our Divine Teacher had the final word on this:
    "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." In effect, only the poor in spirit shall enter the kingdom of heaven. Period. And Christ's words again on this: "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where rust and moth consume and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither rust nor moth consumes, nor theives break in and steal. For where thy treasure is there also will thy heart be." (Matt 6: 19-21)

    And how can heroic, saintly Catholics pursue these heavenly riches during Lent and practice DETACHMENT? Yes, with the old-fashioned pre-Vatican II virtues of penance and mortifying the flesh: mortify the flesh by fasting from food and drink and give extra alms to the poor, or give of your time to a needful charity, do an hour of Eucharistic Adoration etc. This is poverty of spirit. God bless us all!

    j hughes dunphy

  15. I agree wholeheartedly with jhughesdunphy that the St. Proclus writing was most inspirational. I will have to meditate thereon as I begin this season of penance! A blessed Lent to all of you.

  16. I wonder though about Scola's future...

  17. Anonymous3:46 PM

    "I read that Benedict XVI was going to relinquish his prerrogative to appoint the head the CEI."

    As New Catholic said, it was rumored that Card. Sodano and the former nuncio in Italy tried to force the Holy Father´s hand in that direction and it is said that the idea has been refuted.

    INSTEAD, I hope the Holy Father issues a pontifical document reserving to Himself the right to appoint the president and the directors of ALL Episcopal Conferences of the world.

  18. Anonymous11:28 PM

    prof basto, certainly that would be a very positive measure, however, it the Pope in the capacity to do that? I mean this would entail for the Holy Father to follow closer the activities of the bishops, and there more than 4,000 of them, in additional to follow the events in every country of the world. At the present time, when the pope dedicates so much time to international politics and to travel around, I find this position difficult to mantain. But certainly would be a very positive measure, so to regain some control over the conferences of bishops that have taken an unwarrant life of their own.

  19. Anonymous12:34 AM

    Jacob, why does it worry you the future of Cardinal Scola? He is patriarch of Venezia, isn't that enough?

  20. Anonymous1:50 PM


    The pope already appoints the Bishops of all dioceses of the Latin Church, from the big archdioceses to the tiny countryside dioceses. He does all that with the help of the Congregation for the Bishops (Roman Curia), and there is a selection process that involves many others, such as the Apostolic Nuncio, etc.

    Now, if the pope appoints all Bishops of the Latin Church, why not include the offices of president and directors of the Episcopal Conferences in that appointments machine?

  21. Anonymous:

    Does it worry me? No. I merely am curious about his fortunes given he was the first choice before Cardinal Bertone decided to impose his will on the process.

  22. Anonymous1:30 AM

    Jacob, why do you throw the blame on Cardinal Bertone? Isn't the pope that has the prerrogative to name the head of the CEI? Nobody can foce the pope to do anything. Everything he does is under his sole responsability. Cardinal Bertone is just faitfully interpreting the wishes of Pope Benedict XVI. By the way no cardinal or bishop can force the pope to do anything.

  23. Anonymous7:36 PM

    A protege of Cardinal Siri?

    That's all I need to know. It is one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the Church that Siri was never pope, and if Bagnasco has half of his spirit and traditionalist instincts, then may he reach the very highest rank.


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