Rorate Caeli

For the Record - Tosatti: Changes in the Roman Curia and "imminent" documents

Marco Tosatti, one of the most influential religious journalists in Italy, reports today in La Stampa on possible changes in the Roman Curia, confirming rumors that the Pope (and Cardinal Bertone) would want to move Cardinal Levada to New York (prompting the battle for his succession) and reports (already confirmed by I.Media and Andrea Tornielli in Il Giornale) that the letter to China and the "motu proprio" on the liberalization of the Traditional Latin Mass could be released before the beginning of the Pope's early summer vacation, in Lorenzago di Cadore.

Main excerpts below:

Benedict XVI brings back to life the ministry for Dialogue between religions, trusting it to a cardinal of great relevance, Jean-Louis Tauran, previously Foreign Minister and "Librarian" of Holy Roman Church; and, meanwhile, in the Sacred Palaces, a silent battle for two positions of great prestige and importance has begun: the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where Ratzinger reigned as Prefect for more than twenty-three years, and the Pontifical Council for Culture, in the hands of Cardinal Paul Poupard, who in August will reach seventy-seven years old. [Father] Gianfranco Ravasi, Prefect of the Ambrosian Library, is the candidate in "pole position" [sic] to succeed him, strongly supported by the "progressive" wing.


There are those who propose other names: Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet; the Spanish Archbishop of Toledo, Cardinal Canizares; and even the Bishop of San Marino, Luigi Negri. Antonio Cañizares, greatly esteemed by Pope Ratzinger, is, however, a possible candidate for another position: that of Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. If the operation, willed by the Pope and by Cardinal Bertone, to send Levada to New York is successful, the succession problem is opened. Other than Angelo Amato, the current secretary and a Salesian like Bertone, Cañizares is also mentioned. Many however bet on the Patriarch of Venice, Angelo Scola, greatly esteemed by the Pope and, in a certain sense, expecting a compensation, after Bagnasco became the president of Cei [the Italian Episcopal Conference].


On Monday, July 9, Benedict XVI leaves for Lorenzago di Cadore; some changes may perhaps happen before vacations, particularly that of Archishop Claudio Maria Celli, Secretary of the Apsa [Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See], very close to Cardinal Silvestrini, to the position of Archbishop Foley, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, [himself] destined to substitute Cardinal Carlo Furno as Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. And the publication of two important documents is expected: a letter to the Chinese Catholics, which could be a milestone in relations with Beijing, and the "Motu proprio" for the liberalization of the Mass of Saint Pius V, both defined as "imminent" by authoritative voices.

Tip and online transcript: Papa Ratzinger.


  1. Beauuuutiful picture of Cardinal Cañizares-Llovera!

    Him, Scola - they should both be fit for the job as il Grande Inquisitore.

  2. The letter to Chinese Catholics worries me - hopefully it won't signal the beginning of the Holy See's abandonment of Taiwan in favour of better relations with Beijing but I am pessimistic on that score.

  3. Interesting that with the Sodano protege now out of the way with a job at Inter-Religious Dialogue, the position at the head of Propaganda Fide can be filled from among more solid choices such as Scola or Canizares. Maybe there's a tactic in this after all!

  4. It is absolutely essential that Levada leaves the Holy See. It was a huge mistake to have appointed him prefect of CDF, considering his background and considering the moral mess in which the U.S. Catholic Church is engulfed, and also considering how the U.S. is behaving in the world today. This is a matter of pure politics, and no American can nor should be head of CDF. I am also praying for prompt removal of another American in the Holy See, the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. This guys has been there for too long. It will also be healthy for the Catholic Church to reduce the number of American cardinal electors. They have soared in recent years, without any justification, and in contradiction to the wicked ways of the U.S. Catholic Church. This is pure politics, and as politics is should be played in the way that benefits the Universal Church.

  5. Anonymous3:43 AM

    It seems to me that ideal candidate should be Archbishop Amato for the job as head of CDF, that way Benedict XVI will have control of the Church via two previous collaborators of him.

  6. It'd be great if someone would sit down and put together a little snippet of info about each man. Some I know, but the more obscure ones are just names being thrown out...


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!