Rorate Caeli

Why do "progressives" want this Lombard
in the College of Cardinals so much?...

It has been decades since the name of a priest has last been advanced with such forcefulness by the Italian "progressive" elite for a position in the Curia. For almost two years, Monsignor Gianfranco Ravasi, Prefect of the great Ambrosian Library of the Archdiocese of Milan and a biblical academic of the Martinian school, has had his named promoted by the Italian nomenklatura close to the "progressives" in the Church. Month after month, his name resurfaces, as if he were an ecclesiastical pet project of the Italian Socialist and Post-Socialist forces. The project? A curial position, a cardinalatial hat, and whatever may result from Ravasi's presence (as leader, popemaker, Great Elector, or...else) in a future conclave, perhaps...

It is true that the name of Montini was widely proposed for a cardinalatial nomination to John XXIII by the more "progressive" forces in Italian politics - but, even though Pius XII did not create him a Cardinal (for chronological reasons, since Montini was named to Milan in 1954, one year after Pacelli's last consistory for the creation of cardinals), he had named him Archbishop of the largest diocese in Italy and his appointment to the College would only be a matter of time.

The Ravasi-mania in the Italian "Catholic progressive" circles is thus unprecedented in recent memory: several reports in the past few weeks assure that the heavy lobbying is finally working and that Ravasi (chosen by Benedict for the Via Crucis readings of 2007) will be named President of the Pontifical Council for Culture (currently occupied by Cardinal Poupard, who will be 77 at the end of the week), a cardinalatial chair - the last paper to present this as a certainty, in a long list of similar articles, was Il Riformista (transcript in Paolo Rodari's weblog).


  1. Primer aniversario


    Instituto del buen pastor

    Instituto del Buen Pastor, tiene el agrado de invitarle a la Misa Solemne (Según el Misal de San Pio V),

    que se celebrará el sábado 8 de septiembre,

    Fiesta de la Natividad de la Santísima Virgen María,

    a las 16:30 hrs. en el Segundo Monasterio de la Visitación, Ubicado Av. Grecia 702, Comuna de Ñuñoa (Metro Irarrazabal)

    Con motivo del Primer Aniversario del IBP.

    Al Termino de la Santa Misa se cantara el Canto del Te Deum.

  2. See Sandro Magister's article:

    Magister seems to like him

  3. Anonymous12:45 AM

    The blue clerical shirt says it all!!! The Anglicans were doing that 30 years ago. So "kewl"!

  4. Anonymous5:24 AM

    The blue clerical shirt says it all!!! The Anglicans were doing that 30 years ago. So "kewl"!

    Ok, I will admit my ignorance. What does the blue clerical shirt signify?? I have not heard of such a thing.

  5. Anonymous7:54 AM

    What is the evidence of Ravasi's heterodoxy? Also, isn't that the Pontifical Council with the trad Abbot and Fr Lang? Is this really as bad as the blue shirt might suggest? Remember Cardinal Pell's white shirt in the famous Vox Clara pic! And Ratz with a shirt and tie!

  6. Who said anything regarding "heterodoxy"?

    That his name has been and is being pushed with intense forcefulness by the Italian political and cultural "elites" is a fact. Why? We report, you decide...

    Regarding Zielinski: no, his position is in the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology and the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church, not in the Pontifical Council for Culture.

  7. Anonymous8:14 AM

    Some of Sandro Magister's assessment linked above:

    'His critics accuse Ravasi of peddling smoke in order to win the favor of all. But he knows how to drop bombshells when necessary. On the crucial topics of abortion, euthanasia, unborn life, when ultimate principles are at stake, he is as cutting as a sword. He preaches absolute respect for the life of every person, at every moment, “for the same reason why respect is due even to the sinful man.”

    Partly for this reason there has never been great harmony between him and cardinal Martini, his archbishop for more than twenty years, who is more hesitant and nuanced in applying principles to the complexity of real life.

    But from Rome, the intransigent Joseph Ratzinger has always held Ravasi in great esteem. As pope, he delegated to him the task, last Holy Friday, of writing the texts of the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum: a certain sign of high favor.

    Now he wants him close as president of the pontifical council for culture, replacing cardinal Paul Poupard.

    But there’s more. Among the Biblicists of international fame, Ravasi is the one who has maintained the longest that one must speak of Jesus without separating man from God – as modern people and many exegetes tend to do – but in a seamless fashion.

    In perfect harmony with the book “Jesus of Nazareth” written by Benedict XVI. "

  8. Yes, Magister's opinion is well known on this.

    What remains to be explained, as we tried to make clear, is the motivation behind the overwhelming "progressive" push for Ravasi's name.

  9. Anonymous3:33 PM

    I would like to express the opinion that the shirt of mons. Ravasi is grey. This color is common between priests that wear the collar in Italy (because of the climate?). However not all the priests wear a collar, so the attire of mons. Ravasi could be considered rather formal in Italy. I like very much his activity of gifted "popularizer" of biblical studies. God bless him, whatever appointments will be given.

  10. Anonymous6:36 PM


    THAT'S considered formal clerical attire in Italy, yet Italians faint if you dare drink Coke directly from a can in their presence?

    Miss Manners, call your office!

  11. Anonymous6:36 PM

    I hate to say it, but in Italy, the blue, pale blue or white clerical shirt is usually a pretty good indicator of a "progressive" cleric. More and more, they don't wear black pants with them, either. People that I know in Italian seminaries have been rebuked by superiors for "rigidity" for wearing only black.

    Gregory DiPippo


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