Rorate Caeli

Motu Proprio wars in the Roman Curia
Ranjith off to Sri Lanka?

The Italian daily Italia Oggi included yesterday this interesting report:

Curie e Curiali: Ranjith goes, but he could return

by Andrea Bevilacqua

The probable, if by now not yet certain, nomination of Archbishop Angelo Amato, number two of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (that which was once headed by Cardinal Ratzinger, and today by Cardinal William Levada), as new Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments at the position of Cardinal Francis Arinze, has considerably angered the one who is today the number two of this same congregation guided by Arinze: Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith. The latter, called a couple of years ago to Divine Worship with the promise to afterwards replace Arinze at the helm of the dicastery, having been almost certainly bypassed by Amato in the prestigious position of Prefect of one of the nine Vatican Congregations (the position also foresees the Cardinalatial birretta), seems to have asked Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone to leave the Roman Curia and return to his homeland (Sri Lanka), to become Archbishop of an important diocese and thus, afterwards, a Cardinal. All [of these events], if predictions are confirmed, should take place when the Pope returns from the United States ... .

Ranjith probably pays [the price] for having exposed himself with great emphasis (interviews, declarations, publication of articles) in favor of the papal Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum", with which the Mass in Latin according to the ancient rite revised by Pope John XXIII in 1962 was liberalized. It seems that, due to his repeated interventions, part of the Roman Curia may have explicitly asked Bertone, by way of a letter, that he should not become Prefect of a Congregation with such delicate tasks.And Bertone, [after] the due calculations were made, seems to have endorsed the signers of the letter. Signers who, two years ago, when Ranjith was nominated Secretary of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, did not accept well his arrival and the subsequent removal of Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino [previous Secretary] to the diocese of Assisi. The tally, however, must still be closed by Benedict XVI.

Ranjith was one of his first nominations once he became Pope. When Ranjith, a few years before, was displaced by Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe from the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, where he was Adjunct Secretary, Ratzinger (who was then Prefect of the former Holy Office) did not take it well, so much so that, once he became the Pontiff, promptly wished to show his own affection and esteem for Ranjith by calling him back to Rome and putting him in Sorrentino's place. Today, the pressures against Ranjith in the Roman Curia are not small. Bertone seems to have surrendered. Benedict XVI is not so predictable as to do the same.

Editorial Note: The pressures against Archbishop Ranjith are extremely strong within the Roman Curia, as first reported last month. There is no doubt of the Pontiff's great love for him: Ranjith was chosen to replace Bugninist Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino (Benedict's first bold removal of a Curial name) months before Bertone himself was named. The hatred towards Ranjith is strong in Italian circles in the Curia: his immaculate honesty doomed him in Propaganda Fide during the Wojtyla pontificate; now, his bold defense of Papal prerogatives embodied in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum increases the hatred for him. We hope and pray Pope Benedict does not surrender to the intense movement led by the wolves in the Curia against Archbishop Ranjith.

Interestingly enough, there is only one Archdiocese in Sri Lanka, the Archdiocese of Colombo - whose current Archbishop, who is not a Cardinal, turned 75 a few months ago... There has been only one Cardinal at the helm of that Archdiocese in its entire history.

Transcript: Papa Ratzinger Blog


  1. Anonymous11:23 AM

    Is this perhaps to send a bishop favorable to Tradition to the Far East where the ICCB are given over to syncretistic doublespeak mixing Hinduism with Catholicism? If Ranjith can set a pro-Benedictine and anti-syncretistic example in an Indian/subcontinental diocese there may be something providential in this development.

    In JMJ,

  2. Anonymous12:38 PM

    The "Italian" group in the Curia opposed to the Motu Proprio, the Tridentine Latn Mass, and thus the Pope (and Archbishop Ranjith) are lead by the ex-Secretary of State, Cardinal Sodano-even though he is going to be 81. He still remains a powerful, and sinister force.
    Piero Marini, 66, is also strongly behind this hatred of Catholic tradition and Archbishop Ranjith.
    Cardinal Arinze, 75, never once spoke up in favor of the Motu Proprio, or sided with his No.2 man in the office, Archbishop Ranjith.
    If the Pope had any sense, He would sack Bertone as well as all the trouble makers in the Curia.
    Bertone is not "The Pope's Man". He is a liberal just like Piero Marini, Sodano, etc. He is also a Salesian, SDB, which is not an Order know today as orthodox, conservative, traditional, or indeed loyal to the Pope.
    I hope Pope Benedict XVI has the courage to keep Archbishop Ranjith, and put down the pack of wolves in the Curia.

  3. Anonymous2:51 PM

    "Bertone seems to have surrendered."

    Look at what Bertone has been, and is doing to the message of Fatima. Caught in his own lies, he still persists in complicating himself further.

    That he has surrendered to the enemies of Archbishop Ranjith should come as no surprise.

  4. Anonymous6:31 PM

    This is a holy man. Naturally he will be hated just as Our Lord predicted His true followers would be. I hope he will rise even farther and I hope he will maintain his peace in the face of opposition. God will use him for His glory; just look at what happened to Cardinal Ratzinger and he was plenty hated too.

  5. Anonymous7:58 PM

    How about putting this solid Archbisbop Ranjith as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and dumping Cardinal Levada and sending him back to the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the mess he left there.

  6. Anonymous9:26 PM

    ROFTL, the politbureau of the Church has set an ambush against this Asian. They will never allow this Asian to have real power. This is still an all-white club, racially and culturaly.

  7. Anonymous10:33 PM

    All the curia, and for that matter a great deal of the hierarchy wants are business as usual, JP2 political moderates. What we need is genuine reform!

  8. Anonymous10:50 PM

    "What we need is genuine reform!"

    Nein, nein, nein! Over my dead body! ;)

  9. Anonymous10:56 PM

    If the Pope had cleaned out the Curia like it was rumpored he was going to do when he first came into office, he wouldn't be having this trouble now.
    People like Bertone, Levada, Arinze, Re, Kasper, Marini (Piero), Sondano, Noe, Sepe, not to mention second level hacks all should have been thrown out on their cardnal red posteriors within the first year or so.
    Had Benedict XVI housecleaned, these people would not be around to cause trouble today.
    Give people like Piero Marini a little diocese in Qatar to govern, or in Afganistan. He'll never be heard of again.

  10. Anonymous10:59 PM

    "Give people like Piero Marini a little diocese in Qatar to govern, or in Afganistan. He'll never be heard of again."

    The best service that the Pope could do for these people' souls is to send them where they could be purified. Afganistan!

  11. Anonymous11:06 PM

    We haven't had a Pope who's governed since 1958. If Ranjith is not offered an important position in the Curia after losing out at Divine Worship, it will show that Benedict does not reward loyalty with loyalty. He lost the initiative against his enemies when he moved so slowly to replace Sodano and Marini. He will become increasingly isolated -- and the Traditionalists increasingly at peril. The Portland "ransom" scheme portends diffiuclt days ahead.

  12. Anonymous11:16 PM

    "If Ranjith is not offered an important position in the Curia after losing out at Divine Worship, it will show that Benedict does not reward loyalty with loyalty."

    I doubt that Benedict XVI is sure about what he wants to do. He is a weak Pope, just a transional figure.

  13. Anonymous12:09 AM

    The Pope can not even say to let people kneel and receive communion on the tongue without having to say Amen before putting the tongue out.

    A Pope who nominated Cardinal Levada... And changed the rules to elect the next Pope - 2/3 instead of 50% + 1. That tells us how the church will be rundown (down hill)...

  14. Anonymous1:28 AM

    Looks like someone is testing the water again. Feeling confident from the last little coup no doubt. Phee Phi Phee phone eh? I smell the sent of Cardinal .......


  15. This is sad to say the least. Prayers are in order so that the Will of God will be followed.

  16. Anonymous6:17 AM

    Quote: "ROFTL, the politbureau of the Church has set an ambush against this Asian. They will never allow this Asian to have real power. This is still an all-white club, racially and culturaly."

    Oh, yes, Arinze is the whitest of them all!

  17. People are reading too much into this report. It should be regarded as speculation by one Italian newspaper.

    What is probably correct is that the battle lines have been drawn, and there are fierce arguements going on.

    My belief is that the Holy Father will do what he thinks is best and will not cave in to pressures from any quarter.

  18. Et exspecto:

    There are two rumors here: the one regarding the indication of Abp. Amato as Prefect of CDW is not new, and it is credible; the one regarding the indication of Ranjith as Archbishop of Colombo and (eventually) his creation as Cardinal is not new either (inside sources have reported this for at least two months), but this is the first time it has been publicly reported.

    Despite what is usually assumed, Italian newspapers are still among the best sources of news which factions inside the Vatican wish to make public - we often remember when they report wrongly, but they also report many rumors which turn out to be true...

  19. Anonymous2:43 PM

    It's absolutely ridiculous to bring in the issue of race!!!

    It has nothing to do with race, or the color of Ranjinth's skin or what part of the world he comes from!

    It does 100% concern the aging but still powerful remnant of the John Paul II Curia which wants things to go on "business as usuall" as if John Paul II still reigns as Pope from the grave.....and in alot of ways he DOES!! Which is sick, absolutely warped and sick.
    The interreligious dialog business with the attempts to placate Jews, Muslims etc was begun because the Church was deviating form the wimpish John Paul II line, and these Muslin=ms and especially Jews wanted to pressure the Church to return to the "John Paul II" mentality.
    The Pope's trip to the USA has been molded into a carbon copy of what John Paul II would have done, and who he would have met and engaged in conversations with, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists etc. at the JP II Cultural Center, Protestants in New York in an ecumenical gathering, making a visit to a synagogue.....UGH!!!
    It might as well be as if John Paul II were coming again, for his 20th visit to the USA.

    But regarding the Motu Proprio problems and Archbishop Ranjith, these worthless holdovers of the John Paul II reign should have been sacked during the first 1 1/2 years of Benedict XVI's reign. That these problems persist in the Pope's own problem for being too meek.
    People like Bertone, Levada, Kasper (although Kasper has made some startling conservative and pro-Catholicism comments in his arguments with Jews over the Good Friday Prayer), Re, and especially Arinze should have been given their walking papers years ago.
    Another behind the scenes trobulemaker , even though he is past 80, Cardinal Sodano,, should have been told to stop meddling, or face disiplinary action. He and his core of supporters (all elderly Italians mostly) should all be removed.

  20. It is so typical of this world of relativism we live in these days. Jesus Himself said, "If you are not for Me, you are against Me." Why claim to be Catholic if you disagree with Christ's Vicar. Pray for the Holy Father and obey all that he relays to us for the Church, or GET OUT! Resignation would be far better that to "mislead one of these little ones" our Lord said. But as St John Chrysostom said,"The floor of hell is paved with skulls of bishops and priests who mislead the flock." Please pray for these confused men in the Church for we get what we pray for and we suffer BY those for whom we do not pray.

  21. Any other ethnicity-related comment will be deleted.

  22. Anonymous6:35 PM

    "Why claim to be Catholic if you disagree with Christ's Vicar. Pray for the Holy Father and obey all that he relays to us for the Church, or GET OUT!"

    Phillipo of Alabama, watch out with what you say. If this were the rule in the Catholic Church the college of Cardinals would be left decimated.

    Hans Küng is the most notorious heretic of the conciliar church, and continues to be a priest in good standing when he should have been excomunicated for heressy.

    One characteristic of the Conciliar Church is its lack of integrity and I agree that if one does not agree with the Catholic Church, why remain in it. But don't tell this to JR or the conciliar college of bishops, for whom "libertinism" of belief is a sacrosant dogma of the Concilar Church.

  23. Anonymous6:43 PM

    "My belief is that the Holy Father will do what he thinks is best and will not cave in to pressures from any quarter."

    Yes, he will. In fact everything that Benedict XVI had done and will do in his papacy is out of his personal beliefs. Not one single of them has been, or will be imposed, by anyone.

    Benedict XVI is who he is.

  24. Anonymous9:46 PM

    Benedict is supposed to be Peter, which is much beyond "who he is." Who he is must be subjugated to who Peter is, the Vicar of Christ. This is the problem with V-II priests, bishops, and Popes: too much personality and not enough persona Christi.

  25. Instead of griping about what the pope should do (based on calamnous rumors), how about praying for him. Based on the comments of some of the "anonymous" people here, they would probably have rejected St. Peter himself!

  26. Anonymous11:14 PM

    This is the problem with V-II priests, bishops, and Popes: too much personality and not enough persona Christi.

    AMEN. I will pray for these folks (particularly the Pope) to be humble and seek to be persona Christ.

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. Let's drop all these fancy titles "Holy Father", "Your Eminence" etc etc and the "glorification" of the past and rediscover the vision of the Second Vatican Council. We seem to be stuck in the mind-set that the Holy Spirit can only work through Rome yet, the wind blows where she will.

  29. Anonymous3:25 AM

    "We seem to be stuck in the mind-set that the Holy Spirit can only work through Rome yet, the wind blows where she will."

    Yes, but Rome rules in the Church, not the Holy Spirit, so Rome is the biggest obstacle that the Holy Spirit has to do his job.

  30. Anonymous4:29 AM

    "Not so fast"...says Tribe over at NLM.

  31. It is true Amato's name has been raised since Benedict's accession for every Congregation whose Prefect last left (CDF) or turned 75 (Saraiva Martins, Arinze).

    Since it is all up to the Pope, we will have to wait for his final decision, as the report itself says (so, "not so fast" does not make much sense, since, as a great American philosopher once said, "It's not over until it's over."). Yet, it is undeniable that there are factions in the Curia strongly struggling against Ranjith and who are as close to the Pope as it is humanly possible.

    For the record: Italia Oggi first reported the story that Ranjith might be the chosen substitute (last October...).

  32. Anonymous11:38 AM

    I was in India not too long ago. Along with being a growing economic powerhouse, it is also becoming a growing center of Catholicism. The population numbers are so big in most states, that as soon as something starts, you're very quickly talking about a few million people. Things are moving along in that country to the point that in the US, I have now seen Indian expatriots in at least two parishes here in the state of Arizona.

    Also: The SSPX has grown quite a bit in places like Mumbai and Chennai. They hold most, if not all, of the Tridentine Latin Masses in India. I visited a Catholic parish/school in the city of Pune. They held a very liberal NO Mass there, but that may soon change; as some of the laity seemed quite serious about their business.

    So, things are looking up for India. If Archbishop Ranjith received a very high position from Pope Benedict, I believe that Catholicism would grow more quickly in India.


  33. Anonymous3:14 AM

    I predicted this when Ranjith started attacking bishops and cardinals.

  34. Anonymous3:17 AM

    Archbishop Hamao said that the appointment of Ranjith was a sarcastic Vatican response to calls for more Asian representation in Rome.

  35. Anonymous6:55 PM

    The anon person who posted "I was in India not too long ago. Along with being a growing economic powerhouse....."

    Ranjith is Sri Lankan NOT Indian.

  36. Anonymous2:52 PM

    Let us Keep an Obedient and Faithful Archbishop

    We the loyal Catholics are very shock about thr Roman Curia who have gone against Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, Secretary of the Congregation For the Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

    I know Archbishop Ranjith for the last twenty five years. He is an excellent Archbishop and the Catholics worldwide have high regards for him. He is like St.John the Baptist standing for the truth and great defender of our Catholic Faith.He is also obedient to the Holy Father.

    I am fully aware that our Holy father has high regards for him. We Catholics are fully aware that there are number of liturgical abuses are happening in many parishes in the World.

    Regarding the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum Archbishop Ranjith is handling according to the Holy Father's request. We need Archbishop Ranjith to remain in the Vatican and succeed Cardinal Francis Arinze who is now 75.

    Let me explain very clearly,

    Archbishop Ranjith is not saying to change every thing to old rites. I know personally there are so many elderly people like to take part in the Tredentine Mass at least once a month in their parishes. We must understand their feeling.Please note very carefully, the Second Vatican Council didn't band the Tredentine Mass.I am sure that is why Archbishop Ranjith is asking the Bishops to understand their needs and try to bring Tredentine Masses in their dioceses.He is not demanding the Bishops.

    Regarding kneeling and receiving the Eucharist in tongue, Archbishop Ranjith is absolutely carrect.Nowadays most people are taking for granted. They have no respect for our Lord.It is duty of the every parish priest to looking to this issue.

    I.E: Some people receive communion before say AMEN.To receive Holy Eucharist every Catholic has to be in the state of Grace.Sadly most Catholics never go to Confession.Every priest must make sure they raise these issue in their homilies.

    Today there are lot of Catholics leaving our Church and joining other Christian sects because so many errors and lack of pastoral care in our parishes. It is time now for so called liberal Catholics including Bishops to obey our Holy Father and cooperate with him to protect the teaching of our Catholic Church from any errors.

    Archbishop Ranjith mentioned about teaching latin in our seminaries, is there anything wrong with that? In his beginning of his Pontificate our Holy Father Benedict XVI requested about the latin to use in our liturgical rites, such as "Gregoran Chant" etc in our parishes and teach latin in our seminaries. Any problem? I don't think.

    We the loyal Catholics are fully aware that Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith is an excellent pastor who care for our Church and true Disciple of Christ our Lord.Can any one point out that he is not following teaching of the Church? I don't think so.

    I hope Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State won't jumb into conclusion.We hope and pary that he will understand Archbishop Ranjith's views.We know that the Holy Father has high regards and love for Archbishop Ranjith. We hope that Holy Father will appoint Archbishop Ranjith to succeed the current Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Sacrament Cardina Francis Arinze.

    I hope Pope has the courage to keep Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith and put down the pack of wolves in Curia.

    C.Eric Jeevaraj
    London,United Kingdom

  37. Can Ranjith find a Cardinal Birreta in Ecclesia Dei? This could put the teeth to continue the important work ahead of what was not happening under Arinze, unify with a new CDW head such as Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, mesh with Transalpines and possible Orthodox Anglicans and possible SSPX returners to the One Holy and Catholic and Apostolic Church. At the same time, The Singnatura has Burke in place, and others in key places to see it through.


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