Rorate Caeli

Cañizares replaces Arinze - but only in November?
And the Spanish Troubles...

(1.) The name of Cardinal CAÑIZARES LLOVERA as a replacement for Cardinal Arinze as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments was once again mentioned in the Italian press - this weekend, by Paolo Luigi Rodari, in Il Riformista. The change would take place only in November, after the fiftieth anniversary of priestly ordination of the Nigerian prelate.

According to Rodari, a Cañizares appointment could have a double meaning: that of placing a non-liturgist and esteemed papal friend in a place in which it would be useful to have a man with administrative skills, "faithful to the Pope and capable of taking certain decisions, possibly troublesome, which the correct administration of divine worship frequently requires"; and, also, maybe, that of implementing a new, Bertone-led, strategy regarding the relationship of the Catholic Church and the government in Spain.

(2.) RORATE Note: The first motivation is credible; the second one not so much. It is not as if the Catholic hierarchy has been monolithic in its position regarding the Zapatero government. Cañizares has often been quite subdued - and the moderate, almost spineless, attitude of the Cardinals of Andalusia (AMIGO, in Seville) and Catalonia (MARTÍNEZ SISTACH, in Barcelona) has been met with no cease-fire from the Socialist-led governments in these two autonomous regions.

A Ralliement in Spain (Rodari uses the term Ostpolitik) would have the same disastrous result of the previous ones: even more hostility towards the Church, as it happened in the French Third Republic and during the Spanish Second Republic. What compromise may the Church be able to achieve with a political establishment which, intimately, regrets not having been able to utterly destroy all traces of Catholicism in Spain in the 1931-1939 period?

The current Socialist government is being very successful in its ideological war against the Church - and the one true "hostile" action on the part of the Church has been not retiring one single very popular talk show host (Federico Jiménez Losantos) from the Episcopal Conference's national radio network (the COPE). Jiménez Losantos, who is harshly critical of the government, but whose positions are partisan and not religious in nature, has the apparent support of the most powerful Spanish Cardinal, the Archbishop of Madrid and President of the Conference (ROUCO VARELA, who will be 75 only in 2011) - but not the support of Cañizares. If he is the one about whom Cardinal Bertone is concerned, a direct Vatican order for his removal would be much more straightforward and useful than a massive change in the Spanish hierarchy for the sole reason of pleasing the Socialist government.


  1. If Cardinal Canizares has been quite subdued in his dealings with the Spanish government, then what makes us think that he will be anything more than subdued in his attitude towards the terrorists, I mean, liturgists who continue to fight the restoration of the sacred?

  2. Anonymous11:17 AM

    For one, the political theory does not seem sound at all. Liturgical work is what he has been hired for, but I think his real purpose is to work as an efficient administrator. We do not need him to be vocal or theoretical, to spend hours expounding on theological intricacies. His job is to get in there and pass laws quickly and efficiently. So much as already ben said by vocal men, and nothing gets done. Arinze spent so much time and energy producing a short document condemning abuses in the Novus Ordo mass, and for what? They continue to occur every day, all day. We need men who are less vocal and more effective. We need men who can hire and fire without a fuss. Is Canizares such a man? I don't know. But I think that we can relieve him of the need to be "Spanish" or "vocal." If all he does is quietly impose BXVI's liturgical renewal, he will have done his job.

  3. "a direct Vatican order for his removal would be much more straightforward and useful than a massive change in the Spanish hierarchy for the sole reason of pleasing the Socialist government."

    When was the last time the Vatican accomplished something via a direct order?

    Also, could there not be a third reason: As the 1962 Missal is re-integrated into the heart of the Church's worship, it will become increasingly necessary to have someone in charge of the Church's worship who supports its use. Llovera's membership on Ecclesia Dei supports this, I believe, as does his public use of the Extraordinary Form. Also supporting this is the increasing frequency of curialists being dispatched to perform ordinations for the FSSP, ICRSS, etc.

  4. Anonymous1:34 PM

    Readers might want to look up Cdl. Cañizares on ACI Prensa to see whether he has been subdued. It doesn't seem so to me. He has spoken against the "silent apostasy" and against laicism; and he will renew the consecration of Toledo to Christ the King on Nov. 23 of this year.

  5. We said he has "OFTEN been QUITE subdued", not that he is always and completely subdued. Considering the warlike position of the Government against the Church in Spain, ours would be an accurate description of his attitude. We are not criticizing it - it may well be the only prudent position in present conditions.

  6. Thanks for using the term Catalonia, which I haven't seen in print in some time.

  7. Would you mind adding my blog to your links? I will add yours.

  8. Anonymous #1,

    You are EXACTLY CORRECT Sir.

  9. Anonymous4:16 PM

    Alsaticus :
    Just to remind everybody :
    - cardinal Canizares was called the "Spanish Ratzinger". He is not into politics but ... Catholic doctrine and theology
    - as far as we should know, Liturgy is not a minor field for pope Benedict XVI
    - and cherry on the cake, the Spanish cardinal is a member of ... PCED ; his nomination being a relative surprise because it was not linked to any Office in the Curia or outside.

  10. Consider it done, Mrs Parkes.

  11. I was looking at the Cardinal's history on the catholic hierarchy website, and noticed that His Eminence used to be the archbishop of Granada and was reappointed as archbishop of Toledo. Given that Granada is a larger archdiocese than Toledo, can anyone enlighten me as to why that move would have happened?

  12. Toledo is a much more prestigious See. Its Archbishop is the Primate of Spain and almost always a Cardinal. Its prestige has not diminished even after its division and consequent erection of the Diocese (afterwards Archdiocese) of Madrid in the late 19th century.


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