Rorate Caeli

Abp. Fisichella to head a new Pontifical Council?

More than a year after the Recife scandal, which led just a few months ago to a "mutiny" in the Pontifical Academy for Life (see this for a comprehensive list of articles covering the matter), Andrea Tornielli has announced that, in the coming weeks, Pope Benedict XVI will announce the establishment a new Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, dedicated to the evangelization of the West -- with Archbishop Rino Fisichella as its head. The new position will make him a candidate for the red hat as well.

According to Tornielli, Archbishop Fisichella will be succeeded as rector of the Pontifical Lateran University by Fr. Enrico Dal Covolo SDB, who is close to Cardinal Bertone and had preached this year's Lenten spiritual exercises for the Pope and the Roman Curia.

Tornielli also mentions reports that Abp. Gianfranco Ravasi, current head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, is being considered as a possible successor to Cardinal Tettamanzi in Milan.


  1. Anonymous4:33 PM

    May God save us from anyone "close to Cardinal Bertone". May Our Lady of Fatima touch that Cardinal's and Cardinal Sodano's hearts to do right by Her and admit to their wrong doings against Her and Her message.

    Our Lady of Fatima, ora pro nobis.

  2. Anonymous4:36 PM

    I don't especially like archbishop Ravasi, since until now he hasn't really done anything to defend to faith ; rather he seems more interested in making it compatible wth ''pop culture'' and ''pop academia'' and the what like. He's a clerical softie.

    Regarding Fisichella, I would be glad if he left the Academy of Life, since his leadership has been a disaster there. He can do whatever he wants in the Curia except his current post, which is inconventient to him.

  3. Why on earth would His Holiness even consider appointing such a man to any position of authority in the Church whatsoever?

    This rumor, if true, would be demoralizing indeed.

  4. Anonymous5:48 PM

    How many SDB priests/bishops have been appointed within the Curia and at residential sees ?

    It seems to have become the new favorite order. It is however, as far as I know, far from being traditional.

    With Abp Ravasi in Milan, it would be change the name to change nothing.


  5. I am speechless...

    Really, no comment.

  6. Johnny Domer9:16 PM

    The odd thing about Abp Fisichella is that he is, in certain ways, very traditional. He has ordained priests for the Institute of Christ the King, and I remembered hearing traditional people say very good things about him before the Recife scandal (such as Fr. Z, who was elated at his appointment as rector of the Lateran University).

    The Italians in the Curia seem like they're not the greatest bunch, and they seem to be very closely connected with each other and networking with one another. Bertone seems to be the center of it all, and the favoritism he plays towards his fellow Salesians is pretty blatantly obvious. He will reach retirement age in 2 years or so. If Benedict replaces him with an outsider of some sort, perhaps someone who isn't in the Curia or who isn't part of this Italian circle, I think that would be a major, major move. Not to sound like a broken record, but Cardinal Pell would be an earth-shattering appointment (I know, I know, his name is mentioned for every curial opening).

    It seems that Benedict needs to get away from appointing people who worked for him at CDF and whom he knows (Bertone, Levada) and continue his more recent trend of appointing the best people for the job (Burke, Canizares). His appointments at CDF and Secretariat of State in the upcoming two years might be the most significant of his Pontificate (and Lord knows, one of those two might wind up succeeding him).

  7. Louis E.10:07 PM

    Cardinal Bertone was born December 2nd 1934.He has thus already reached "retirement age" for being Secretary of State but is staying on at least until the conclusion of his first quinquennium in the post in September 2011.His additional post as Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church has no set retirement age.

    Cardinal Re was born January 30th 1934 and is currently the senior Cardinal-Bishop under 80,and Cardinal Bertone is the only younger Cardinal-Bishop.They are thus in line to preside over any conclave held if the Pope dies before their 80th birthdays (an appointment of any future Cardinal Bishop born after Cardinal Bertone must wait for one of the six incumbents to die (Sodano and Etchegaray are already over 80 and Arinze and Saraiva Martins are junior to Re and older than Bertone).I expect their retirements to be handled gracefully lest they preside over a conclave in a bad mood.

  8. It might be a mistake to conceive of the Vatican as a meritocracy.

  9. Anonymous3:22 AM

    About papal appointments: you really cannot expect the pope to appoint men he does not know: just how would he do that?

    I'd rather prefer that he seek counsel from a wider circle of truly traditional clergy, of whatever rank, but at least learned and holy men.

    That way at least, those he does not know, might at least be known by such a wider circle.

    A pope who rules from a narrow circle of daily contacts, is very subject to being controlled an manipulated by that circle.

    No need to mention names, those who know their history can attest to that.

  10. Anonymous4:32 AM

    Echoing Ricks' sentiments, on the face of it, this appointment is odd. After his pro-abortion defense, one really questions his ability to be straightfoward about the Faith and with yet another expansion of the Curia. I would like to know the details of what this new office is going to be doing and what their approach will be.

    In any case, we have to trust the Holy Father's decision and pray all the more.


  11. Anonymous11:44 AM

    I love the idea of this new Congregation but not the idea of who will lead it

  12. You've got to be kidding? This rumor of Archbishop Fisichella being given a new position of authority and being in line for the red hat is troubling, to say the least. It brings to mind the words of the song: "When will they ever learn?"

  13. Anonymous6:36 PM

    To Paul Haley, It seems to me the correct question is, "When will WE ever learn?" We keep making excuses for the most blatant "mistakes" by men we insist must be of good will. We should recognize their malice.

  14. Anonymous5:42 AM

    To anonymous:

    Appointing Fisichella to such a new post is certainly not as malicious as you would want it to be.

    Such a post does nothing, has little impact on anything.

    His promotion however grants his critics what they wanted, his removal from the prior post.

    Sometimes in curial matters, the goal of the straight path is arrived at in a byzantine zigzag...

    The purpose is not dishonestly; its about governing while keeping the dissenters of good governance at bay.

  15. Anonymous2:23 PM

    Anon 5:42, That's right, just keep making explanations and excuses for them. They love it!

  16. Anonymous said...

    To Paul Haley, It seems to me the correct question is, "When will WE ever learn?" We keep making excuses for the most blatant "mistakes" by men we insist must be of good will. We should recognize their malice.

    Please give me examples of how I "keep making excuses for the most blatant mistakes" by men I insist must be of good will. I have congratulated Bishop Slattery for doing the right thing - nothing more and nothing less. If you think differently, fine, but leave the "we" out of it.

  17. Anonymous2:58 PM

    Appointment of Abp. Fisichella seen as "a sign of cancer in the Church".


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