I am now blogging on the Catholic Herald website. Thank you for reading Anna Arco’s Diary.
After weeks of being on tenterhooks about the new president of the Congregation of Bishops the Pope has announced that Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Archbishop of Quebec will take up the post. Cardinal George Pell was one of the people whose name was originally being bandied about but a smear campaign and poor health made him turn down the appointment, according to Vatican watchers.
In this Curial turn-around–which places a Canadian at the top of a curial department dominated by Italians–other important posts have also been filled and people shifted across departments.
Archbishop Rino Fisichella, a controversial figure who headed the Pontifical Council for Life as well as being the rector of the Lateran University has been moved to the Pope’s new department the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, while Don Enrico dal Covolo, S.D.B takes over as Rector at the Lateran and Mgr Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Life, is taking over as head.
Mgr Carrasco de Paula is a medical doctor as well as a prominent moral theologian and bioethicist. He is a member of the Opus Dei, which reminds me of this John Allen Jr article from 2001 about the Opus Dei in the Vatican.
This morning B16 said that the greatest danger for the Church does not come from the outside but from the inside.
Alluding to the crisis of clerical abuse and to the persecution the Church has faced during its history, Benedict said (NB this is my very rough translation from Italian): “If we think of the two millenia of the history of the Church, we can see that, as the Lord Jesus had foreseen, there were not missing for the Christians the tests which in some periods and places took on the character of real and actual persecution.
“This, however, despite the suffering which provoke us, does not constitute the most grave danger for the Church. The greatest damage in fact, it suffers from those who pollute the faith and the Christian life of its members and community, attacking the integrity of the mystical Body, harming it in its capacity of prophecy and testimony and dulling the beauty of its face.”
The Vatican Information Service has just released an unusually detailed communique relating to a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn and Cardinal Angelo Sodano in which the Austrian cardinal was made to explain public criticism he had levelled against Sodano.
After Cardinal Sodano made a surprise speech at Easter criticising the media’s reports about abuse as “idle gossip”, Cardinal Schoenborn publicly accused the former Secretary of State of having deliberately obstructed an investigation into accusations of child abuse against Cardinal Herman Groer of Vienna. In today’s meeting, Pope Benedict seems to have done several things: he has reminded Cardinal Schoenborn that the disciplining of members of the hierarchy is the responsibility of the Pope, he has clarified Sodano’s controversial comments about “idle gossip” and has brought the two men together. Interesting.
The Catholic Herald this week carries an incredibly moving piece by a young mother responding to the death of her unborn child. Here is an excerpt, but it is simple, sad and beautiful so really worth reading in full.
My 20-week scan found that the baby’s heart was not beating. We decided to induce the delivery. The next day, at 1pm, we went to the clinic. They gave me pills that would start the contractions.
I decided not to take painkillers, as I realised that this was going to be the only effort, the only sacrifice, one of the only physical interactions, that I would have with the baby, although he was dead.
Pope Benedict today named a new bishop to fill the shoes of the disgraced BishopRoger Vangheluwe who resigned after confessing to abusing a boy, in Bruges, Belgium. The news comes after a wide-reaching raid of the Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels connected to the abuse of children by priests. The new Bishop of Bruges is Bishop Jozef De Kesel, an auxiliary of the diocese of Mechelen-Brussels, who had been a favourite for the Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels which is now led by Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard.