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Vatican appointments ROBERT MICKENS

Benedict’s papacy: the way it’s shaping up

In just six years, Benedict XVI has shaped the Church through his appointments of key clergy to high office in Rome. The Slavic slant of his Polish predecessor has gone although, as this Tablet analysis reveals, Benedict has not replaced it with a German tendency – but the usual Italian one


he Catholic Church, at least at the universal level, is being led over- whelmingly by Western Europeans (and North Americans) who are

“Roman” in their theological and ecclesiolog- ical outlook and training, rather than people from the developing world where the Church is growing. That’s the clearest characteristic of the Roman Curia to emerge from a close analysis by The Tablet of the appointments that Pope Benedict XVI has made in six years in office. The Bavarian Pope has given more than 76 per cent of the Vatican’s highest-ranking posi- tions to people from the “Old Continent” and another 10.2 per cent to men from North America. Even though Latin America is home to roughly half of all the world’s Catholics, the Pope has offered only 5.1 per cent of the top Curia jobs (five posts) to people from that part of the world. That’s the same as the quota for Africans. Meanwhile, he has invited only three Asians to work in Rome. More significantly, nearly 90 per cent of

Benedict XVI’s Top 10

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone SDB, 76, Secretary of State (2006).

Archbishop emeritus of Genoa. Salesian of Don Bosco (ITALY).

Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, 66, prefect, Congregation for the Clergy (2010). Previously congregation secretary. Clergy of Genoa (ITALY).

Cardinal William Levada, 75, prefect, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (2005). Archbishop emeritus of San Francisco. Clergy of Los Angeles (USA).


Angelo Amato SDB, 73, prefect, Congregation for the Causes

of Saints (2008). Former secretary of the CDF. Salesian of Don Bosco (ITALY).

Archbishop João Bráz de Aviz, 64, prefect, Congregation for Religious

(2011). Archbishop emeritus of Brasília. Clergy of Apucarana (BRAZIL).

Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, 71, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education (1999; appointed by John Paul II), grand chancellor of the Pontifical Gregorian University. (POLAND).

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, 66 in October, prefect, Congregation for Divine Worship (2008). Archbishop emeritus of Toledo. Clergy of Valencia (SPAIN).

Cardinal Marc Ouellet PSS, 67, prefect, Congregation for Bishops (2010).

Archbishop emeritus of Québec. Sulpician (CANADA).

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, 67, prefect of the Congregation for the

Oriental Churches (2007) (ARGENTINA).

Archbishop Fernando Filoni, 65, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples (Propaganda Fide) (2011) (ITALY).

Pope Benedict’s appointees undertook theo- logical studies in Rome and only one of them has never studied in Europe or North America. The Tablet’s analysis examines the appoint- ments of those who lead some 50 high-level offices of the Roman Curia – the administra- tive apparatus of the Holy See and the governing body of the entire Church – or those closely connected to it. These include the Secretariat of State, congregations (the most powerful departments with jurisdiction for issues such as doctrine, worship and bishops’ appointments), pontifical councils (mostly middle-sized agencies with pastoral concerns) and Synod office, as well as tribunals, eco- nomic and administrative offices of Vatican City State, the Vatican Library, several pon- tifical commissions, the four major papal basilicas, two equestrian orders “led” tradi- tionally by cardinals and the three main pontifical academies (science, social science and life think tanks). The study focused only on the office “supe- riors” – that is, the top three or four

administrative levels ranging from president or prefect down to undersecretary. Out of a possible 127 managerial posts, the current Pope has filled approximately 99 during his time in office, or 80 per cent of the total since becoming Bishop of Rome in April 2005. Most notably, his hand-picked team comprise the entire top officials at the Secretariat of State, an office led by Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone SDB, his most trusted aide. The 84-year-old Pope has also named new

prefects for all but one of the nine congrega- tions, and new presidents for all but one of the 12 pontifical councils. The only exceptions are at the Congregation for Catholic Education, where Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski has been at the helm since 1999, and at the Pontifical Council for the Laity, led by 66-year-old Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko since 2003. These two Polish cardinals and the Croatian secretary general of the Synod of Bishops (since 2004), Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, are the only sig- nificant “office heads” remaining from the pontificate of John Paul II.

6 | THE TABLET | 17 September 2011

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