Well, that’s the end of THAT rumour…

Pope Benedict has announced the following appointments

Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops: Archbishop of Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet
President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation: Archbishop Rino Fisichella (previously president of the Pontifical Academy for Life)
President of the Pontifical Academy for Life: Msgr. Ignacio Carrasco de Paula (a Spaniard of the Opus Dei movement)

There is no reason to be disappointed with this. We retain +George here in Australia, where his work in Sydney is far from “done”; and the job of Prefect goes to a non-Italian, English-speaking, non-USA Cardinal with a very good (and, importantly, unblemished) record and reputation. Wise choice, Holy Father.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Well, that’s the end of THAT rumour…

  1. Wise choice, Holy Father. Isnt God the Holy Father? Why do you call this man the holy father? He is neither holy or the Father. Thanks for your time

    • Dear Wayne, I am always happy to oblige with more information.

      There are two issues here. One is why we call the Bishop of Rome “Father” (and in fact, why we call all priests by this title) and the other is whether the adjective “holy” is warrented.

      On the first issue, there are many places on the internet where this issue is treated. This is one of the best. In short, I call the Pope my “Father” for the simple reason that I have a relationship with him that is like a child to his father. I grieved when Pope John Paul II died, I joyed to see the Pope when he came to Australia and when I was able to be with him at Mass last Easter in Rome on the steps of St Peter’s. This is a real relationship, even though he has barely heard of me. The title “Father” comes with his office – as the word “Pope” (or, as the Italians say, Papa) indicates.

      On the issue of “holiness”, the pope may or may not be personally holy (for eg. the Church is currently investigating whether or not Pope John Paul II lived a life of holiness and may thus now be proclaimed “saint”), but that isn’t what we mean when we say “holy Father”. Here again “holiness” pertains to the office of Bishop of Rome, not to the person of the Pope. Indeed it pertains to the office of every bishop and every priest, despite the sinfulness of the incumbants of that office. Even protestants refer to the “holy office of the ministry”. That’s what we mean here.

      In no way are we suggesting that, by calling the Pope “Holy Father”, we are in any way placing him on the level of God. God is the Father of all, from whom all fatherhood stems, as St Paul told the Ephesians. That doesn’t mean that others are not “father” also, but rather that “fatherness” extends from God. In the same way, God alone is holy in the sense that he alone is holy in and of himself. Holiness extends from him. But in extending from him, his holiness consecrates that to which it extends. The Office of the Bishop of Rome is “holy” by extension from God who established this office. You might disagree with that last assertion (ie. that God established that office) but if you accept it (as we do) you must conclude that the office itself is holy, as is every other work of God.

      I hope that helps.

  2. Tap

    If you don’t mind me asking, what is the importance of it being a “non-USA Cardinal “? I don’t understand where you going with that? I mean, i’m american and am just as happy that its a canadian, as long as this person holds to Catholic orthodoxy. Care to elaborate?

    • To have another USA American in one of the “top three” jobs at the Vatican would simply have been unbalanced. That’s all. As it is, two of the top three (head of CDF and now head of the Congregation of Bishops) are North Americans, and that would be enough to make the Italians a little edgy!

  3. Tap

    Ok, gotcha. Thanks