Sandro Magister is going to town on curial cardinals lately. First, it was his analysis that Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State, is out of favor with Pope Benedict because of his blunders over the re-appointment of Cardinal Camillo Ruini as head of the Italian bishops’ conference. Now, he’s characterizing Cardinal Renato Martino as a “loose cannon.” He comes at it backward.
Martino, who was heading the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, has been tasked by the Pope with also assuming the presidency of the Council for Migrants, in what most people assume is the first step in merging the two. The biggest Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera says this is proof that Martino’s “extroverted character and his penchant for rocking the boat” have not displeased Pope Benedict. Magister turns that around and says, Yes, Martino is a bit out of control.
On the eve of the war in Iraq, for example, his pacifist and anti-American quips were so frequent and so unbalanced that he forced the secretariat of state – even though it was against the war – to impose silence upon him: a silence he observed for a few months.
But as soon as he began speaking again, in December of 2003, he wreaked havoc once more. He was to present to the international press the pope’s message for the World Day of Peace. And instead, the following day the media spoke of something completely different: the accusation Martino had made on the occasion against the United States, charging it with having treated the imprisoned Saddam Hussein “like a cow.”
Praise for Islamic instruction in Italian schools
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