Those rumor mills never stop, especially in Rome. Phil Lawler of Catholic World News looks at the latest batch of rumors concerning high-level Vatican appointments. It’s still looking like Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone of Genoa, Pope Benedict’s former right-hand man at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will be named Secretary of State, the second-most powerful man in the Vatican, and some are saying that Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, currently of the Congregation for Bishops, will move into Genoa to get some badly needed pastoral experience.
Meanwhile, a whole raft of other curial cardinals are at or beyond retirement age and since Pope Benedict has taken his time with any changes, the assignments are backing up.
Four other top Curial officials are already past retirement age. Cardinal Edmund Szoka, the American president of the Vatican city-state government, will be 79 in September. Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos (bio – news), prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, will be 77 in July. And Spanish Cardinal Julian Herranz, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, turned 75 in March. Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the prefecture for economic affairs at the Holy See, reached retirement age in April.
In August, Cardinal Paul Poupard will celebrate his 75th birthday. The French cardinal is president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and in March the Holy Father also made him president “ad interim” of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue. In September, Syrian Cardinal Ignace Moussa I Daoud, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, will be 75.
Phil also notes a number of cardinals outside the Vatican now serving past 75 and lists the other changes expected to come in Rome, especially in the rumored reorganization of dicasteries. All these changes foretell a very busy summer for vaticanisti.
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