Sandro Magister is saying that Pope Benedict and the second-most-important man in the Vatican, who he inherited from his predecessor, just don’t get along. He said that Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, is now more an obstacle than a help to the Pope.
Sodano, 78 years old, from Isola d’Asti in Piedmont, seems to have no intention of leaving. On the contrary; in recent weeks he has sought instead to put out of commission another cardinal whom he has always considered his archrival, the pope’s vicar and the president of the Italian bishops’ conference, CEI, Camillo Ruini. The trouble is that Ruini is incomparably more highly favored by Benedict XVI than Sodano is. And as a result the latter’s maneuver has turned back against himself.
Magister says that traditionally when it comes time to choose the head of the Italian bishops conference, the pope has sought the direct consultation only of the heads of each of the 16 regions of the conference. But Sodano took it upon himself to extend the consultation to all 226 Italian bishops. And in his letter he stated that Ruini’s term was ending on March 6 and that “the Holy Father thinks that a change in the office of the presidency is in order.”
Apparently the Holy Father thinks no such thing, because he has rejected Cardinal Ruini’s resignation upon turning 75 years old and he renewed his appointment as head of the conference. (The pope himself chooses the head of the Italian bishops’ conference.) These are very interesting developments. Big changes in Rome could be coming soon.
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