The Pope’s new moves

The Pope’s new moves

Interesting moves from the Vatican recently. Last week we got word that the Pope had blunt words for the Austrian bishops during the ad limina visit. He invited himself to a South American intercontinental meeting and told the Brazilian bishops where it was going to be held. The new document banning gays from the seminary was produced (or was to be produced next week apparently)

And he shook up the administration of the Assisi shrine. For the latter, he reduced the authority of the Franciscans over the basilicas in Assisi and appointed Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, who was secretary at the Congregation for Divine Worship, to be bishop of Assisi.

Some sources are saying that this is a sort of payback to the Franciscans for the debacle of the 1986 Peace Summit at Assisi that has caused all kinds of angst in certain circles. (Pope John Paul kissed a Koran, a Buddha was placed on a tabernacle, some group was allowed to sacrifice chickens on an altar). Apparently, Cardinal Ratzinger was quite unhappy at that and the observer, I think it was Vittorio Messori, said he has been itching all these years to put the Franciscans in their place.

I have my doubts as to that certain animus, but I don’t discount that the summit was a factor in the current rearrangements.