Wednesday, February 22, 2006

New Cardinals --
Alejandro Bermudez at Catholic Outsider notes some things about the most recent slate of Cardinals elevated by Pope Benedict.

Here the inclusions are as surprising as the omissions. Many expected Archbishop O’Malley to keep paying the price for the sex scandal. He is now a Cardinal. And that cools down (just cools down, doesn’t put to complete rest) speculations about him going to Washington DC. Cardinals, in fact are not as easily moved.

The creation of Venezuelan Urosa Sabino after few months of being appointed Archbishop of Caracas wants to give a more moderate voice in Venezuela, probably in the hope of improving the relationship with “Hugo Boss” Chavez.

The red hat to Bishop Zen, an outspoken critic of Chinese restrictions on religious freedom, is also a significant statement.

Surprising omissions instead, are the new Archbishop of Paris, André Vingt-Trois of Paris and Robles Ortega of Monterrey, Mexico.

UPDATE: The LA Times also has an article:

Although Benedict emphasized the "universality" of the church in making his first appointments, others noted that the lone African he named — Archbishop Peter Poreku Dery of Ghana — was older than 80 and thus ineligible to select a future pontiff. Africa is home to the fastest-growing Catholic population, and many in the church believe that African prelates must be more readily incorporated into the official hierarchy.

The voting power held by developing nations after the next installation of cardinals will in fact decline slightly, while that held by Europe will increase, noted Father Thomas Reese, former editor of the Jesuit magazine America and visiting scholar at Santa Clara University in California.

"Benedict has increased the voice of the First World in the College of Cardinals and reduced the voice of the Third World," Reese said in an e-mail statement.

Many factors go into the naming of cardinals, but Benedict has made it clear that one of his priorities is the resurrection of the Catholic faith in Western Europe, once firmly Christian but now increasingly secular, with growing non-Christian immigrant communities.

The Washington Post also has an articl concentrating on Boston Archbishop Sean O'Malley, who once headed Washington's outreach program and moved into a rat-infested apartment building to help tenants facing eviction and crack dealers.
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