Thursday, July 1, 2010

Vatican Watching: Key changes...

Yesterday, and this morning, some important changes - appointments and retiremetns emerged ahead of the Pope's summer vacation:

  1. Cardinal Marc Oullet of Montreal was named Prefect for the Congregation for Bishops, taking over for Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re.  Oulett will have an opportunity to shape the episcopacy throughout the world, but should be particularly influential in anglophone and french-speaking countries.  He is closely aligned with Pope Benedict, a vocal opponent of abortion, and brought the FSSP to Montreal (read that, "'Tridentine' friendly").
  2. Archbishop Rino Fisichella who has been heading the Pontifical Academy for Life is shifting over to to a new dicastry, not yet created, which will be called: Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. 
  3. Bishop Kurt Koch of Basel, Switzerland will take the helm at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity - a post held by Cardinal Walter Kasper. 
I would encourage you to read these articles and blogpsots to learn about these and other appointments, and their significance.
In other news today, embattled Bishop-emeritus of Augsburg, Germany, Walter Mixa, got his meeting with the Holy Father.  His case has been a most controversial one dominating German-language headlines in recent weeks.  It was a strange case indeed, divinding Catholics over the matter.  The meeting lasted for about an hour.  From Nichole Winfield of AP:

VATICAN CITY — The pope on Thursday told a German bishop who resigned amid accusations of physical abuse, sexual harassment and alcoholism that he must take time for silent prayer, treatment and reconciliation if he wants to return to pastoral work.

Pope Benedict XVI laid out the terms for Bishop Walter Mixa's rehabilitation during a private audience with the 69-year-old prelate, during which Mixa again apologized for his mistakes, the Vatican said.

Benedict, for his part, "expressed the hope that his (Mixa's) request for forgiveness finds open ears and hearts" among the German faithful, the Vatican said

And, among changes here in the US yesterday we saw Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane Washington retired. The Holy Father shifted Bishop Blase Cupich of Rapid City to that spot. 

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!