In the next year or so, a large percentage of the dioceses in England and Wales will be opening up as their bishops retire. That means the role of the Apostolic Nuncio in Great Britain is of critical importance.
The present Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, has played his role in the appointment of excellent bishops so far, such as Bp. Mark Davies of Shrewsbury and Bp. Philip Egan of Portsmouth.
Now I read on the blog of Damian Thompson, this interesting entry. Keep in mind that this has unattributed information. Nevertheless, this is Damian’s story, he believes it, and we can give it some attention. You decide what to think about it.
The plot against the Nuncio
Enemies of Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the newish – and very impressive – Papal Nuncio to Great Britain, are plotting to have him removed from his job. Why? Because he’s doing it too effectively. It’s his responsibility to put forward names of suitable bishops to the relevant Congregation in Rome, which submits a name to the Pope. Recently, Archbishop Mennini secured the appointment of Mgr Philip Egan as Bishop of Portsmouth. This was a historic moment: Bishop Egan is not a slippery, platitude-spouting liberal of the sort traditionally promoted under Cardinal Hume, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and Archbishop Nichols. He’s taking an axe to the Left-leaning bureaucracy of Portsmouth. (Read this fascinating Catholic Herald blog post by William Oddie for background.) The word from allies of Cardinal Cormac and Archbishop Vincent is: we must not allow this to happen again. And what better opportunity to plot against the Nuncio than a change of Pope? I just hope that Cardinal Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, knows this is happening. If not, perhaps some well-connected priest who reads this blog might let him know.