Curia rumors about Archbp. Amato and Archbp. Ranjith

Rorate has tipped us off to something in Italia Oggi (Italy Today) about the possibility that H.E. Archbp. Amato will be moving to the Congregation for Divine Worship, which would mean also

My emphases and comments.

Curie e Curiali: Ranjith goes, but he could return

    by Andrea Bevilacqua

    The probable, if by now not yet certain, nomination of Archbishop Angelo Amato, number two of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (that which was once headed by Cardinal Ratzinger, and today by Cardinal William Levada), as new Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments at the position of Cardinal Francis Arinze, has considerably angered the one who is today the number two of this same congregation guided by Arinze: Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith. The latter, called a couple of years ago to Divine Worship with the promise to afterwards replace Arinze at the helm of the dicastery, having been almost certainly bypassed by Amato in the prestigious position of Prefect of one of the nine Vatican Congregations (the position also foresees the Cardinalatial birretta), seems to have asked Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone to leave the Roman Curia and return to his homeland (Sri Lanka), to become Archbishop of an important diocese and thus, afterwards, a Cardinal. All [of these events], if predictions are confirmed, should take place when the Pope returns from the United States … .  [A couple things here.  First, there is a claim that Archbp. Ranjith was "angered".  I have met with Archbp. Ranjith a couple times.  First, he is a level headed fellow who strikes me as being pretty humble.  I don’t think he would have that reaction, frankly.  Also, he is smart enough not to express it so that it would be put out in the press.  Italian articles often dress up the circumstances.]

    Ranjith probably pays [the price] [No doubt of that!] for having exposed himself with great emphasis (interviews, declarations, publication of articles) in favor of the papal Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum", with which the Mass in Latin according to the ancient rite revised by Pope John XXIII in 1962 was liberalized. It seems that, due to his repeated interventions, part of the Roman Curia [You see… statements like this really undermine an article making these claims of such insider knowledge as how Archbp. Ranjith is "feeling".] may have explicitly asked Bertone, by way of a letter, that he should not become Prefect of a Congregation with such delicate tasks. And Bertone, [after] the due calculations were made, seems to have endorsed the signers of the letter. Signers who, two years ago, when Ranjith was nominated Secretary of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, did not accept well his arrival and the subsequent removal of Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino [previous Secretary] to the diocese of Assisi. The tally, however, must still be closed by Benedict XVI.  [There is some true to this.  There is a real war in the CDW between factions.  You can guess how they are lined up.]

    Ranjith was one of his first nominations once he became Pope. When Ranjith, a few years before, was displaced by Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe from the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, where he was Adjunct Secretary, Ratzinger (who was then Prefect of the former Holy Office) did not take it well, so much so that, once he became the Pontiff, promptly wished to show his own affection and esteem for Ranjith by calling him back to Rome and putting him in Sorrentino’s place. Today, the pressures against Ranjith in the Roman Curia are not small. Bertone seems to have surrendered. Benedict XVI is not so predictable as to do the same.

Honestly… there are times when one can also have nostalgia for the days of Card. Sodano.

Folks… this a fairly typical Italian article about the Curia.   Take it cum grano salis.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Bill says:

    I guessed this would happen. I know the Pope appreciated Amato’s work in CDF, so there would be reason to give him a dicastery. Amato is also a Salesian.

    Also, Amato is 69 while Ranjith is only 60. If Ranjith were appointed now, he would probably be Prefect for quite a long time.

    Personally, I see no problem here. Amato is not a progressive by any measure. And perhaps it would do well to have someone a bit more diplomatic in this important post.

  2. Bill says:

    Ranjith “seems to have asked Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone to leave the Roman Curia and return to his homeland (Sri Lanka), to become Archbishop of an important diocese.”

    The Archdiocese of Colombo in Sri Lanka will be needing a new ordinary soon, as Archbp. Gomis is past 75.

  3. hugh says:

    “Honestly… there are times when one can also have nostalgia for the days of Card. Sodano”? explain curia wars where different then?

  4. Matt Q says:

    **Archbishop** **Ranjith** **deserves** **to** **be** **Prefect**.

    Father Z, get over and rattle some cages! Just kidding.

    Serious though, this is what is entirely wrong with the Vat2 Church today. Infighting and Palace Intrigue because of the sin of pride. Me, me, me, power, power, power. Not to say this has not been going on since Day One, but since Vat2 there is an actual malevolent force to ruin this Church. Before, the desire to ensure Doctrine and Tradition was there. Today, there is the desire is to change, water down, alter all the things which this Church stood on for 2000 years. Yes, things were modified as time went on but to have a mind-set actually to make a concerted effort to spay this Church and so overly emphasize the human-centeredness of Her to the point of souls being peril is unholy and unconscionable.

    How this sort of thing is allowed to continue is beyond reason. If the Holy Father wants someone in a position, then he wants him there. Why would the Pope care who likes what? If they don’t like the way he runs things, then **resign**. If the people who are there to serve at his Pleasure cannot no longer do so, then they are to be replaced. How ineffective is the Church to allow this to continue. There is nothing written anywhere in this Church which says a cleric is guaranteed a particular job for life save that of the Pope Himself.

    I am sure we all want a job where to we can tell our managers and CEOs, yeah, yeah, I think the efforts of the company are wrong so I will continue to fight against it. See how long that someone lasts.

  5. Syriacus says:

    My dream: Mons. Ranjit to the Congregation for Bishops! (Replacing card. Re in two years).

  6. boyo says:

    I would not be so cavalier. I think we need to let PapaRatzi know that this champion of tradition is needed in Rome. I will have a good NY address for him by Monday. Inundate him with letters by next Saturday. He’s staying with Abp. Migliore on E. 72nd St.

  7. SM says:

    Benedict XVI can not even mandate to put the altar rails back into churches to let people kneel and receive communion on the tongue without having to say Amen before putting the tongue out.

    A Pope who nominated Cardinal Levada… And changed the rules to elect the next Pope – 2/3 instead of 50% + 1. That tells us how the church will be rundown (down hill)…

  8. Francisco says:

    Matt Q: your words shows a pittyfull knollege of the history of the church.

  9. Michael says:

    To my way of thinking AB Ranjith has been a bit to open as the number two man. Not that what he has said didn’t need to be said! It is possible that this is what Pope Benedict wanted him to be. I am a little shaky on some of Benedict’s appointments. Card. Bertone does not seem to me much better than Sodano and in some ways, well, I just don’t know. Amato seems like a good man; but, that particular Congregation seems to go through prefects like water. I do believe that Pope Benedict will ask Arinze to stay until the Enlish translation of the Missale Romanum is DONE! I hope that this is the case. We need a man who understands English to get this book we’ve waited for for some 33 years. While Card. Arinze may not be a big supporter of the TLM he is the most outspoken member of the curia on things that pertain to the Faith.

  10. Andrew says:


    I couldn’t agree more with you.

    I dislike the fact that this debate has been entirely focused around Ranjith’s possible moves (and I certainly pray he will not leave the CDW), as opposed to the disaster of Cardinal Arinze being moved from the Prefecture of the CDW, at this stage.

    Yes, he is not a great fan of the old Latin Mass, (although I don’t think he is necessarily opposed to it either), but probably in recent years, there has been no more loquacious interlocutor in the Curia, pushing for ordinary garden variety orthodoxy.

    While the recognitio has not been forthcoming for the new English translation of the Roman liturgy, I certainly hope Cardinal Arinze will be the one to implement this, and comment on its ramifications, as somebody from the Anglophone world.

    So when you write your letter to Pope Benedict’s temporary residence in NY, (doesn’t it sound like one of those apocalyptic novels!) perhaps also say the cardinal should not be moved just yet, as he has important workk to fulfill.

  11. Matt Q says:

    Francisco wrote:

    “your words shows a pittyfull knollege of the history of the church.”


    As opposed to your English? It’s to be doubted.

  12. VeritatisSplendor says:

    I don’t know if this was noted previously, but Andrea Tornielli updated his previous story about Amata to going to the CDW. Below is my rough translation of what was previously titled “Amato ministro della liturgia, Fisichella al Sant’Uffizio” but is now called “Fisichella va al Sant’Uffizio, e per la successione di Ruini…”:

    A change of guard in the Roman congregations: Salesian Archbishop Angelo Amato, 70 next June, current Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is to leave the Holy Office. He appears destined for the Congregation for Divine Worship, but this hypothesis, ***of which I spoke in a previous version of this post, now seems to have been re-opened and the possibility is once again being spoken of that he might go to lead the Congregation for the Causes of Saints or that of Catholic Education*** (in the first case, that would mean accepting the retirement of the current prefect, Cardinal Saraiva Martins; in the second case, that would mean Cardinal Grocholewski being transferred to another responsibility). However it seems decided that to succeed Amato at the former Holy Office will be Monsignor Rino Fisichella, the well-respected rector of the Lateran University. Also rumoured is the possibility of recalling to Rome the Cardinal of Florence, Ennio Antonelli, and even the primate of Spain, Cardinal Canizares. The “movements” should start in June, when Cardinal Ruini will relinquish the role of Papal Vicar [for the diocese of Rome]: to his post should arrive the current prefect of the Signatura, Cardinal Vallini.

  13. TNCath says:

    I’ve never been too confident that Archbishop Ranjith would advance as Prefect of CDW. As soon as the Amato rumor became public, I figured that the Salesian connection with Cardinal Bertone would win out. The Pope seems to be delegating a lot of important work to Cardinal Bertone, so it seems likely that he will play a major role in whoever is chosen for any top curial position.

  14. RBrown says:

    There are obviously factions within the Curia that not only don’t want Abp Ranjith as the Prefect of SCDW but also want him out of Rome completely.

    It will be interesting to see what happens.

  15. Father Z: There is a real war in the CDW between factions.

    I realize that even a gloriously reigning Supreme Pontiff’s options are more limited than some imagine. But I still wonder whether there’s a simple explanation of why and how long Pope Benedict must continue to keep on board in CDW those who don’t support his liturgical program.

  16. Henry: He must be aware of them. They must step “out of bounds” in an obvious way. There are procedures to replace them, which take time, etc.

    I know… I know…

Comments are closed.