CDF speculations

You might want to have a look at the intrepid Andrea Tornielli’s article in La Stampa (in English) about the proximate need for a a new Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  Card. Levada is coming to the end of his term.

Tornielli tosses out some names.  I guess he had to.  There is, however, the possibility that the Holy Father will keep Levada in that post.  After all, he himself, who longed to retire and write, was kept in place by John Paul II.

Pius XII was his own Prefect for the Holy Office, by the way.

In any event, lots of people are speculating about who would be the perfect prefect.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. The Astronomer says:

    How about some ‘change we really can believe in???” I humbly nominate Father Z for the post!

  2. disco says:

    As long as the nominee is an unreconstructed ossified manualist…

  3. Choirmaster says:

    I nominate Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, as I always do, for any/all Vatican offices, not least of all the Holy See.

  4. Ambrose Jnr says:

    Let us pray that either Cardinal Ranjith or Cardinal Burke may receive this honour…I’ll start with 5 decades of the rosary…God bless.

  5. Tim Ferguson says:

    Joseph Cardinal Fessio

  6. RichR says:

    Bernard Fellay.
    Just kidding.

  7. Slattery or Ranjith would be good!

    Of course, Fr. Z. always opts out, but what about His Hermeneuticalness??

  8. Centristian says:


    “Bernard Fellay.
    Just kidding.”


  9. frsbr says:

    From the 1600’s until 1965, the Roman Pontiff was, ex officio, the Prefect of the CDF. Pius XII acted as his own Secretary of State.

  10. jmoran says:

    @Tim Ferguson “Joseph Cardinal Fessio”

    LOL! That’s a good one!

  11. Centristian and RichR:

    “Bernard Cardinal Fellay”

    At least it would amusing to see some of the most rabid SSPX types going into apoplexy accusing Bp. Fellay of having capitulated to the “conciliar Church”.

  12. amenamen says:

    Chuck Norris.

    Chuck Norris expects the Spanish Inquisition.

  13. bmccoy says:

    I’ve heard he is very pro-life, but is Chuck Norris Catholic? That seems to be rather important when it comes to naming Prefects of the CDF.

  14. Centristian says:

    “Bernard Cardinal Fellay”


    I suppose it’s better than “Phyllis Cardinal Zagano”.

  15. oledocfarmer says:

    Salvatore Cardinal Cordileone

  16. Pope Pius XII was also his own secretary of state.

    He was a truly great pope, who knew that many around him could not be trusted.

    And then he died.

  17. cpf says:

    Archbishop Augustine DiNoia, O.P.

  18. Sieber says:

    So much has transpired since the appointment of Cardinal Levada, Pope Benedict’s prima creatura. It is interesting that Cardinal Schonborn is no longer mentioned.

  19. Mr. P says:

    Ray Cardinal Blake

  20. Daniel Latinus says:

    Would a perfect prefect be pluprefect?

  21. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Jean-Louis Bruguès

    or Chuck Norris.

  22. irishgirl says:

    “Joseph Cardinal Fessio’
    Oooo, that would be cool! That has a ‘ring’ to it!
    LOL about ‘Bernard Cardinal Fellay’-yeah, Henry Edwards, I’m sure that some of more extreme SSPXers WOULD go into a apoplectic fit if this happened!
    Is there any deadline on selecting candidates?

  23. SimonDodd says:

    I should think that the trouble with having a Pope as Prefect is that the Prefecture becomes titular and day-to-day authority transfers to the secretary and lower staff. Popes surely don’t have time to manage all the day-to-day activities of a given dicastery; if they did, there would have been no need to spin it off in the first place. Consequently, the practical authority of staff grows in a way that it couldn’t if overseen by someone on the job full time.

    Moreover, wouldn’t it send a troubling signal? As I understand it, the entire curia is simply an administrative apparatus for the Holy See (to adapt Ponzi v. Fessenden’s image, the prefects are the hands of the Pope so far as their competencies are concerned), but if the Pope chooses to have a more direct relationship with one discastery by being its prefect, that could be spun as implying that the dicasteries that are not headed personally by the Pope have a different relationship to the See of Peter than does the one that is.

    Seems to me that there’s a death of (English-language) writing on the roles and authorities of the curia. I’ve found two, maybe three books that focus on it.

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