Marco Tosatti has won from me the adjective “intrepid” which I have stripped from Tornielli (what’s up with him, anyway?). He has piece about the recent odd Rescript “edict” about bishops and cardinals and other office holders resigning or being dismissed from their offices. HERE
Tosatti muses that perhaps the new norms are aimed in part at Benedict XVI’s former Secretary of State and present Camerlengo, Card. Bertone, who turns 80 on 2 December. Could be.
He also points out a change in language. Bishops and cardinals are now “bound” (tenuti) rather than merely “invited” (invitati) to turn in their resignations at 75. The Pope is still the one who decides to accept them or not, so nothing changes there. But there is greater pressure now to turn in the resignation. Are there some who don’t?
Tosatti also gives a short list of prelates who are over 75 but still functioning, which leads me to wonder what the landscape would look like were they out of the picture.
- Card Amato: 76, Saints
- Card. Vegliò: 77, Migrants
- Card. Grocholewsi: 75, Education – perhaps to be replaced by the Pope’s friend Archbp. Fernandez from Argentina
- Card. Caffara: 76, Bologna – who contributed to the “Five Cardinals Book”
- Card. Romeo: 76, Palermo
- Card. Lehmann: 78, Mainz – Prefect of CDF Card. Müller is from Mainz, though I am told that his position seems to be secure
- Card. Acerbi: 75, Knights of Malta – usually they end office at death, but Pope Francis told Card. Burke that that’s where he wants to put him
- Card. Sodano: 87, Dean – enough said
Clearing out the Curia’s old guard and replacing them with men who are more clearly onside, would also have an impact on the next Synod of Bishops in 2015. Dicastery heads, such as Card. Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, participate in the Synod ex officio.
Anyway… just FYI.