John Stabeno, a regular contributor to my blogs, left this comment, around 3pm Eastern today, on the FaceBook ‘The Next Pope‘ page that my wife maintains on my behalf. [I don’t do FaceBook.]
<< John has since asked me to credit the source of his comment to Mr. Rocco Palmo of ‘Whispers in the Loggia‘. I am delighted to do so. I even promised to read that blog on a daily basis. Thank you again, John. >>
In case you are wondering, Italian Cardinal Bishop Giovanni Battista (John the Baptist) Re, who has got mentioned quite a bit of late by me in the context of precedence among cardinal bishops, is the current Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops. He has held that post since 2000.
Canon 354 of the 1983 Canon Law, codifying a 1970 Paul VI (#263) edict, requires cardinals who head up curial dicasteries to tender their resignation to the pope upon completion of their seventy-fifth year of age. Cardinal Re who was born in January 30, 1934 is now 76. Thus, he must have tendered in his resignation sometime ago. The pope, of course, can keep any cardinal, in any job, for as long as he wants. Typically a resignation is only made public when the new appointee to that post is being announced. So that is the background for this story. Cardinal Re is due to be replaced … so a viable replacement has to be found.
Read more about it << here >>.
The main function of the Congregation for Bishops is that of selecting new bishops (for areas not falling under the jurisdiction of mission territories or the Eastern Catholic church) — subject, of course, to papal approval. It is thus a influential and powerful Congregation with constant worldwide exposure. That said, no head of this Congregation (at least since 1710), has been elected pope. Nonetheless, if Marc Ouellet were to be appointed, per John Stabeno’s comment, it would give him added credence as a papabili — in addition to him having been #3 in my 2009 list.
Cardinal Ouellet, a Sulpicians, has quite the résumé and has participated in a number of Synods of Bishops. He is no stranger to the other cardinals. Furthermore, he has spent nearly a decade working in Latin America. Thus, in addition to his own incontrovertible credentials, he, despite his reputation as being quite a conservative in the mold of John Paul II (#265) and the current pope, is also an enviable compromise candidate — a cardinal from the Americas that can be a surrogate for US and Latin American prospects. That I had him at #3, as of December 2008 (which is when I compiled the 2009 list), means that I didn’t have too much diffcultu spotting his potential. It would be cool if he does become the next pope.
All the best. I will keep you posted on his progress.
Thank you. Thank You, John.