Tag Archives: Congregation for Bishops

Cardinal Marc Ouellet (#3 papabili), Curia, Canadians, Sulpicians, Congregation for Bishops — The Significance

[q.v. ‘Canada does well when it comes to cardinals,‘ July 4, 2010]

That the possibly ‘conservative’ Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, a Sulpician, my #3 papabili from way back in 2009, was appointed Prefect of the influential Congregation for Bishops on June 30, 2010 was BIG news, though the imminent possibility of this was talked about two weeks previously.

It is indeed true that he is the first Canadian, and the first Sulpician, to head up the Congregation for Bishops.

So, I started to look around to see how significant this was. Other than for the above two, very specific landmarks, there is, in reality, nothing exceptionally remarkable about this appointment.

  • He is NOT the first non-Italian or non-European to be Prefect for the Congregation of Bishops. Brazilian Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves was Prefect from 1998 to 2000, while Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, from Benin (W. Africa) was Prefect for 14 years from 1984 to 1998. So there has already been a cardinal from the Americas heading up this Congregation.
  • He is NOT the first from a religious order to be Prefect for the Congregation of Bishops. Brazilian Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves [above] belonged to the Dominican Order of Preachers (O.P.)
  • He is NOT the first Canadian to head up an important curial dicastery. Canadian Cardinal Édouard Gagnon was the President of the Pontifical Council for the Family from 1983 to 1985.
  • He is NOT the first Sulpician to head up an important curial dicastery. French Sulpician Cardinal André-Damien-Ferdinand Jullien was the Dean of the (Sacred) Roman Rota (albeit before becoming a cardinal), the ultimate appellate tribunal of the Roman Catholic Church, from 1944 to 1958.
  • He is NOT even the first Canadian Sulpician to head up an important curial dicastery! Canadian Cardinal Édouard Gagnon [above] was also a Sulpician.

None of this should, in anyway, diminish or detract from the significance of Marc Ouellet’s appointment. It is a great thing for Cardinal Ouellet, Canada, Sulpicians and those, like ME, who have identified him as a papabili.

From everything I have heard, but I am not a dedicated cardinal watcher, he is a good, decent man who in 2007 publicly apologized for the pre-1960 errors of the Roman Catholic Church. [Page 18 of my ‘The Next Pope‘ book.]

But, already I have seen folks claiming that he will, when nominating potential bishops (which is his principal duty), gravitate towards clerics who have favored the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass. They are basically saying that he will further the John Paul II (#265) and Benedict XVI (#266) agenda, now in its third decade, of trying to shift the Church continually to the RIGHT. That as recently as May 2010, he refused to back down on his views that abortion was impermissible, even in the case of rape (or incest), is irrefutable. All this said, thanks to John Paul II and Benedict XVI the upper echelons of the Church are already right leaning. So all that Cardinal Ouellet is likely to do is further this long established agenda.

Whether he continues to be a bona fide Sulpician is of more interest. The Sulpicians demand that their members are diocesan priests. The Cardinal is no longer that — but the Sulpician, understandably, will be loath to let him go. He has brought great honor to the order and could further the cause of its 350 or so members.

All of this, food for though. Enjoy.

Anura Guruge


Cardinal Re Retires, My #3 Papabili Canadian Marc Ouellet Steps Into His Shoes; 4th Retirement In 11 Days

Per the 1983 Code of Canon Law Canons 354 & 401, heads of curial dicasteries and diocesan bishops must tender their resignations to the pope upon completing their seventy-fifth year of life.

That Cardinal Re (senior most cardinal bishop under 80) was due to retire per ‘401, ‘ and was likely to be replaced by my #3 papabili (as of December 2009), Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., was already talked about here on June 18, 2010, thanks to the heads-up from my cardinal & bishop watched, John Stabeno, ‘an insider’ of sorts [[smile]]. I have a write-up of Marc Ouellet on page 17 – 18 of ‘The Next Pope‘. If you are interested use Google Books or Amazon to read the pages given that I assume you don’t have the book. This is a big deal for Canada. Ouellet, a Sulpician, is on the editorial board of Communio, a theological review founded in 1972, with the current pope being one of the founders.

This is the fourth resignation in 11 days. Much of this has to do with the rapidly approaching Summer ‘recces’ for the pope — who leaves the heat of Rome in July and heads to the cooler climes of Castel Gandolfo for the Summer. Basically the Vatican is trying to get appointments in place prior to the recces.

So just in the last few days we have talked about the retirements of Cardinal Jiulius Riyadi Darmaatmadja and German Cardinal Deacon Walter Kasper.

Cardinal Re’s resignation and Cardinal Ouellet’s appointment yet AGAIN ONLY changes the employment status statistics pertaining to the College; i.e., we now have one more retired cardinal, one less Archbishop and the demographics of the curial heads change.

If nothing else changes prior to that, we will lose another cardinal elector on July 7, 2010.

You should also, please, check out THIS posting on the current vacancies when it comes to cardinalate title.

I am just going to update the demographics of the 108 cardinal electors to reflect today’s [i.e., June 30, 2010] changes:

Of the 108 cardinals, under the age of 80 [i.e., ‘electors’]:

  • 4 are Cardinal Bishops, 1 is an Oriental Rites Patriarch, 87 are Cardinal Priests & 16 are Cardinal Deacons
  • 18 hold curial offices. Of these 1 is a cardinal bishops (viz. Bertone), 6 are cardinal priests and 11 are cardinal deacons
    (Italy – 6, Rest of Europe – 6, U.S.A. – 1, Canada – 1, Latin America – 2 , India – 1 & Africa – 1)
  • 58 are Archbishops including two Patriarchs – i.e., Venice and Lisbon (Portugal)
  • 1 is Bishop — Mainz (Germany)
  • 1 is the Vicar General of Rome, viz. Cardinal Agostino Vallini (papabile)
  • 1 is the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of Jerusalem, viz. Cardinal John Patrick Foley
  • 28 are ‘retired,’ i.e., emeritus status
  • 1, viz. Cardinal Bernard Francis Law (formally of Boston, USA), is an Archpriest
  • Average age is 73 years; 13 in their 79th year, youngest being Peter Erdö (Hungary) at 58
  • 19 belong to religious orders, 4 of whom are Salesians, 3 Franciscans, 2 Jesuits along with an additional 1 belonging to Opus Dei
  • 78 (72.2%) of these cardinals were created by Pope John Paul II between 1983 and 2003
  • 30 were created by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 & 2007
  • The macro geographic breakdown is as follows:
    Africa 9, Americas 33 (U.S.A. 12), Asia 10, Europe 55 (Italy 19), Oceania 1
    Africa 8 countries, Americas 14, Asia 7, Europe 21, Oceania 1 — 51 countries in total
    Italy 19, U.S.A 12, France 6, Spain 5, Germany 5, Brazil 4, Mexico 4, Poland 3, India 3 & Canada 2

Hope this helps. Cheers.

Anura Guruge