Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Quick Cologne Primer

As B16 enters Cologne Cathedral, he is surrounded by two very distinct "rings" of prelates.

Running advance, as usual, is Bishop Renato Boccardo, the number-two man at the Governorato (the body which manages the Vatican City State). A former official at State, Boccardo has been the papal "travel agent" since the retirement of Roberto Tucci in 2001 and was ordained a bishop last year, initially assigned as the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

The Popemobile has two additional seats aside from the Pope's. One is always taken by the secretary (Georg, who is making himself omnipresent today), the other by the bishop of the place being visited (a very happy Cardinal Joachim Meisner).

But in the "inner ring" immediately surrounding him, there are the following individuals:
  • Meisner
  • Sodano
  • Ganswein
  • Boccardo
  • Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity (the dicastery charged with planning WYD)... As a sidenote, Rylko is a Krakow protege of Pope Wojtyla's who served as Dziwisz's assistant when JP was archbishop of Krakow.
The "second ring" is more a security necessity than a commentary on who's in and who's out. But it's still of interest. There we find:

  • Bishop Josef Clemens, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity (Cardinal Ratzinger's beloved private secretary of 20 years)
  • Archbishop Piero Marini, master-genius of papal liturgical ceremonies
  • Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, sostituto of the Secretariat of State (the papal chief of staff... well, when State's behaving itself)
  • Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity (the point-man for tomorrow's visit to Cologne's Synagogue in his capacity as president of the commission for Religious Relations with the Jews)
  • Cardinal Karl Lehmann, bishop of Mainz and president of the German Bishops' Conference
  • Bishop Franz-Joseph Bode, bishop of Osnabruck and chair of the German Bishops' Commission on Youth
Also in this circle is someone I haven't seen in awhile: the "second secretary," who has apparently been retained from the last pontificate, John Paul's beloved Msgr. Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki.

The Pope has been received in the cathedral to the strains of Anton Bruckner's Ecce Sacerdos Magnus. Interesting pick, and Marini's dictating the pace without betraying any signs of it. The Marini Code is, indeed, a wonder.

UPDATE: Contrary to the previous assumptions, I'm told that Ingrid Stampa is present in the papal entourage. I haven't seen her, but then again the cameras are lucky to have five seconds of good feed each, given the pressing crowd and overpowering security. Like her boss, she's also very good at being inconspicuous.

More soon.



Blogger Paul Goings said...

"The Pope has been received in the cathedral to the strains of Anton Bruckner's Ecce Sacerdos Magnus."


Was Pope Benedict turning the event "into his own grandiose egofest," as you accused the Archbishop of St. Louis of doing on March 28? Or is the Cappa required?

18/8/05 14:30  
Blogger Rocco Palmo said...

No, this was a "welcome home" tribute from Meisner and Clemens... the Pope didn't know, and if he did he'd probably have asked for something different.

As if he'd ask for "Tu Es Petrus"???

18/8/05 14:33  
Blogger Disgusted in DC said...

Definitely we should bring back the Ecce! More please!

18/8/05 14:45  
Blogger Sam Martini said...

Hooray for Ingrid - I have said before that B16 will suprise - and has clearly retained a top notch woman in his circle. Plus she is German and apparently has a talent for organizing things for B16 without seeming too conspicuous amongst all those Cardinals and Bishops crowding around - possibly not too helpfully.

18/8/05 20:48  
Blogger christianspectator said...

How pathetic to 'go looking' for Mrs Stampa in the papal entourage.

She's a plain, boring woman who has 'latched on' to Joseph Ratzinger who in all probability feels 'sorry' for her.......

Ever asked yourself WHY she should feel the need to make herself inconpicuous? Perhaps she feels 'rightly' that she should not be there with him causing offence with her presence.

24/10/05 06:24  

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