Wednesday, November 26, 2008

From Culto Central

Long a reader favorite, expect the shot at right to get a "fire sale" level of usage in the coming weeks as the transition of the Vatican's top post overseeing the liturgy enters its closing stages.

Last week, amid continued buzz that he'll succeed Cardinal Francis Arinze as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Spanish primate Cardinal Antonio CaƱizares of Toledo was received in private audience by the Pope.

With Arinze having marked his golden jubilee as a priest earlier this month, smart money expects the change-up in favor of the 62 year-old Spaniard -- a former CDF staffer dubbed the "Little Ratzinger" for his oneness of mind with the Boss -- to come early next year, slated to be followed by the widely-reported transfer of CDW's #2, Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, back home to Sri Lanka as archbishop of Colombo.

What's more, though, in an interview with L'Osservatore Romano to mark his 50th, Arinze indicated that the move was afoot to shift the place of sign of peace, likely bringing it back to the moment of the offertory, as happens in the Ambrosian rite.

"The Pope has sought a consultation of the entire episcopate," Arinze said. "Then he will decide." The initiative, he added, was intended to "create a more recollected environment as we prepare ourselves for Communion," noting the common overextensions of the moment that turn it into something more akin to a social hour.

On Saturday, the Nigerian prelate presented the finished Third Edition of the Roman Missal to Pope Benedict in a special audience (left). And next week, the Missal remains on the congregation's radar as its Vox Clara committee on English-language translations gathers at Culto Central for its final meeting of the year.

Possibly on the agenda: the (still ineffable... now gibbet-free) Proper of Seasons, which the US bishops finally approved at their Baltimore plenary earlier this month.

Yet while London remains abuzz over Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's impending papal audience on the selection of his successor as archbishop of Westminster, word behind the scenes suggests that, with "nothing left to lose," the primate of England and Wales might just try and go to the mat on the question of "pro multis."

Bottom line: it's always something... and more often than not, more than just one something at a time.