Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Beloved Amato

Jacob the Vatican Watcher posts the news that B16 yet again received Archbishop Angelo Amato, the secretary of CDF, in audience on Friday.

Yes, Amato has been received every Friday, but this is nothing new. Friday is the weekly audience day when the pope is appraised of the doings of his CDF -- Cardinal Ratzinger was received by JP every Friday, and once Levada touches down in Rome, he will be the one to handle the audience. (Along these lines, Cardinal Re is received every Saturday afternoon to present the names of episcopal nominees for approval.)

As for biography, Amato, 67, is a Salesian of Don Bosco. He was an academic theologian and consultor to CDF for many years. But what set him apart in the eyes of Ratzinger was the lead role the current secretary took in the drafting of Papa Ratzi's baby, Dominus Iesus. That document won him the meteoric rise to the secretary's post, and will soon get him a red hat when the Curia is shaken up and Benedict XVI puts his eyes and ears in the crucial prefect posts of the Congregations.

Not long after the election, Amato gave an interview to the molto influential magazine 30 Giorni about the new Pope, his beloved former office, and the character of his boss. Here are some snippets:

AMATO: The Pope was about to leave the Palace [of the Holy Office, where CDF is based]. We were in the elevator. Cardinal Sodano asked: «How many are there of you, a score?» «About forty», I answered. At that point the Pope came in, and added: «It’s a nice little family». I was touched. It’s true that at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith he felt really at home. We didn’t see only the big intellectual in him, the famous theologian, the wise pastor, but also a paterfamilias, the father of this fine little family whom everybody could address at any moment. A father, however, who had, who has, great respect and a great delicacy. And that is also shown by a detail I’d like to recount.

30 GIORNI: Please do.

AMATO: When a pope dies all the ministry heads resign from office to await eventual reconfirmation by the new pontiff. Well, the morning before the general gathering of the cardinals in preparation for the conclave, I arrived in the Congregation and noticed the presence of the then Cardinal Ratzinger in the antechamber of his study. So I hurried to greet him, and with admirable humility he asked my permission to enter his office. On the following days I saw to it that I was at the entrance, to accompany him inside the Congregation without him having to ask my permission again....

Sweet stuff, eh? Hope it helps the curious.



Blogger Jacob said...

Rocco my hero! ;)

Thanks for the info, I appreciate it immensely.

11/7/05 10:37  

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