Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Roman Chessboard

Coronas, citronella torches, disco blasting on the radio and a long respite in the jacuzzi....

My friends, this is livin'. For once.

This morning, the Pope received Archbishop Paul-Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum -- and the gentle hand behind Deus caritas est -- in private audience. Last Monday, Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, got face time with the Fluffiness.

If you're asking yourself "What's afoot?" you just might be onto something.

The names of Rylko and Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, have circulated at the front of the line among potential successors to Cardinal Jozef Glemp of Warsaw, who turned 75 in December 2004. One scenario being floated has Rylko -- an associate of Karol Wojtyla's long before the election of the Polish Pope -- returning home, with Benedict's countryman Cordes taking his place at the helm of the first-ranking Council.

Given the presence of another German, the Ratzinger uber-confidant Bishop Josef Clemens (lots of Josephs dancing around, no?) as secretary at Laity, that would signal a move for the cleric who served as private secretary to Cardinal Ratzinger for twenty years.

Throw in the persistent rumblings of the dispatching of Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, to Genoa in succession to Secretary of State-designate Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, combine that with the Pope's intent to tighten the reins on the episcopal selection process and put it in trusted hands, and you have a highly potential... something.

Not to mention the discussions on who's going to succeed Lajolo.....

Stay tuned.