Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Tetta... wha?

Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan remains an evocative figure for many. His rise to prominence, begun when he served as lead-ghostwriter on John Paul II's 1995 encyclical, Evangelium Vitae, quickened pace not long after when the moral theologian was named archbishop of Genoa, then a cardinal and, four years later, transferred to the archbishopric of Milan, his home diocese.

The buzz at Conclave Time rang quite heavy that Tettamanzi, now 72, was one of the candidates proffered by the "Stop Ratzi" faction of cardinals who sought to block the dean's ascent to Peter's chair. The group was, so it's said, made up of the orbit of the current and former Eminences of the diplomatic corps, who feared the potential loss of prestige the Secretariat of State would experience in a pontificate oriented more toward the Holy Office than San Damaso.

Whether the backdrop was fact or speculation, it's no coincidence said anxieties have come to pass.

Anyways, it might just be statements like Tettamanzi's latest which garnered him popularity with the diplo crowd.
Milan's Catholic Archbishop Dionigi Cardinal Tettamanzi has expressed regret for the Roman Catholic Church's excessive missionary activity in Russia, saying the activity may have been insulting to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Cardinal Tettamazi said some Western Christians, including Catholics, failed to either discern or recognize the incomparable spiritual richness of Holy Russia, or to respect and evaluate the religious and cultural heritage of the great Orthodox tradition, speaking at a meeting with Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexiy II in the St. Danilov Monastery in Moscow on Monday.

Beginning with the 1990s, religious and missionary activity in Eastern Europe multiplied on the private initiative of various persons from the West.

But this initiative, does not always appear correct from the ecumenist viewpoint, he said. Proselytism is currently condemned by many Orthodox and Catholics, he added.
Tettamanzi is also giving a Milan Catholic church to the Moscow patriarchate, at first temporarily, then permanently.

In a pontificate heavily attuned to Orthodox sensibilities, either Tettamanzi is serving as papal messenger, attempting to smooth the Benedictine path toward Moscow, or he's highlighting that, between the Pope and some of the cardinals of his loyal opposition, divergences of tactic remain.

Think what you will, but the words are still a whopper.