Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Pole Position and Beyond

Ash Wednesday may be a day under three weeks away, but it's been said that, in the Pope's thought, the church in Poland is already undergoing Lent.

As you know, that perception derives from the month of turmoil surrounding the resignation of Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus of Warsaw moments before what was supposed to be his installation, and the spill-over effect revelations of Wielgus' collaboration with the Communist-era authorities have wrought on the psyche of the predominantly Catholic country.

Benedict XVI is believed to be keen to settle the Warsaw succession in advance of the penitential season's liturgical opening. Names abound, and both of the Curia's top Poles -- education czar Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski and Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity -- have been called in for private audiences since the Epiphany-day hara-kiri. The 58 year-old archbishop of Lublin, Josef Zycinski, is tipped as a front-runner for the Polish church's top post.

Wielgus may have sung for the SB, but closer to home a consensus reports that a trained musician is in line for another soon to be vacant capital see. Unlike Warsaw, however, we could say that, if green-lighted, the latter scenario wouldn't so much enhance turmoil, but a new belle époque -- both of music and ministry.

Remember well that this pontiff is a Mozart superfan and, as always, stay tuned.