Wednesday, October 17, 2007

RED DAWN: The List... Already One Short

To put the icing on your Announcement Morning cake, the current holder of the "most reliable Italian vaticanista" crown, Il Giornale's Andrea Tornielli, has just reported that the revelation of the foreseen class of cardinals-designate will, indeed, take place at the General Audience later today.

Among other seemingly-certain names cited by Tornielli and others, you can bet that the list will include the archbishops of Barcelona, Bombay, Brasilia, Genoa and Sao Paolo, alongside a boatload of curialists, including the prefect of Oriental Churches Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, the presidents of the Pontifical Councils for the Laity (Rylko), Cor Unum (Cordes), the head of the Governatorato Giovanni Lajolo, archpriest of St Peter's Angelo Comastri -- and, of course, at last, John Patrick Foley. (After 23 years and seven months, minus two days, thank you, God, for allowing Philadelphia to see this day. Thank you, Lord, thank you... it's been a long wait.)

Also tipped to be included among the reds-to-be is the new head of the Vatican archives Archbishop Raffaele Farina, 74. A veteran of the Vatican Library -- and, more pertinently, a Salesian confrere of the "Vice-Pope" Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone -- Farina was only ordained to the episcopacy last December and named to his current post in June.

The Turinese paper also reported that, included among the Pope's list of "honorary" cardinals -- those given the red hat over the retirement age of 80 -- was to be Polish Bishop Ignacy Ludwik Jez, who spent three years in the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau. However, while in Rome with a pilgrimage from his home country, Jez fell ill yesterday and died in an ambulance en route to the "Vatican hospital," the Policlinico Gemelli.

Pictured above, the late designate was 93.

There is precedent even to this: in 1998, on the morning of John Paul II's announcement of the seventh red-hat batch of his reign, one of the intended nominees, Archbishop Giuseppe Uhac, the #2 official at the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, was found to have passed in the night.

At the moment when the late pontiff was to have revealed Uhac's elevation, he instead announced his homegoing.

More to come.