July 8, 2006

Three names to watch: Re, Scola, Baldelli


From left to right:

Giovanni Battista Cardinal Re  Currently: Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops (since 2000).  Watch for: A possible move outside of Rome, possibly to Genoa.  His star soared under Cardinal Sodano's patronage:  They arrived at the Secretariat of State around the same time, and Re served as Sostituto for General Affairs under Sodano in the 1990s. But Cardinal Sodano's stock fell hard when Pope Benedict XVI was elected, and though he's fighting hard to keep his job, Cardinal Re might yet become a casualty as well.

Angelo Cardinal Scola  Currently: 64-year-old Patriarch of Venice.  Cardinal Scola is one of the Church's bright stars, but Venice hasn't been the best match for his talents.  He's incredibly smart, but he often talks over the heads of the faithful. And his every-minute-of-the-day work ethic has caused him a great deal of stress in his current pastoral role.  Watch for: Two possibilities:  (1) A new job as Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, in which case Cardinal Grocholewski could move to replace 76-year-old Cardinal Glemp in Warsaw.  Cardinal Scola has a strong academic background and was previously Rector of the Lateran Pontifical University, so he is considered a good candidate to supervise seminaries, universities and the like.  The second possibility is (2) an assignment to replace Cardinal Re (see above) at the Congregation for Bishops.   

Archbishop Fortunato Baldelli  Currently: 70-year-old Apostolic Nuncio to France.  Watch for:  A greater role in the Secretariat of State, possibly even replacing Archbishop Lajolo as the Holy See's Foreign Minister.  This would be interesting, because Archbishop Baldelli has been described by observers as highly capable and "manifestly holy", which is always nice to have (and often too hard to find) in ecclesiastical appointments.