…by Anura Guruge
Yes, there is no question that his retirement was pending per Canon 354 of the 1983 Code requiring cardinal heads of curial dicasteries to tender their retirement to the pope when they turn 75, he having turned 75 on November 18, 1936. He was on my May 25, 2012 list of retirement pending cardinals — albeit the 2nd youngest of the curialist.
Yes, late June, early July each year is when Pope’s realign the curia before they start their lengthy Summer sojourn, typically at Castel Gandolfo. Hence, the pope’s acceptance of Cardinal Antonelli’s retirement today, when quite a few curial reshuffles were being announced, could be totally kosher.
But, in the current climate of Vatileaks induced intrigue, paranoia and skepticism inquiring minds always need to stop and ask: ‘is there more to this than catches the eye‘ — as we were also forced to do when the Vatican announced the retirement of 78-year old Cardinal Raffaele Farina, on a Saturday, June 9, 2012.
Cardinal Antonelli, as the President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, was a high-profile presence at the ‘Seventh World Meeting of Families‘, held in Milan, May 30 to June 3, 2012 — and was attended by the pope at the height of the Paolo Gabriele framing. He appeared to be in good standing with the pope in Milan, even sitting next to the pope, on his right-hand side — with papabile #1, Lord Bertone sitting on the left-hand side. As far as I can see he has stuck to the party line, especially when it comes to homosexuality — calling it, yet again, ‘contrary to the will of God’s plan‘ in Milan. Though he may have upset many gays, he should be golden within the Vatican (unless of course his statement rubbed a few in those haloed corridors the wrong way).
From the ‘Statesman.com’ — with gratitude.
Any time the pope accepts a cardinals resignation when he is still 75, eyebrows do get raised.
I went back and looked at last year’s. We had 4 resignations accepted at 75, viz. Georg Maximilian Sterzinsky, Roger Mahony, Ivan Dias and John Patrick Foley. Sterzinsky and Foley were known to be very ill and would die within months of their retirement. Mahony was under fire for sex crime coverup and was essentially embattled and disgraced. When Dias’ resignation was accepted 3 weeks after his 75th birthday some assumed that he too might be ill. That proved not to be the case. It transpired that Ivan, vis-à-vis Vatican guidelines, had been naughty. No, no, no. He didn’t molest any young children. In the eye’s of the Vatican he committed a much more egregious crime — he had openly encouraged the notion of married priest! Heaven forbid — even as the pope, with his Personal Ordinariates for Protestants continues to assimilate more married priests into the Church! But, he is pope.
So, given what happened to poor Ivan the Good, who, from all I can see, is far from Terrible, one has to again ask … Did Ennio do something bad? P.S., I have to say, Ennio has aged in the last year. He looks nearly as old as the old pope.