by Anura Guruge
The 65 year old Spanish Cardinal, Antonio Cañizares Llovera, now the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments as of 2008, first started working with the current pope in 1996. He was appointed to be a member of the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in November 1996, by its then head, the current pope.
The Spanish cardinal did not earn the evocative sobriquet ‘Little Ratzinger,‘ one that the pope is said to be very conversant with, for nothing. Doctrinally, he, the pope and the ‘Tanned Ratzinger‘ from Sri Lanka, conscientious conservatives all, sing from the same hymn sheet — a hymn sheet written for John Paul II (#265) by the current pope. The cardinal lauded for his administrative as opposed to pastoral skills, in known to travel the world advocating traditional, pre-Vatican II norms, in particular the Latin Mass.
IF the cardinal electors,all of them, without nary an exception, the creations of the conservatives Benedict XVI (#266) and John Paul II, want to continue, seamlessly, the John Paul II franchise – as was their motives when they expeditiously elected the current pope – they cannot go wrong if they elect the ‘Little Ratzinger.’ The ‘Tanned Ratziger,’ despite having the same value, isn’t exactly interchangeable because he isn’t European. The Canadian, Marc Ouellet, a longtime papabile, now heading the influential Congregation for Bishops, is another conservative option, though he isn’t as ‘dyed in the red’ as the two Ratzinger ‘namesakes.’
Today, Friday, November 19, 2010, the day before the much anticipated 2010 consistory, was slated, by the pope, to be a day of prayer and reflection for the College of Cardinals. The existing cardinals (who were able to make it to Rome) and the 24 cardinal designates met with the pope, for what was essentially a consistory, at 9:30 am (Rome time) at the Vatican Synod Hall. Two topics were scheduled to be discussed:, viz. ‘Religious freedom’ and ‘liturgy in the life of the Church.’ The latter is the domain of Cardinal Cañizares Llovera. Consequently, he gets to strut his stuff in front of the ‘entire’ College. Though he is no stranger to the other cardinals, this exposure, to the NEW expanded College, will only enhance his papabili credentials.
To be fair, Cardinals Bertone, the Secretary of State, U.S. cardianl Lavada and cardinal designate, and papabile, Amato, also have speaking slot today. But, of those speaking, Cardinal Cañizares Llovera is the most papabile.
Right now, in my mind, the top 3 are: Ouellet, Cañizares Llovera and Ravisi. I will work on a new list in the coming weeks.
The pope and the cardinals are also worried about what is happening in China, where the Government is supposedly ‘forcing’ some bishops to participate in the consecration of a new Chinese bishop not approved by the pope. Let me draw your attention to this post. As far as I recall, we also had a worldwide day of prayer for ‘the Chinese’ in June of this year. I am, as ever, fairly naive and simplistic in such matters. But, especially after that day of prayer, isn’t God aware of what is happening? These matters boggle my mind.
Peace and cheers.