On the subject of Ratzinger's successor at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, at least four names have been suggested in recent days: Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, Austria, who was one of the proponents of Ratzinger's election to the papacy; Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone of Genoa, Ratzinger's former deputy at the congregation; Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, a well-known Italian theologian and frequent Vatican advisor; and Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, a widely respected intellectual.
George is considered something of a longshot, since Benedict XVI may prefer to leave him in the United States, where he is currently the vice-president of the American bishops' conference and will presumably become the president at the end of the current term. In that capacity, he would be positioned to perhaps the most important point of reference for the pope in the American church.
One other rumor making the rounds is that Benedict XVI may simply decide to direct the congregation himself, as Pius XII, a veteran of the Vatican diplomatic corps, did with the secretariat of state. Others regard this is a remote possibility, since the pope may not want to take on this responsibility himself.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Ratzinger's successor at CDF?
John Allen Jr. in Rome