Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rumour Watch: New Primate of Belgium?

Andrea Tornielli, the best informed vaticanista of this pontificate, today has some excellent news, which if true would bode very well for Catholic Belgium as well as the cause of the reform of the reform. Here is an NLM translation of Tornielli's piece:

Within days now the important appointment of the new archbishop of Mechlin-Brussels and Primate of Belgium, the successor of Cardinal Godfried Danneels, ought to be published. The choice of the Pope seems to have fallen on the current bishop of Namur, André-Mutien Léonard, who heads the diocese since 1991. He is considered the most traditional bishop of the Church of Belgium. The French progressivist magazine "Golias" in July 2007 published a portrait of him, saying even then that they were worried that he might be the successor of Danneels and recalling how he welcomed enthusiastically Benedict XVI's motu proprio liberalising the old missal, how he has publicly defended Pius XII against accusations of being insensitive to the tragedy of the Jews, and how he has spoken repeatedly on the "non-negotiable" values, defending the natural law. Leonard is 69 years old.

NLM readers may remember that Msgr. Léonard has celebrated the Pontifical Mass in the usus antiquior at the 2008 World Eucharistic Congress in Québec. He is also one of the participants of the famous 2001 Fontgombault liturgical conference, at which the then Cardinal Ratzinger explained his idea of a reform of the reform (the proceedings were published as "Looking Again at the Question of the Liturgy with Cardinal Ratzinger", ed. by A. Reid).