Friday, January 19, 2007

Curia resists Papal Policies Italian Magazine Says

Rome, Jan. 19, 2007 ( - Pope Benedict XVI has faced steady opposition within the Vatican as he seeks to implement new policies, according to an article in Italy’s Panorama magazine. The article concludes that the Holy Father is now assembling his own management team to implement his policies.

“Benedict XVI does not have a decisive temperament,” writes Ignazio Ingrao in his analysis for Panorama The Italian journalist reports that the Pontiff has faced stiff resistance in his effort to reform the Roman Curia and to broaden access to the traditional liturgy.

Dwelling at length on the controversy surrounding the ill-fated appointment of Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus in Warsaw, the Panorama analysis sees tensions between the Polish clerics who surrounded Pope John Paul II and the allies of the current Pontiff. The author also sees continued fallout from the Wielgus debacle, with other leading Polish prelates likely to face charges that they collaborated with the Communist secret police.

Originally, the Panorama story says, Pope Benedict passed over 6 different candidates put forward by the Polish hierarchy to choose Archbishop Wielgus; the Pope withdrew his support only when he became convinced that the incoming Archbishop of Warsaw had provided misleading information about his background.

The Wielgus controversy drew attention to some of the tensions between Polish Church leaders and the Pope, Ingrao writes. He points out that Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, the longtime secretary to John Paul II, remained quiet about the appointment, although he reportedly did not approve of the Pope’s choice. The Italian journalist also notes that the Pope said that Cardinal Jozef Glemp could retain his title as Primate of Poland for 3 more years, after John Paul II had conferred that title upon Cardinal Glemp for life.

The Wielgus controversy has accelerated shifts in the balance of power within the Roman Curia, Panorama reports, because the incident underlined the need for the Pope to form his own effective leadership team. The Italian magazine reports that it was Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary of State, who conveyed the request for Archbishop Wielgus to submit resignation.

Cardinal Bertone, who took office last September, has provided Pope Benedict with a loyal and energetic right-hand man, the Panorama story says, concluding that the coming year should see more decisive movement to implement the Pope’s agenda.

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