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Italian influence wanes in Vatican's powerful Congregation for Bishops

Catholic World News - October 12, 2011

Vatican-watcher Sandro Magister of L'Espresso calls attention to the fact that Italian prelates are no longer counted among the leaders of one of the most important offices in the Vatican.

Many journalists covering the Vatican have pointed to the growing influence of Italian prelates in the leadership of the Roman Curia under Pope Benedict XVI. But there is a signal exception, Magister notes: the Congregation for Bishops, which supervises most of the episcopal appointments around the world.

That congregation is now led by a Canadian prefect (Cardinal Marc Ouellet) and a Portuguese secretary (Archbishop Manuel Monteiro de Castro). Cardinal Ouellet had been serving as Archbishop of Quebec; Archbishop Montiero had held several assignments abroad in the Vatican diplomatic corps. Both replaced Italian prelates with years of service in the Curia. Now the under-secretary, Monsignor Giovanni Maria Rossi, has also retired, leaving the top leadership of the congregation without an Italian.

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