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New curial posts give extra Vatican clout to several cardinals

Catholic World News - April 25, 2012

During the past week Pope Benedict XVI has assigned the newly created cardinals to membership in various Vatican congregations and councils, and added a number of new assignments for other cardinals. Surveying the membership of these Vatican bodies, journalist Sandro Magister observes that several cardinals have multiple assignments, and therefore will exercise considerable influence within the Vatican.

Not surprisingly the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, leads all cardinals, as a member of six Vatican dicasteries, including the two most important: Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Congregation for Bishops. The prefects of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, and of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Levada, each sit on 4 other congregations, and both are members of those two key dicasteries.

Two other leading Vatican officials—Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship; and Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, the prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education—are members of 3 other congregations beside the ones they lead. Among the cardinals outside the Vatican, the leaders of major archdioceses around the world, only two are members of 4 Vatican congregations: Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan and Cardinal Eugene George of Chicago.

Five cardinals who head major archdiocese are members of 3 congregations: Cardinals Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Joachim Meisner of Cologne, Antonio Maria Rouco Varela of Madrid, Christoph Schönborn of Vienna. Two other cardinals who have retired from their pastoral duties remain members of 3 congregations: Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the former Archbishop of Westminster (who will relinquish his curial assignments in August when he turns 80); and Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, the former Archbishop of Milan.

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