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How Pope Benedict chooses top Vatican officials

December 21, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI has now appointed 20 of the top 25 officials serving in the Roman Curia, notes John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter)—with a 21st appointment (a new prefect for the Congregation for Religious) expected soon. What sort of prelates has he chosen?

Allen says that the papal choices share three characteristics in common. They are generally “intellectuals and men of culture” rather than “career diplomats or church bureaucrats.” They are drawn disproportionately from Europe and North America rather than the developing world. And they are personally acquainted with the Pope—in a surprising number of cases, because they worked with then-Cardinal Ratzinger in previous assignments.


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