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Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic World News

Cardinal Sodano's lingering influence seen as a problem

May 06, 2011

There is a rising current of unease at the Vatican, writes John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter, about the continuing prominent role played by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the former Secretary of State, who at the age of 83 still has not relinquished his title as Dean of the College of Cardinals.

If the Pope dies, Allen notes, the Dean of the College of Cardinals presides at the funeral, and at the meetings prior to the conclave. So the eyes of the world would be on Cardinal Sodano--whose track record and public statements on the sex-abuse scandal, along with his engagement in some questionable financial affairs, make him an easy target for public criticism.

It might be convenient, Allen hints, if Cardinal Sodano were to resign as Dean--as last two of his last three predecessors did, shortly after their 80th birthdays. (The third did not reach his 80th birthday before being elected as Pope Benedict XVI.) However Cardinal Sodano has never shown any interest in relinquishing his offices.


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  • Posted by: - May. 18, 2011 9:45 AM ET USA

    One doesn't have to like the usual distorting slant of the Reporter to agree that Sodano should go, ASAP.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - May. 07, 2011 2:11 PM ET USA

    Did you read the column, GabrielAustin? Despite his employer, John Allen remains possibly the best pure reporter on the Church writing today. This column is almost pure history---and Sodano's leaves a lot to be desired. Allen then goes on to suggest (as a columnist is free to do) how the damage might be mitigated. As usual, he makes a great deal of sense. I urge one and all: click on the link. (You are free to ignore the pop-up of Sr. Joan Chitister that appears first, as I did.)

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - May. 06, 2011 10:02 PM ET USA

    From Allen's lips to God's ears!

  • Posted by: - May. 06, 2011 7:58 PM ET USA

    It is tiresome in attempts to avoid the Catholic Misreporter to find its pointless speculations about the future reported in a respectable Catholic journal. Many think John Allen a good reporter. No good reporter speculates about the future. Cardinal Sodano may be dead before the next council. What purpose does such speculation serve except to fill space? I knew Cardinal Tisserant, who was Dean of the College of Cardinals. He like the others had only one vote.