Cardinal Ouellet-- not Cardinal Pell-- to head Congregation for Bishops?
June 17, 2010
An Italian journalist who reported in May that Australian Cardinal George Pell would become the new prefect of the Congregation for Bishops is now saying that the post will go to Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec.
Andrea Tornielli of Il Giornale, who has accurately predicted several important developments during the current pontificate, wrote in May that Pope Benedict XVI had chosen Cardinal Pell for the Congregation for Bishops. The curial post is an especially important one, since the congregation is instrumental in selecting bishops for most of the world’s dioceses. The resignation of the current prefect, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, has been expected for several months.
Although Vatican insiders generally agreed that Cardinal Pell was the Pope’s choice, more recent reports from Rome have indicated that the expected appointment faced opposition, and Cardinal Pell himself was said to be reluctant to leave his current post in Sydney, Australia.
Cardinal Ouellet, a former secretary of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, was appointed Archbishop of Quebec City and Primate of Canada by Pope John Paul II in 2002; he received his red hat from Pope John Paul II in 2003. He is a close ally of Pope Benedict XVI, having served with him on the editorial board of the international theological journal Communio.
The Vatican has made no announcement about the resignation of Cardinal Re. The report that Cardinal Ouellet will succeed him—like the earlier reports that Cardinal Pell would take the job—must be regarded as speculative.