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New cardinals: Benedict XVI signals his intentions

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 Contents - Apr 2006AD2000 April 2006 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: New cardinals: Benedict XVI signals his intentions - Michael Gilchrist
Conscience: Dissenters' appeal to Rome 'a real hoot' says Cardinal Pell - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Books: Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
EarthSong: Green Christianity or a new paganism? - Michael Gilchrist
Salesian Missions: Cardinal Pell visits East Timor - Michael Lynch SDB
Creation: Intelligent Design and the war against God - Stephen Hitchings
The Domestic Church: The Christian Family Movement: re-evangelising through families - Leslie Sammut
Has just punishment had its day? - Fr Matthew Kirby
1973 Decree: A Fourth Rite of Reconciliation for Queensland? - AD2000
Music and Culture: Benedict XVI, Mozart and the quest for beauty - Mark Freer
Letters: Religious education - Saskia Ebejer
Letters: Action needed - Kevin McBride
Letters: New Age - Yana Di Pietro and Magenta Ray
Letters: Translations - George Simpson
Letters: National suicide - Greg O'Regan
Letters: Anti-life politicians - Robert Bom
Letters: RU486 - Brian Harris
Letters: Courageous example - Arnold Jago
Letters: Inclusive language - Ottavio Kos
Letters: Overseas priests - Peter Gilet
Letters: Leadership needed - Tom King
Letters: Church of England - Jim Turley
Letters: Religious life - Barbara Chigwidden
Books: Swear To God: The Promise and Powers of the Sacraments, by Scott Hahn - Jacinta Cummins (reviewer)
Books: Mother Angelica, by Raymond Arroyo - Stephen Hitchings (reviewer)
Books: Fr Martin D'Arcy: Philosopher of Christian Love, by H.J.A. Sire - Michael E. Daniel
Events: Holy Week 2006: Classical Roman Rite in Melbourne
Books: Stimulating reading from AD Books
Reflection: The redeeming Cross: at the centre of Christian faith - Cardinal George Pell

By the time this issue of AD2000 is available, the 24 March Consistory - the first of Benedict XVI's pontificate - will have taken place, with 15 new cardinals receiving their red hats (see page 4).

As was anticipated in last month's editorial, Benedict is well situated to identify (or select) members of the Vatican Curia who will "sing from the same hymnal" as himself.

This should mean, among other things, that future episcopal appointees will prove more diligent in overseeing the Church's doctrinal and moral teachings, as well as her liturgical requirements, in their dioceses.

Several of the red hats were to be expected, as with the prefects of three key Vatican congregations and the archbishops of dioceses normally led by cardinals.

The choice of the forthright pro-democracy Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, Bishop of Hong Kong, was especially significant, signalling that Rome would not be cowed by China's bullying tactics.

With a number of pointed omissions, Benedict has made clear that being the head of a Vatican office does not automatically clear the way to becoming a cardinal.

One of the candidates predicted by the media, Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, not only was not designated a cardinal, but was removed from his office and sent to Egypt as a nuncio.

This was not surprising, given the strong disagreement between Archbishop Fitzgerald and Benedict on crucial topics in the dialogue among religions, and in particular between Christianity and Islam - Fitzgerald being a convinced representative of the "spirit of Assisi".

There has been much speculation about the position of the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, aged 78, seen by close observers of the Holy See as one of the major obstacles to Benedict XVI's vision for the Church. It seems only a matter of time - given he is past retirement age - before he is replaced by someone more attuned to the Pope's thinking.

Michael Gilchrist: Editor (email -

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 3 (April 2006), p. 2

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