The Holy Office: A seat for three

Vatican Insider

The appointment of Cardinal Levada’s successor has been postponed until April if not later. There is no Italian running for the position. German cardinal Müller and French cardinal Ricard stand out as potential favourites for the post. But an Englishman’s name is also being considered

Vatican City

Next week, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will hold a plenary session in the Palace of the Holy Office. Everyone expected the name of Cardinal William Levada’s successor to be announced straight after this meeting. Cardinal Levada has been Prefect of the doctrinal dicastery, once referred to as “la Suprema” (the Supreme congregation), since 2005. But it looks like the decision date has been pushed forward. Benedict XVI wants to take his time before making the final decision, taking great care to examine all the possibilities on the table.

Meanwhile, the 64 year old Bishop of Regensburg, Gerhard Ludwig Müller remains a potential candidate. He is already a member of the Congregation and as a theologian, is highly esteemed by Benedict XVI, who unexpectedly summoned him to Rome in recent days, to discuss his future call to the Curia. Should he not succeed in being appointed as head of the dicastery, the German bishop could be nominated Cardinal Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church, substituting Raffaele Farina and nominated cardinal in a future concistory.

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