In papal sweepstakes, Italy still may be more equal than others


November 1, 2020

By John L. Allen Jr.

Rome – You know it’s a strange time when the pope gives an interview to a major news outlet, and arguably it’s not even the most interesting ecclesiastical Q&A of the month.

Pope Francis spoke Friday to the Italian agency Adnkronos. Yet earlier this month, legendary Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the once all-powerful Vicar of Rome and president of the Italian bishops’ conference under St. John Paul II, spoke to the Italian paper Corriere della Sera and offered possibly even tastier food for thought.

Now a lion in winter as he nears his 90th birthday in February, Ruini is seen as one of the leaders of the College of Cardinals’ conservative wing. In Catholic circles, the main headline from the interview thus was a comment from Ruini about whether there’s an “international conservative front” against Pope Francis.

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