Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Tsunami, Wave One

Some weeks ago, you all were advised to expect the first major throes of Benedict XVI's curial reshuffle before the Pope's departure for Poland on the 25th.

Well, right on time and just as predicted for about a year, this morning the Holy See announced that Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, heretofore prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, has been appointed archbishop of Naples in succession to the retiring Cardinal Michele Giordano.

To succeed Sepe, the long-standing buzz was also confirmed: the new Red Pope is Cardinal Ivan Dias, the veteran of Vatican diplomacy who has served as archbishop of Bombay since 1996. Dias, shown at left, turned 70 last month. He was elevated to the College at the mega-consistory of 2001.

While secretaries of congregations have often been sent from Rome to archdioceses of their own in the recent past, today's move is the first time in memory that a cardinal-prefect has been exiled from the Curia.

In tandem with Sri Lankan Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, secretary for the Congregation of Divine Worship, the selection of Dias to head the Propaganda Fide is the second of Benedict XVI's three major dicasterial appointees to date to have been called from the Indian subcontinent.

And next up is.....

AP/Aijaz Rahi