Position vacant for Papal enforcer

It's probably the second-most powerful Vatican office - prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the head of the Vatican department historically known as the Office of the Holy Inquisition, reports the Trumpet.

It’s the job that Pope Benedict held as Cardinal Ratzinger directly answerable to John Paul II during the latter’s papacy. Under his rule, the prefect became known as “the pope’s enforcer.” Now the current holder of that office, Cardinal Levada (pictured), who was certainly not cast in the mold of a true “enforcer,” is set to retire.

The question is: who will replace him?

In all probability, Benedict appointed the American Levada very deliberately knowing that such an appointment was a gap filler, while he prepared to place a man after his own persuasion, a true doctrinaire “enforcer,” in that key role.

After all, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is described by those in the know as “the most delicate department head of the Roman Curia, a task Ratzinger held for 24 years before being elected pope”.

There are two prime contenders for that role who fit this moment in the development of Pope Benedict’s upcoming great crusade which demands an appointee of the caliber of a Ratzinger to finish off the job of whipping the Curia and general priesthood into shape in preparation for the task. Both are German.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna has often been mentioned as a contender for Cardinal Levada’s replacement. He currently serves as archbishop of Vienna and is president of the Austrian Bishops Conference.

Akin to Benedict, he is an intellectual, a theologian who studied directly under Cardinal Ratzinger. He is also the principal editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the implementation of which the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will be charged with overseeing, and enforcing.

FULL STORY Position vacant - Papal enforcer (Trumpet)



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