(Rome) Pope Francis has today accepted the Resignation of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra as Archbishop of Bologna and of Cardinal Paolo Romeo of Palermo. According to canon law both had offered the Pope their resignations with the 75th year of life. Both dignitaries stayed two years longer in office. Cardinal Romeo was on 77 years old on February 20, Cardinal Caffarra on the 1st of June. Their successors are to be called from among the representatives of the "poor Church for the poor".
|Cardinal Carlo Caffarra|
Cardinal Carlo Caffarra - distinctive shape of the European episcopate
Cardinal Caffarra had been appointed by Pope John Paul II. Archbishop of Bologna in 2004. The Cardinals from Busseto in the Emilia, was born in the same place as Giuseppe Verdi, and came from humble beginnings. Caffarra received his doctorate in canon law and moral theology. At the family Synod of 1980, whose result was Familiaris Consortio, Pope John Paul II. had appointed him as an expert on marriage and family questions. John Paul II. appointed him as the first president of the Pontifical Institute established in 1981, "John Paul II. For Studies on Marriage and Family" at the Pontifical Lateran University. He is one of the most distinctive diocesan bishops and cardinals in Europe: a fine, razor-sharp thinker with a willingness to fight. Most recently, he raised his voice against gender ideology and the homosexual agenda. Even last week he refused allegiance to Pope Francis, as this the Synod Fathers presented the almost unchanged working document of the Synod from the beginning as a final document for the vote, despite more than 1,300 amendments after three Synod weeks.
The protest, including Caffarra's, was so clear that the pope had to relent and sought in the final hours before the final vote to somehow seek a compromise on a tight deadline for a majority.
Cardinal Romeo - alleged assassination plot against Benedict XVI.
Cardinal Romeo was appointed in 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI., the Archbishop of Palermo. Romeo comes from a wealthy and large family of Catania in Sicily. Like Cardinal Caffarra, he also received his doctorate at the Pontifical Gregorian University in canon law. He is extroverted and enthusiastic about technology with the precision thinking of a lawyer. In 1967 he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See and was active until his appointment as archbishop of Palermo in the Apostolic nunciatures or the State Secretariat. In 1983 he attained the rank of Apostolic Nuncio and became titular bishop of Vulturia, a defunct diocese in the imperial province of Mauretania of the Roman Empire.
Cardinal Romeo got international notoriety momentarily because he predicted in November 2011, that Pope Benedict XVI. would die within a year. The incident became known only later. Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, who had learned of Romeo's statements during a visit to China, wrote a statement of the facts for the German Pope. For security reasons and due to its confidential nature, the Colombian cardinal wrote on 30 December 2011 a letter in German and sent it to Benedict XVI. as Cardinal Romeo's interlocutor, "thought with horror that we are dealing with an assassination plot against the Pope," said Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in his exposition of the facts, that it involved an "assassination plot." To make sure that the Pope had received his letter, the Colombian cardinal sought the pope in mid-January as part of a private audience.
Vatican spokesman Lombardi denied media reports in February 2012 as "absurd and frivolous". A year later Benedict XVI surprisingly announced his resignation from office.
The new archbishops of Bologna and Palermo
The new Archbishops (from left) Msgr. Zuppi (Bologna) and Msgr. Lorefice (Palermo)
For new archbishop of Palermo, Pope Francis has chosen the Sicilian priest Corrado Lorefice (born in 1962). Ordained priest in 1987, he was incardinated in his home diocese of Noto. Most recently Msgr. Lorefice was parish priest of San Pietro a Modica and episcopal vicar for pastoral care in the diocese.
For new Archbishop of Bologna, Pope Francis has chosen Matteo Maria Zuppi from Rome (born in 1955). Msgr. Zuppi belongs to the Community of Sant'Egidio. He was ordained a priest in 1981 and incardinated in the diocese of Rome, he received his doctorate in Church history. From 1981-2000 he was a chaplain in Santa Maria in Trastevere. In 2000 he became the spiritual assistant as a successor of the diocesan bishop Msgr. Vincenzo Paglia to the Community of Sant'Egidio. In 2012 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him. auxiliary bishop of Rome and Titular Bishop of Villanova, also a defunct diocese in the province of Mauretania Caesariensis. Msgr. Zuppi has been in the past 25 years, together with Andrea Riccardi, founder of Sant'Egidio, active in the so-called parallel diplomacy, at the official Diplomatic Service of the Holy See. In March 2014 Msgr. Zuppi also visited as the competent Bishop the traditional Roman personal parish Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, which is supervised by the Fraternity of St. Peter and celebrated at his own request in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.
The local press of Sicily and Romagna speaks of a "great discontinuity". The two successors of the former archbishops have been representatives of the "poor Church and for the poor" of Pope Francis.
Both diocese were previously linked to the dignity of Cardinal. Under Pope Francis, however, it can not be said that the newly appointed will also be raised in the cardinal state.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Wikicommons / Diocese Noto / Vicariate Rome
Trans: Tancred email@example.com
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