Tuesday, October 01, 2002

I just heard that Cardinal Arinze is the new head of the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome. That is hugely significant. I checked the Vatican's website but I couldn't find the press release, however, it is true.

There have been five instructions on the implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Vatican II document that address liturgy and the last two, the fourth and the fifth deal with the perplexing and vexing issue of inculturation. The issue of inculturation is difficult enough as it is, but having an ally in a a key position like this is a very good thing. Conservatives are supportive of Cardinal Arinze so they would not view him as a threat to the sanctity of the liturgy, but now, I think many of us who have wished many a year for more substantive cultural adaptations can have even more reason to hope.

On the question of the papacy, does he being moved to this position mean that he is even more papabile? I think not necessarily because that Congregation is very important and even though it may be a step up, so to speak, there is much work to be done and it may be unlikely that the Cardinals would want to interrupt that.

I do think we need an African pope in contemporary history, there have been a couple in the past (not clear if they were black or not), but I think the next Pope should be Latino due to the numbers they represent in the Church. What I do not want to see for years is another Italian or European pope, nothing wrong with European popes but it is a different ball game now.


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