Friday, May 23, 2003

Last year Cardinal Ratzinger personally recommended in an interview that the next head of the Church should come from Africa -- saying, "I personally feel that this would be a good sign for Christendom in its entirety." His comment was interpreted by some as implicit backing for the candidacy of Cardinal Francis Arinze.

Arinze seems well-suited for the task: As recently-appointed Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Arinze is attuned and sympathetic to the concerns about proper celebration of the liturgy. As a consultant to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he's concerned about maintaining orthodoxy within the Church. And as previous head for the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue and is well-versed and highly regarded for his role in interreligious relations, especially with Islam (certainly of great concern in this time).

And now Cardinal Arinze appears to have made headlines for causing a stir at a Jesuit university commencement ceremony for speaking his mind and, well, behaving like a Cardinal concerned with a nation's blatant lack of respect for life and family.

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