He cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti he has reached the age limits and is destined to leave room for another prelate for the presidency of the Italian Bishops’ Conference. The choice, which belongs to Pope Francis, will mark the future of the Italian Catholic Church.
For some years now, more hypotheses have been presented. Cardinal Bassetti could have already left some time ago (he was being ventilated), but now the time should have come: next May is the designated period for the changing of the guard. At the age of eighty, it is difficult for the mandate to be extended. Jorge Mario Bergoglio he is the pontiff who most amazed by the criteria for appointments to the top of the Catholic Church. This is true both for Italy and for the rest of the world. And “discovering” the moves of the former archbishop of Buenos Aires in advance is anything but elementary.
For the summit of the the, there is often a lot of talk about Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi. But the consecrated Roman was recently created cardinal. Zuppi certainly has an institutional profile, so much so that specialists in the sector often mention the name of the archbishop of Bologna also for the succession of Pope Francis. However things will go in the future, it is quite complex that Bergoglio “rewards” the same person twice in such a short period of time.
The cardinal who comes from Community of Sant’Egidio he would find himself, in the event of a CEI presidency, to be extremely relevant within the Curia. Zuppi is already a reference for the progressive world (and not only), but the Argentine pontiff is not usually concentrated in the hands of a few. Indeed, Bergoglio has several times enlarged the mesh of ecclesiastical representation, distributing offices to people from “below”.
Let’s understand: the possibility of Zuppi’s presidency is by no means to be discarded, but Francesco could deny the forecasts even in this circumstance. Zuppi has on his side the fact that he is a well-known man of dialogue. For one thing, he also met Matteo Salvini at a time when relations between the League and the Vatican, due to the different positions on migrants, were not idyllic. Another name that is aired is monsignor Erio Castellucci, who is a very fine theologian from Emilia-Romagna, as well as archbishop of Modena-Nonantola. It would be an appointment that some might consider conservative.
Then there is the archbishop of Siena and cardinal in turn: monsignor Augusto Paolo Lojudice. Lojudice, like Zuppi, has recently become a cardinal. The various “predictions” have also been retraced by The print who recalled how the surprise name, when the “theologian of the people” who sits on the throne of Peter chooses, is always to be held in strong consideration.
Anyone who holds the office of president of the Italian bishops will be called to a difficult task. In fact, in perspective, there is the National Synod to organize. Pope Francis requested it, with some haste and with all the trappings of the case. The appointment can no longer be postponed and the prelates of the Belpaese, as they say, are already “on their way”. It will be up to the next CEI summit to coordinate the synodal meeting that could change the face of the Italian Catholic Church. Also for this factor, the appointment in the hands of Bergoglio arouses curiosity. We are at a watershed full of meaning.