Monday, February 22, 2010

Papal Cabinet

Some think of authority and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in terms of power. The Church understand authority in terms of service with a specific goal: the "nurturing and constant growth of the People of God" (Decree on the Church, 18, of the Second Vatican Council). The pope's title, now used with refreshed vigor, "servant of the servants of God," is as old as Pope Gregory the Great, whose papacy spanned the final 10 years of the 6th Century and the first five of the 7th Century. Pope Gregory used the title for himself in later correspondence.

Today the pope continues to be chosen from among the College of Cardinals. Authority placed in service of the church is the guiding principle of popes and their cabinets, the cardinals. The pope may name new cardinals late in this calendar year. According to Vatican observer, Mr. John L. Allen Jr.:
While popes are free to make anyone they want a cardinal, in general the bulk of these nominations are fairly predictable, since there are certain jobs in the church with which a cardinal’s “red hat” is more or less automatically associated. Given that the last consistory came in November 2007, the list of these “cardinals in waiting” has become fairly long.
Mr. Allen identified and explained in a recent post who they are and something about why some would or would not be named later this year.

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