From Madrid: Martinez Camino at Divine Worship in place of Robert Sarah. (Oops…April Fool)
29 Dicembre 2020
Dear readers of Stilum Curiae, Religion Digital a big Spanish website, has published a piece of news today that, if confirmed, would be quite sensational, and strangely also very hopeful with respect to the usual choices for appointments made by this pontificate. As is well-known, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, will be 76 next June, and he has held his position since November 2014. According to Religion Digital, a Spanish prelate is possibly going to succeed him: a Jesuit, who is presently the auxiliary bishop of Madrid. But let’s read what Religion Digital writes; with all the reservations necessary for such a case, as long as we do not have direct confirmation of this news.
2021 will be the definitive year to address reforms in the Vatican Curia. Francis is ready to give it his full effort. The imminent approval of the upcoming Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium has stirred up no little hope among the faithful from all over the world. It is a Vatican reform that, curiously, will have a Spanish accent, including some surprises.
According to what Religion Digital has learned from sources that are by no means naïve, Pope Francis has decided that two heavyweights of the Spanish church will assume direct responsibility for the Curia’s new organizational chart. Thus, it has been decided that the present auxiliary bishop of Madrid, Juan Antonio Martínez Camino, will be appointed as the new Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, replacing the controversial Cardinal Sarah.
Camino, who was about to be appointed bishop of Ciudad Rodrigo – the official announcement was only lacking a signature – was strongly recommended to the Holy Father by Cardinal Rouco Varela [Archbishop Emeritus of Madrid] and by the prior of La Trappa, the place where he intended to return in order to prepare for his new assignment. When Cardinal Osoro [Archbishop of Madrid] was consulted, he gave his placet before even hearing the question.
The other big appointment, at the last minute, arrives as a real surprise, because it involves the lay person with the biggest responsibility in the global Church. Fernando Giménez Barriocanal, the Vice-Secretary for Economic Affairs of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference and President of COPE [Cadena de Ondas Populares Espanolas, a large Spanish radio network], will soon be leaving both of his posts in order to become the head of the Dicastery for Communications of the Holy See. He will not go alone: he is bringing along with him one of his former collaborators in the Spanish Bishops’ Conference to be the head of Vatican Radio. In the coming weeks, Federico Jiménez Losantos will leave the radio microphones [in Spain] to go to work in the Vatican. He says he happily accepted the offer as “a new service for the Church that I love and for which I work every day.”
The departure of Barriocanal has provoked a logical earthquake in the Spanish Church, which has not yet decided on the name of Barriocanal’s successor as the head of finances for the Church (there is talk of another layman, who is responsible for religious institutions in a Spanish bank who is promoting the singing of popular Christmas songs). Various names have already been taken into consideration for COPE, including the name of our director [at Religion Digital], José Manuel Vidal.
In Spain, the Feast of the Innocents and Martyrs is the equivalent of April 1st. And it’s traditional for the Spanish media to have fun…so it’s likely, indeed almost certain, that the Religion Digital article we brought you falls into this category. It seemed too good to be true….
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