Saturday, March 11, 2006

Interesting Curial Movements...

From the Bolletino we read:
1. Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao has resigned as President of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Immigrants due to age.
2. 'For now' the Pope has decided to unite that office with that of the Presidency of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Therefore, the current incument Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino (not to be confused with Cardinal Martini) is now President of both Councils.
And something similar is happening with Inter-religious Dialogue and Culture.
3. To favour more intense dialogue between 'men of culture' and 'exponents of various religions' the Pope has united 'for now' the Presidencies of the Pontifical Councils for Culture and Inter-religious Dialogue. With Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald who was president of the latter being sent to Cairo, Cardinal Paul Poupard, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, takes over at Inter-religious Dialogue.

It seems fairly clear what is happening. The temporary unification of the presidencies will ultimately result in the Council for Migrants being subsumed into Justice and Peace; whilst Culture and Inter-religous Dialogue also seem slated for merger. This is just the kind of curial 'tidying-up' that has been expected for some time. Incidentally, some of you may be curious as to what Culture has to do with Inter-religious Dialogue. The Pontifical Council for Culture used to be known as the Pontifical Council for Non-believers. In the early 1990s, the title of the Council was changed to reflect a broadening of its interests and a certain sensitivity of nomenclature. It should be noted that The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity remains a seperate entity, but dialogue with non-Christians, non-believers and modern culture as a whole is now to be dealt with by the one Council.

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