Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cardinals promoted

Remember my blog entry yesterday about Cardinals and the only time a change of their titular church occurs?  You don't remember?  You don't read me every day?  Of course you do, I know.  But here's what I said...
Cardinals keep their titular for life, even in retirement from "active ministry".  The only exception being if they are promoted within the College of Cardinals, in which case they receive another titular church from the Holy Father.
Sure enough, in this morning's "bolletino" from the Vatican, two members of the College of Cardinals have been promoted.

The Prefect for the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, José Cardinal Saraiva Martins, having been created a Cardinal-Deacon by Pope John Paul back in 2001, has jumped two notches, and been raised to the Order of Cardinal-Bishop.  As such, he has been given a new titular See (Cardinal Bishops do not get titular churches, but essentially a whole diocese) of Pallestrina.  This titular See became vacant when the previous holder, Bernardin Cardinal Gantin, died in May of 2008.

The Pope's Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome, Agostino Cardinal Vallini, created a Cardinal-Deacon by Pope Benedict in 2006, has been raised by the Holy Father to the Order of Cardinal Priest, though it was announced he would keep his titular church of St. Peter Damian.  This is normally a church assigned to a Cardinal-Deacon, but in the bulletin it was announced that "pro hac vice" ("for this turn") the church will be the titular of a Cardinal-Priest.

The interesting thing to wonder about is that Canon Law (350, paragraph 5, to be exact) allows Cardinals to petition the Holy Father for promotion within the College of Cardinals only after ten years of serving in their current rank.  Since both of these men fall under the ten year mark, this came on the Pope's own incentive.

Now, you may ask yourself, "Who cares about this stuff, really?"  My response is, "Look, I'm less than 24 hours away from Ash Wednesday, a day I'll spend with a dirty thumb, watching loads of people come out of the woodwork and behave almost un-Christian in their behavior both in church and in our parking lot, all in the effort to have ashes imposed on their foreheads so they can repent by promising not to use foul language and stop eating candy until Easter (then I suppose they'll cuss whilst popping Hershey bars), so humor me if I want to think about something other than, 'Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel', or, 'Remember you are dust, and unto dust you shall return', ok?"

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