" The appointment of Cardinal Levada’s successor has been postponed until April if not later. There is no Italian running for the position. German cardinal Müller and French cardinal Ricard stand out as potential favourites for the post. But an Englishman’s name is also being considered
ANDREA TORNIELLI vatican city
Next week, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will hold a plenary session in the Palace of the Holy Office. Everyone expected the name of Cardinal William Levada’s successor to be announced straight after this meeting. Cardinal Levada has been Prefect of the doctrinal dicastery, once referred to as “la Suprema” (the Supreme congregation), since 2005. But it looks like the decision date has been pushed forward. Benedict XVI wants to take his time before making the final decision, taking great care to examine all the possibilities on the table.
Meanwhile, the 64 year old Bishop of Regensburg, Gerhard Ludwig Müller remains a potential candidate. He is already a member of the Congregation and as a theologian, is highly esteemed by Benedict XVI, who unexpectedly summoned him to Rome in recent days, to discuss his future call to the Curia. Should he not succeed in being appointed as head of the dicastery, the German bishop could be nominated Cardinal Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church, substituting Raffaele Farina and nominated cardinal in a future concistory.
Another candidate who is being considered is the 67 year old Archbishop of Bordeaux, Jean-Pierre Bernard Ricard, also a member of the Congregation. Both men diocesan bishops but they are well aware of the way the former Holy Office works. Besides these two figures, the Pope is also considering the possibility of choosing an English speaking Prefect, which would continue the tradition begun with the appointment of William Levada, an American. This reason for this potential latter choice can be found in the experience gained by the experience gained from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, following the publication of the apostolic constitution, Anglicanorum coetibus, towards the end of 2009. This makes possible the establishment of a number of Anglo-Catholic ordinariates, in order to welcome not just single priests or bishops into communion with the Roman Catholic Church, but also entire Anglican communities. "