The Ratzinger Report by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and Vittorio Messori

By Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and Vittorio Messori

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This task is confirmed by the new Code: 'It belongs to the pontifical legate to transmit or pr~­ pose the names of candidates to the Apostolic See in reference to the naming of bishops and to instruct the infQrmative process concerning those to be promoted' (CIC C~n. 364,4). It is a system which, like all things human, gives nse to problems, but I wouldn't know how to replace it. T~ere are countries the vastness of which makes it impossible for the legate to know all the candidates directly· Hence episcopal colleges can come into being that are not homogeneous.

He interrupts me. "I, too, from my native Germany often looked on the Roman apparatus with scepticism, perhaps even with mistrust and impatience. In Rome later I came to realize that this Curia was far superior to its reputation ... In the great majority, it is composed of persons who work here in the authentic spirit of service. ATZINGER REPORT The accusations of slowness, the proverbial delays in dec1s1ons .... He rejoins: "This happens, too, because the Holy See, often suspected of swimming in gold, in reality is not always able to pay for the costs of a more numerous personnel.

In a recent unofficial talk, he quoted the thesis of a famous theologian according to whom "the crisis of the Church today is before all else a crisis of priests and religious orders". "It is a harsh judgment," he confirms, "a rather grim ]'accuse, but maybe it has grasped a truth. " To this first reason for the crisis, the Prefect adds another: "The very situation of the priest is singular, alien to modern society. A function, a role that is not based on the consent of the majority but on the representation of another who lets a man share his authority appears as something incomprehensible.

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