.- Who holds power and influence at the Vatican? One of the top Vatican journalists in Italy, Sandro Magister, provides his insights on the matter in his latest article, published in the Italian weekly LâEspresso.
A literal translation of Magisterâs headline reads: âWho governs in the shadow of John Paul II: the quadrilateral Vatican.â
Magister names Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, the Popeâs personal secretary, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Angelo Cardinal Sodano, secretary of state, among the most influential. He also cites the pivotal role of Vatican spokesperson Joaquin Navarro-Valls.
But Magister goes beyond name-dropping and provides evidence and analysis of historic and behind-the-scenes activities to support his claims.
For instance, Magister says Church historians have never known the popeâs personal secretary to have such importance in papal affairs. He states that the list of new cardinals created in 2003 passed through Archbishop Dziwisz.
Cardinal Ratzinger is also the first prefect of the Congregation of the Faith to issue letters to the bishops of the world, beginning with âDominus Iesusâ in August 2000, Magister points out.
Those who have lost influence at the Vatican, according to Magister, include Giovanni Battista Cardinal Re, head of the Congregation of Bishops, and Camillo Cardinal Ruini
For whom should Vatican watchers be on the look-out? Magister says a rising force at the Vatican is Julian Cardinal Herranz Casado, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, canon lawyer and member of Opus Dei..
Read Magisterâs full column in English, available Friday online, at: