Bishops’ Congregation to decide on Milan recommendation today


The recommendation for the next Archbishop of Milan will be decided at a meeting in the Vatican this morning, June 9, according to the Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli.

“At nine o’clock this morning, in a room in the Apostolic Palace, the ‘congressa’ (conferences) are meeting, called to discuss the three ‘provviste’ (supply lists), i.e. to consider nominations for the leadership of three dioceses,” Tornielli wrote in La Stampa newspaper this morning.

There has been speculation in the U.S. media over the past several days that one of the other dioceses being considered is Philadelphia. The present leader, Cardinal Justin Rigali, tendered his resignation last year when he turned 75. One name being floated for Philadelphia is Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver.

As for Milan, Tornielli says the trio of Italian clerics in the running are Cardinal Angelo Scola of Venice, Bishop Francesco Lambasi of Rimini, and Monsignor Aldo Giordano, the Vatican’s representative to the Council of Europe.

After the Thursday morning meeting, Tornielli says that the head of the Congregation of Bishops, the Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, will present the group’s recommendations to Pope Benedict over the weekend. It will then be up to the Pope to make any final decision. An official announcement is not expected until later this month.

The Metropolitan Archdiocese of Milan is the most populous in Italy and one of the most influential in the Catholic Church. In the 2oth century, two holders of the office have gone onto the papacy – Pope Pius XI and Pope Paul VI. Being a metropolitan see, it also has jurisdiction over nine other dioceses in the north of Italy.

The present head of the archdiocese, Archbishop Dionigi Tettamanzi, is 77-years-old and due for retirement.

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