Pope Benedict XVI has today made some significant and long awaited appointments to the Roman Curia:
• Cardinal Marc Ouellet, 66, until now Archbishop of Québec, becomes the new prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, replacing Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, 76.
• Msgr. Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has been appointed president of the Academy, replacing Archbishop Rino Fisichella.
• Archbishop Fisichella moves to become president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, a new dicastery announced by the Holy Father on Monday.
• Fr. Enrico dal Covolo S.D.B., professor of Greek Christian Literature at the Pontifical Salesian University, becomes the new rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, a position also held until now by Archbishop Fisichella.
• Perhaps the most surprising and unforeseen appointment today, however, is that of Archbishop Celestino Migliore, until now the Permanent Observer of the Holy See at the United Nations. He becomes the new Apostolic Nuncio to Poland. There is no word yet on his replacement.
A good deal of speculation about many of these appointments has circulated in recent weeks, with at one time Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, strongly tipped to become prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
In another interesting development today, Benedict XVI received Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard of Mechelen-Brussels and president of the Belgian bishops conference. It follows the controversial police raid on the Church’s offices in Belgium last week.
Cardinal Ouellet is to give his reaction to the appointment at a press conference at 2pm EST. Readers can watch it, broadcast in English and French, here.