No rumour from the back room
In the range of candidates for the post of the next Cardinal Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, a new name has emerged.
Cardinal Agostino Vallini (67) could be the next cardinal vicar of the Diocese of Rome. Maurizio di Giacomo, the Italian Vaticanist of the 'Nuova Agenzia Radicale' reported this on Sunday.
The resignation of the current incumbent, Cardinal Camillo Ruini (76), is due in August 2008.
The Roman Cardinal Vicar resides in the Roman Lateran Basilica and manages the day-to-day official business of the Diocese of Rome, whose bishop is officially Pope Benedict XVI. .
Vallini is currently Cardinal Prefect of the Apostolic Signature - the supreme juridical body of the Holy See.
Vaticanist di Giacomo believes the move of Cardinal Vallini to the Lateran to be more than a back stairs rumour.
Cardinal Vallini was born in Poli, a village of the 2,300-souls in the Diocese of Tivoli - thirty miles east of Rome. In July 1964, he was consecrated a priest in the Archdiocese of Naples.
From 1989 to 1999, he served as Bishop in Naples. There he proved himself in diocesan administration.
He also protested in black and white terms against certain decisions of the then archbishop of Naples, Cardinal Michele Giordano.
With great recklessness, the Cardinal had been implicated in the dark financial transactions of his brother and triggered a media scandal.
Mons. Vallini was then moved and appointed Bishop of Albano Laziale on whose territory can be found the Papal summer residence of Castelgandolfo.
According to di Giacomo, some observers have noticed that Cardinal Vallini has for some months been behaving in a discreet and restrained compared to a few months ago.
This is taken as a typical reflex action of a Curial official who feels an important appointment is in the air.
The appointment of Cardinal Vallini could solve another problem.
The prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski (68), can then be asked to take over the office which Cardinal Vallini presently holds.
Cardinal Grocholewski is canonist and apparently does not feel at home in the Education Congregation, where he feels his prospects are reduced.
The Cardinal Ruini candidate for his own successor is the current Secretary General of the Italian Bishops' conference, Msgr. Giuseppe Betori.
But in September 2006, he suffered a slight stroke. This makes it more likely that he will have a career rather in the Roman Curia.