Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, is "more powerful than ever”, writes Sandro Magister.
Magister states on his blog (January 14) that Parolin was personally involved in the controversial removal of Matthew Festing as Grand Master of the Knights of Malta. But Parolin avoids being in the spotlight, and leaves the "dirty work” to others like his deputy, Archbishop Angelo Giovanni Becciu. Parolin flies “so high as to be now the only candidate for succeeding Francis with a serious chance of being elected pope”, writes Magister.
He mentions two other key cardinals in this pontificate, both former diplomats, Lorenzo Baldisseri, the secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, and Beniamino Stella, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.
Magister considers them to be yes-men with “no specific expertise” who are “perfectly obedient executors of Francis' will.” According to him they will steer things in the directions predetermined by Francis, "from communion for the divorced and remarried to the ordination of married priests”.
Picture: Pietro Parolin, © Osservatore, CC BY-SA, #newsDhxdeppxbp