Sunday, 31 January 2010

Cardinal Pell, the Vatican and Raw Prawns

I have translated below what my favourite Italian homework blog, Messainlatino, has to say on the latest speculation regarding Cardinal Pell of Sydney. Nothing more, really, than my previous post; but it is interesting to see how these rumours and conjectures take hold, and how they are starting to focus on Cardinal Pell.

I fervently hope that he will become the new head of the Congregation for the Bishops. I will confess my secret desire: that a certain famous Australian expression, involving a reference to raw prawns (what a challenge to the Vatican’s interpreters!) will be heard on many occasions, reverberating through the corridors, if he finds himself in this powerful post.

From the website of the Australian National Dictionary Centre:

“ … heard in the idiom to come the raw prawn (on, over, with, etc.) meaning 'to attempt to deceive (a person); to misrepresent a situation'. The idiom is typically used in negative constructions - don't come the raw prawn with me. …

1983 Canberra Times 17 Nov.: Sceptical groans which were, if I translate them correctly, requests for Mr Hawke to stop coming the raw prawn. “

But back to Messainlatino:

Cardinal Pell to take over the post of Cardinal Re?

"That is the hypothesis, albeit a very cautious one, of the usually well-informed Andrea Tornielli. However, this time he restricts himself to stating, in the conditional tense, that the Australian prelate could be in pole position for the nomination.

In short: a little scrap to gladden the heart for the moment; a great deal to pray for, that such a propitious nomination, in a key post, indeed a central one for the future of the Church, may be implemented.

Furthermore, we add that alternatively, depending on what emerges, Cardinal Pell is also spoken of for the Congregation Propaganda Fide, considering that the present Prefect, Cardinal Dias, will reach the age of 75 next year. The Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples (the modern, official name of Propaganda) shapes, to a substantial extent, the work of the Congregation for the Bishops (selecting the candidates for the episcopacy) in the mission lands, principally Africa and Asia: continents which are central for the spread of Catholicism.

For those who do not know Cardinal Pell, we shall say that he is the archbishop of Sydney, and as such very much involved in the organisation of the successful World Youth Day (on which occasion he celebrated a Mass in the Extraordinary Form for the Juventutem group). He was also one of the first to pontificate in the traditional rite, shortly after the promulgation of the Motu Proprio."

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