Flamini writes, “Pope John Paul II has spent part of his summer vacation at Castel Gandolfo deciding on nominations to fill top Vatican posts soon to be made vacant by compulsory retirement, according

Flamini writes, “Pope John Paul II has spent part of his summer vacation at Castel Gandolfo deciding on nominations to fill top Vatican posts soon to be made vacant by compulsory retirement, according to church sources Wednesday. He needs to find a replacement for Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Bavarian-born, rigidly conservative Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith who has been second in importance only to John Paul II himself in putting the clock back — as many observers see it — on the progressive reforms of the Second Vatican Council.”

This is an odd statement, as John Paul II and Card. Ratzinger have been the driving forces behind the Vatican II reforms, the Pope himself having played a key role in the Council in drafting the new Vatican policies on ecumenism and religious liberty. Contrary to Mr. Flamini’s remarks, it is a foregone conclusion that whoever is selected to replace Ratzinger will continue the “conservative” implementation of the remarkable and significant alterations in Catholic practice introduced subsequent to Vatican II.