Man in charge of interreligious dialogue appointed Nuncio to Egypt

Source: FSSPX News


On February15, Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Michael Louis Fitzgerald, until then president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, as Papal Nuncio to the Arab Republic of Egypt and Delegate to the League of Arab Nations. Mgr. Fitzgerald will succeed Mgr. Dino Marco Brogi, Papal Nuncio in Egypt and Delegate to the Organisation of the League of Arab Nations. An African Missionary (White Father), titular Archbishop of  Nepte, Mgr. Michael Fitzgerald has been President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue since October 2002.

 In making this nomination, Benedict XVI has, for the first time, moved the Head of a Dicastery. Up to the present time, he has only moved the Secretary  of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, bishop Domenico Sorrentino, in November 2005. The successor of the Irish prelate has yet to be named. It is possible that Benedict XVI will wait until the Consistory  to fill the post, or he may decide to reform the dicastery.

 The progressive revue Golias, made the following comment on this nomination : “We have been announcing  for months a shake-up at the Curia, in particular the removal and transfer of prelates who set themselves up as living obstacles to the current doctrinal, disciplinary and especially liturgical restoration.

 The first “victim” a few months ago, was Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship who was transferred to Assisi : a small diocese (less than 100,000 inhabitants) with thorny problems to solve. Now Archbishop Sorrentino was considered one of those most opposed to the  return to the Tridentine liturgy. His reluctance was looking bad in the context of “patching things up” with the integrists.

 It is known that on February 13, the pope met the Heads of Dicasteries with a view to finding a way forward for such a reconciliation.

 One of the greatest difficulties to overcome lies in the interreligious dialogue desired by Karol Woytyla and set up resolutely by  the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the English (sic) Archbishop Paul Michael Fitzgerald. His was the second head to roll. He has just been moved to Cairo as Papal Nuncio. This transfer does not even have the appearance of a promotion, which is contrary to usual Roman practice. Archbishop Fitzgerald is thus, removed from a strategic post, whence he defended the Conciliar innovations and the spirit of Assisi. We know that certain people had advised Benedict XVI to transfer Fitzgerald to Washington, an important Nunciature, in order to avoid a too obvious disgrace for him. Joseph Ratzinger was not of that opinion. He is taking nominations very seriously. Not a single important post should be sacrificed to internal strategies aimed at sparing someone’s feelings.

 The pope is cleansing the Augean Stables, in order that the Curia may embody the “true council” and not the progressive spirit referring to it.

The third name on the blacklist will no doubt be Mgr. Piero Marini, the Master of Ceremonies, whose liturgical orientation is condemned by Joseph Ratzinger.

Perhaps there is an exotic Nunciature still vacant somewhere in the world or a little Italian diocese in the mountains. The Pope of the restoration wants transfusions without the risk of any more contaminations.”

 On the other hand, some other journalists- a minority among Vatican specialists- are stressing that Archbishop Fitzgerald will have a part to play with the Organization of the League of Arab States after the cartoons affair and at a  time when Hamas has just won the elections in Palestine.

 Mgr. Fitzgerald has recently published a book entitled . “God dreams of unity. The Catholics and Other Religions : lessons from dialogue”, in which he answers questions put to him by Annie Laurent. “Interreligious dialogue has its demands and its traps. It involves certain dispositions of mind and heart and must guard against any temptation to syncretism or monopoly”, he explains. The book ends with an exhortation: “The fruits of the Spirit are not  reserved for Christians only. We can recognize them in our fellow travelers who belong to other religions”.

 In October 2003, Mgr. Fitzgerald took part in the interreligious congress at Fatima, where he heard without flinching, the Jesuit Jacques Dupuis declare that the aim of interreligious dialogue was not to convert non-Catholics to the Catholic Church, and that all religions –Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist – were all positively willed by God and that these religions were all part of the “Kingdom of God”.