Wednesday, February 01, 2012


The Holy Father has nominated the Bishop of La Spezia-Sarzana-Brugnato as the new Patriarch of Venice, in the place of Cardinal Angelo Scola now made Archbishop of Milan.

The new Patriarch was born in 1953 and Ordained Priest in 1977.He studied subsequently at the Pontifical Urban University and received his Doctorate in Dogmatic Theology on 1981. He was made Bishop of La Spezia- Sarzana-Brugnato in 2008. He is President of the Council of Administration of Communication and Culture Foundation and a Consultor to the Congregation for Clergy.

With a clear eye on the examples  history provides : 

Pope Saint Pius X - Patriarch 1893 to 1903

Pope John XXIII   - Patriarch 1953 to 1958

Pope JOHN PAUL I-Patriarch  1969 to 1978

people are inclined to closely scrutinise Patriarchs of Venice. Nevertheless, in the same period 1893 to date,there were 7 other Patriarchs who did not, or in the case of Cardinal Scola,have not yet, become Pope. So it is far from being a sure thing!

The usually well-informed journalist Sandro Magister reports that it appears that the Holy Father personally made the choice of the new Patriarch without relying on the routine procedures of the Congregation for Bishops and without the exceptional consultations he engaged in when appointing Cardinal Scola to Milan.

Moraglia is a Ligurian and became very well known for the large number of Seminarians in his Diocese in his time there. He also became very popular when, in the wake of massive flooding in the Diocese he sent his Seminarians to help the people during the emergency.

Significantly, the new Patriarch is very well-regarded by the strong minded and outspoken Prelate who does not suffer fools gladly , Cardinal Giacomo Biffi  Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna . Reportedly, Cardinal Biffi had very vigorously proposed to the Holy Father, in writing, that Moraglia should be made Archbishop of Milan. It did not happen. But the strong endorsement was not ignored as we now see.

The exotic St.Mark's Basilica the Patriarch's Cathedral
A fitting complement to the grandeur not only of the Venetian Republic - La Serenissima - that was,
but more importantly to the Sacred Liturgy celebrated within.
Italian observers  see great significance in the fact that the Genoan born Moraglia, is a Priestly product of the late ( died 1989) great Cardinal Siri ( as is also, Monsignor Guido Marini the Papal Master of Ceremonies and  are others in Curial roles). Moraglia is seen as being ,without a doubt, one in mind with the Holy Father in matters of Theology and Sacred Liturgy. 

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