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maltatoday, Sunday, 19 OctOber 2014 5 It will be Apostolic Nuncio Aldo Cavalli, the Holy See's envoy to Malta, who will submit the 'terna' of names who could be Malta's next archbishop. It will then be the Congregation for Bishops, led by Cardinal Marc Ouel- let that considers the documentation provided by the nuncio, taking his opinion into consideration, without being bound by it. their conclusions will be sent to the pope, asking him to make the ap- pointment. One important element in select- ing a bishop is the list of priests, from both the diocesan and the religious clergy, that the bishops of the eccle- siastical province judge to be suit- able generically for appointment as bishops. they are required to draw up this list at least once every three years, so that it is always recent. the Nuncio will consult the other bishops, the president of the bishops conference, and at least some mem- bers of the college of consultors and the cathedral chapter. He may also consult others, wheth- er clergy, diocesan or religious, and "lay persons of outstanding wis- dom". He then decides on a short list, or terna, of three candidates for further investigation and seeks precise infor- mation on each of them. He will send the terna to the Holy See, together with all the informa- tion that has been gathered on them and accompanying the information with the conclusions that he himself draws from the evidence. Apart from being at least 35 years old and a priest for at least five years, the choice should be "outstanding in strong faith, good morals, piety, zeal for souls, wisdom, prudence and hu- man virtues", and should possess the other qualities needed for fulfilling the office in question; and he should be well versed in sacred Scripture, theology and canon law and, prefer- ably, hold a doctorate in one of these fields. the Congregation for Bishops studies the documentation provided by the nuncio, taking into considera- tion his opinion, but not necessar- ily accepting it. It might even reject all the candidates he proposes and ask him to prepare another list, or it might ask him to provide more information on one or more of the priests whose names would have al- ready been presented. When the Congregation decides on which priest should be appointed, it presents its conclusions to the pope, asking him to make the appoint- ment. Possible successors charles scicluna, Apostolic Administrator • 55 years of age Now appointed to run the church pending the nomination of a succes- sor, Auxiliary Bishop Charles Sci- cluna cut his teeth in the halls of the Vatican as the promoter of justice in what was once called the office of the Holy Inquisition – now the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – under then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who subsequently became Pope Benedict XVI. Scicluna, a lawyer by profession, is internationally known as the Vati- can's former chief prosecutor on sex abuse by the clergy. He is respected for his intelligence and has been vocal about both social and politi- cal affairs when the need arose for a voice from the Church to make itself heard, having blogged and tweeted his views on gay marriage and even the sale of Maltese citizenship. "I cannot simply shut up," he once told Maltatoday. "Apart from the fact that a Bishop will always remain a citizen and will always enjoy the right to express himself as a normal citizen, given that he has also a say in democratic society, the Church can- not shy away from giving input with respect on issues that concern the common good." Bishop of Gozo, Mario Grech • 57 years of age Mario Grech has been a strong voice in the Maltese Church, partic- ularly with hard-hitting homilies of uncompromising moral standpoints. He was most vocal in 2011, when he broke ranks with a declaration penned by theologians who had said Christians may vote in favour of the introduction of divorce if they had a 'formed conscience' and kept in mind the common good. Grech re- plied by saying that there was "no compromise on a proper, true and sincere conscience" for Christians. He has often laid stress on the cen- trality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the necessity of proclaiming it: "When Christians come to form a proper judgement of conscience on marriage and anything related to it, they have God's commandments and Christ's explicit words as a guide... any legal measure that breaks a mar- riage as is divorce, and also adultery, are intrinsically wrong because they are directly opposed to God's crea- tive will." But recently, representing the archdiocese at the Vatican Synod on the family, Grech adopted a some- what more inclusive position, telling bishops that the clergy must adapt to a new language to address the gay community without twisting Catho- lic doctrine. "It is necessary to learn to speak that language which is known to contemporary human beings and who acknowledge it as a way of con- veying the truth and the charity of the Gospel," Grech said, calling on bishops to embrace new pastoral realities through a "creative deepen- ing" in attitude towards persons in difficult pastoral situations. The 'outsiders': Fr Jimmy Bonnici and Fr Fabio Attard the young Bonnici, 42, is rector of the Archbishop's Seminary in Rabat. In 2004, he read for a Doctorate in Spiritual theology at the Interdisci- plinary Institute for Seminary Form- ators of the Gregorian University in Rome. Also touted for suitability is Sale- sian priest Fabio Attard, presently General Councillor for Youth Minis- try in the Salesian Congregation. Cremona's successor: the Vatican's listening Political parties praise Cremona PRIMe Minister Joseph Muscat praised the influence outgoing Arch- bishop Paul Cremona, OP, had on the Maltese Church. "there isn't a grain of doubt that Cremona's leadership had a positive effect on the Maltese Church," Mus- cat said. "His humility and the sim- plicity with which he used to explain things brought him thousands of fol- lowers. At the same time, his words had a high intellectual value that al- lowed people to reflect on them." Muscat also praised Cremona for keeping the Church out of partisan politics. "While the Church under Cremona intervened in important public de- bates, he wisely kept it out of parti- san politics," Muscat said. "I hope his successor walks down this same path, a path that helps bring national unity. "the change in leadership of the Maltese Church has come at a sig- nificant moment for the Catholic Church around the world, where the Synod is discussing families, giv- ing hope to many people," Muscat added. PN leader Simon Busuttil also thanked the outgoing Archbishop and praised Cremona for his "integ- rity and honesty". "His decision in these difficult times is a courageous one. Cre- mona's admission that he could no longer carry out his duties is admi- rable," the PN leader said. the Labour Party also said that Cremona's qualities and character would "unquestionably remain in the people's hearts and minds, a man who led with sincerity and humility, not only the Church but the whole country in its spiritual voyage." Mario Grech Jimmy Bonnici Fabio Attard charles scicluna

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