BY ANNA ARCO
A SPANISH cardinal nicknamed "Little Ratzinger" is tipped to be the next Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW).
Vatican-watchers expect the outspoken Cardinal Antonio Caftizares Llovera, Archbishop of Toledo, to soon take over from Cardinal Francis Arinze.
Cardinal Caftizares is the primate of Spain and has been a consistent voice against the rise of secularism.
Andrea Tomielli, a respected Vatican commentator for Ii Giornale, has said that he expects the Spaniard's appointment to be announced in the first week of December. He would succeed the Nigerian Cardinal Arinze who has been head of the CDW for six yews, and celebrated his 76 birthday at the beginning of the month. Cardinal Francis Arinze celebrated his 50th anniversary to the priesthood last Sunday.
Cardinal Catlizares is a long-time member of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith where he worked with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who served as its prefect until 2005.
Observers say that the 62year-old's private audience on November 20 with the Pope confirmed his nomination, which is seen by some as completing a small reform of the Roman Curia which took place during this year.
It would follow the appointments of Archbishop Salva
tore Fisichella at the Pontifical Academy for Life. Cardinal Raymond Burke at the Apostolic Signatura and Cardinal Franciscio Ladaria Ferrer to secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. All three men are considered papal stalwarts.
Rumours about the appointment at the CDW have been circulating since early summer. Until now, Cardinal Carlizares has downplayed talk of his nomination. In a press conference in Spain before meeting the Pope the cardinal said that "neither the Pope has communicated anything of a nomination nor have I consequently accepted any nomination".
He said that the news "should base itself in the truth of events and not in hypothesis nor speculations, that I am not saying that they can or cannot happen. This, the Holy Father will say."
The cardinal attended seminary in Valencia and obtained his doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University in Salamanca. Archbishop Jose Garcia Lahiguera ordained him on June 21 1970.
He taught theology at the University of Salamanca and the seminary in Madrid. Then he was made Bishop of Avila in 1992 before becoming Archbishop of Granada in 1996.
In 2002, Cardinal Cainz' ares became Archbishop of Toledo. He has been a fierce critic of the Socialist government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.