Sunday, January 31, 2010

Top Ten Catholics of 2009?

Being part of the catholic community puts you in relation to people from the mediocre to the eccentric. The shades between can be disturbing as well as inspiring. A few years ago I reflected on "What sort of Catholic are You"? It may be time to re-visit that script.

Each year for the past 10 years, Inside the Vatican has selected 10 people to bring to the attention of our readers because of the important work that they do, and the courage, wisdom and charity with which they carry out that work.
So the breakdown is seven of the ten are clerics or members of religious orders. The only women who count are members of religious congregations who wear habits.Only two are non Europeans. Surely for the top ten we could have found a bit more gender balance.

Somehow our very own George Cardinal was overlooked. This is surprising for as recently as May 2009 the Canberra Times described him as Australia's Top Catholic cleri
If anyone finds the application forms for the 2010 selection, please forward them before the closing date!! 

The Top Ten People of 2009  site will take you to the official biographies of the nominated people. My hyperlinks  will provide details over-looked by the writers of Inside The Vatican as well as amazing trivia about the candidates!!

1. Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos Former Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, he is the former President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei A man whose  support for right wing dictatorships remains a source of scandal and shame in the Vatican.

2. Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson (Wow about the only one of the ten that fills a whole page of google images . How did Obama get in the collection?) The new president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, he is a leader of the Church in Africa

3. Leonid Sevastianov He's even on Facebook Executive Director of the St. Gregory Nazianzus Foundation, he is working for the renewal of Russia and Europe

4. Don Luigi Maria Epicoco He could be my holy superman any day!! A parish priest in L’Aquila, Abruzzo, he saved people during the earthquake in the region in April 2009

5. Suor Giovanna Gentili An Italian nun, she retired this year after 25 years of service in the Vatican Press Office (you might need Bablefish if your Italian is a bit rusty)

6. Abbess Maria Tekla Famiglietti (Whoopsie, poor old Thela got caught in full regalia fratting with  Nasty Mr Castro according to a loopy site managed by the temple police) She is the energetic head of a religious order of nuns in rapid expansion worldwide

7. Bishop Mario Toso (Another "Good News" story if this link is to be believed) The new secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, he advised the Pope on his last encyclical

8. Professor Antonio Paolucci (Bit of a youtube coverage in Italian but also great for the background to the speech) The director  of the Vatican Museums, he has great responsibility for the cultural patrimony of the Church

9. Dr. Johann Marthe (Pretty cool bio notes on this site) An Austrian scholar, his work with the “Pro Oriente” Foundation has brought Christians closer together

10. Archbishop Antonio Mennini (Informative interview with the Archbishop here) An Italian papal diplomat, he this year successfully negotiated the upgrade in Vatican relations with Russia
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