Damian Thompson writes in todays Telegraph that Cardinal George Pells loss of his anticipated appointment as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops owes to black propaganda and a smear campaign stemming from long-discredited misconduct allegations and dubious charges of poor health:
I now have good reason to believe that Cardinal Pella man of towering presence and intellect, utterly faithful to Pope Benedicts vision for renewing the Churchis the victim of a smear campaign endorsed by certain bishops, especially Italian ones, who are desperate to stop Pell cleaning up what are in effect the rotten boroughs of their dioceses. We must pray that the Holy Father ignores the campaign.
Rumors and whispers from other journalists confirm Thompson is not alone in suspecting political motives behind Pells downfall. If the rumors prove true, we can seek consolation knowing such political machinations are not mere products of our agethey are, rather, the stuff that has proved the Churchs survivability, even since the first disciple injected politics into the spiritual economy, asking , Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?