A former head of the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops has decried the "amazing careerism" of many of the world's prelates and recommended that except in rare cases bishops should remain in their dioceses for life.
    In an interview with the Italian Catholic journal 30 Giorni, Cardinal Bernardin Gantin said he had been "very shocked" during his 14 years as head of the Congregation for Bishops by the "definite pressure for advancement" he felt from bishops.
    Gantin led the Congregation for Bishops from 1984 to 1998. In that capacity, he was responsible for recommending episcopal appointments to the pope.
    Gantin told the magazine he believed that once nominated, bishops should remain in their dioceses for the rest of their career expect in "grave cases," and that a provision to that effect should be inserted into canon law "to avoid a certain hunt for advancement and a certain careerism."
    Gantin also recommended that in the future the rank of cardinal should not be associated with particular archdioceses, but should instead be awarded only on the basis of individual merit. He suggested this would help avoid the eagerness of some bishops to move on to more prestigious assignments.
    NCR 1:54pm 27/5/99


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