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Cardinal Angelo Sodano: Profile of a Candidate for Pope

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Who is Cardinal Angelo Sodano?:

Angelo Sodano was born on November 23, 1927, in Asti, Italy.

Background and Early Life of Angelo Sodano:

Angelo Sodano was ordained a priest in 1950 and taught theology at a seminary before entering the Church's diplomatic service in 1961. Sodano was the papal representative to Chile for 10 years and eventually brought to Rome in 1988.

Current Status of Angelo Sodano:

Under Pope John Paul II, Sodano was secretary of state and therefore the second most powerful man in the Vatican.

Theology of Angelo Sodano:

Angelo Sodano is theological conservative, holding traditionalist views on matters like birth control, women in the church, and abortion.

Assessment of Angelo Sodano:

Angelo Sodano has been criticized for the influence he exercised over John Paul II. A number of cardinals named by the pope in 2001 were, for example, from Sodano’s own sphere of influence. Such actions win as many friends as enemies, so it’s uncertain whether Sodano’s long association with the Vatican will ultimately help or hinder him.

Sodano is old, which means that his pontificate would be short. His loyalty to John Paul II and doctrinal conservatism mean that he wouldn’t rock the boat or make any major changes. A major negative factor is that he has never run a diocese — he’s always been a diplomat. The pope is first and foremost the bishop of Rome and the people of Rome look upon the pope as their own. If he doesn’t know how to be a good bishop, he wouldn’t end up being very popular.

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