The first personal memory of Cardinal Camillo Ruini, John Paul II's Cardinal Vicar of Rome, is a holiday with his mother in the Apennines at the age of 2,5 years.
He also remembers the Second Italo-Ethiopian War in 1935. Ruini turned 90 on February 19. He told Corriere.it that he was never engaged but “strongly attracted by some women,” even after becoming a priest. He tried to resist and “although suffering,” succeeded, “The attraction to women is ineradicable in men and in itself is not a sin.”
His parents were “deeply opposed” to his decision to become a priest. Ruini experienced Vatican II with joy and enthusiasm, “Its outcome has not been betrayed and it is being progressively assimilated,” he gives a scathing verdict on the Pastoral Council.
For 16 years, Ruini was the president of the Italian bishops. He fears that he may have been too heavy-handed against those who opposed him, “When I saw that one of our collaborators was definitely taking a different direction, I replaced him.”
Ruini defended his decision to deny euthanasia propagandists Piergiorgio Welby a funeral after his 2006 suicide because he ended his life with full lucidity and awareness. Ruini expected the criticism of the oligarchs' media for the decision, “But this has never frightened me.”
He remembers that the 2005 conclave that elected Ratzinger took place quickly and “with little opposition.” When Benedict resigned, Ruini felt a “total surprise, disconcertment and pain.”
With Francis, the “spontaneous harmony” Ruini had with Benedict, is not there anymore, nevertheless he thinks "very highly” of Francis and recognises him "without reservation.”
Ruini who was always deeply involved in Italian politics believes that the former Italian Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini has been acting “with wisdom and determination,” and that he is "an important resource, not only for his party.” At the same time, Ruini has “great respect” for the bankster and new Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi who acts “very positive for Italy and for its future.”
Ruini opposes the abolition of celibacy and the introduction of [invalidly ordained] women priests. For him the decline in vocations is cause by a loss of faith in the population [not by the recklessness of popes and bishops]. Abolishing celibacy or [invalidly] ordaining women would not remedy this as “in the Protestant Churches this has been practiced for a long time, and the situation is worse than ours,” he stresses. The Italian church [which is totally devoted to Francis] is for Ruini “undeniably” in decline.
Ruini is not afraid of Covid-19 although [or: despite] having received the vaccination. He is afraid of death, and even more so of God’s judgement.
Copyright picture: Grzegorz Artur Górski, CC-BY-SA