The well-known editor of the Catholic news website Crux, John L Allen Jr, described Archbishop Scicluna as a “real deal as a reformer”. According to Allen, the Archbishop of Malta together with Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia, left their mark during the Synod of Bishops held at the Vatican during October.
Allen, who specialises in coverage of the Vatican and the Catholic Church, wrote a commentary on November 6 titled “After synod, who’s the talk of Rome to be the next pope?” Allen mentioned three prelates who proved to be most popular in the various discussion he had during the Synod of Bishops. He said that these were Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Italian, 63, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Austrian, 73 and Cardinal Sean O’Malley, American, 74.
Allen then added that “Beyond those conventional choices, the October 2018 synod also put a couple of other personalities on the radar screen as possible popes, even if neither man is yet a cardinal.” These two personalities, Allen wrote, are Archbishop Scicluna and Archbishop Fisher.
Scicluna: smart, informed
After describing Archbishop Scicluna as “being remarkably short in physical stature” he quickly added that Scicluna left a large impression during the Synod.
“He’s been the Vatican’s top prosecutor on sex abuse and the Pope’s lead man in Chile, but that’s not his only issue. Scicluna generally came off as smart, informed, multilingual, and the real deal as a ‘reformer’.”
Allen said that Archbishop Anthony Fisher “turned heads consistently throughout the synod with his articulate, thoughtful, and almost completely non-ideological commentary.”
The editor of Crux realizing that his statement would prove controversial added that “time will tell if the 2018 synod was the turning point for either one, but don’t dismiss the possibility — St. Pope John Paul II, among others, first made his mark on the global Catholic stage in the 1974 Synod on Evangelization in the Modern World, where he was the relator, or chairman.”
Who is Allen?
The authoritative weekly Catholic magazine The Tablet described the Editor of Crux, John L Allen Jr, as “the most authoritative writer on Vatican affairs in the English language,” while the renowned papal biographer George Weigel has called him “the best Anglophone Vatican reporter ever.”