CATHOLIC circles in Rome and Australia are abuzz with speculation that Pope Benedict XVI will shortly appoint Australia's Cardinal George Pell to a prestigious job in the top echelons of the Roman Curia.
Cardinal Pell's experience as Archbishop of Sydney and Melbourne, and his service on a range of Vatican organisations, is seen as an ideal background to take on a senior Vatican job.
Cardinal Pell, who was ordained in 1966, served as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith when Cardinal Ratzinger was in charge.
He is also a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and president of the Vox Clara Committee, which advises the Vatican on English translations of liturgical texts used at Mass.
One possible senior job becoming vacant in Rome is the powerful position of Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, which helps advise the Pope on the appointment of new bishops across the world.
Its Prefect, Cardinal Battista Re, who has held the job since 2000, reached the retirement age of 75 this year.
Two weeks ago Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Raymond Burke, prefect
of the Apostolic Signatura, and Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera,
prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of
the Sacraments, to be members of the Congregation for Bishops.
Here is a 2005 Ignatius Insight interview with Cardinal Pell: