Sep 252010
Cardinal Priest Michele Giordano turned 80, Sep. 26, 2010

Cardinal Priest Michele Giordano turned 80, Sep. 26, 2010

On September 28 , 2010, Italian Cardinal Priest Michele Giordano turned 80, thus ceasing to be a cardinal elector.

The College of Cardinals remains at 179 (as it has since May 4, 2010) though we are now down to 103 electors.

As is our wont, all the relevant postings and listings have been updated to reflect this change, in particular:

0/ The ‘College of Cardinals’ display ‘box’ on these pages.

1/ College of Cardinals demographics << here >>

2/ 6-page listing of the College of Cardinals statistics << here >>

3/ Father John’s increasingly popular Cardinalabili list, which is now in its 14th iteration … though just started a couple of months ago << here >>

There is also a new posting on the latest thinking as to when we might get the next cardinal creating consistory — November 20, 2010?

I haven’t updated the consistory data, for example << here >>, because I clearly specify when that data was compiled. I only have so much time, and I have to prioritize. SMILE.

Thanks. Enjoy.

Anura Guruge
‘The Next Pope’

Sep 252010

I just happened to catch the preview. WOW.

I am recording it tonight … at 8pm Eastern.

I heard that it will be shown again tomorrow, Sunday. This is probably MUST SEE.

The Pope is being sued, as an individual.

This will need discussion.

All the best.

Sep 152010

Kasper’s ‘foot-in-mouth’ disease, even worse than ‘mad cow’

77 year old German Kasper says that arriving at London’s Heathrow Airport is like landing in a ‘third world’ country!

Here is the BBC write-up << click here >>

That was a STUPID, STUPID comment. Unworthy of a schoolboy let alone someone purporting to be a Prince of the Church.

You should be ashamed. The Pope should be ashamed. The pope should apologize. All Catholics should be cringing.

Pulling out of the trip … doesn’t say much about your moral fortitude. I guess you must suffer from back pain.

Well, Kasper, YOU ever heard of the stories about British and American pilots getting snooty instructions from arrogant German air traffic controllers and responding along the line of: “Yea, I have flown to Germany before. But it was a few years ago and we didn’t bother to land.”

There is a LOT I would like to say, BUT, I would just say that Kasper, YOU violate Canon 378 § 1. That Canon states … that to be suitable to be a Bishop … you need to have SOME WISDOM.

Yep, wisdom.

We all make mistakes, but I hope to God, that when I am 77 I have a little more wisdom than this.

What a disgrace.

Shaking his head in despair and shock, a VERY UPSET,
Anura Guruge

P.S., In case you didn’t realize I am an out and out, very proud, Brit.

Sep 122010

The non-optimum timing of a November 2010 cardinal creating consistory was discussed on Sept. 10 — with two possible options for overcoming the ‘we are down below 120 electors again‘ syndrome.

The problem being that 6 cardinals turn 80 between January 26, 2011 and April 11, 2011; one each in January, February and March, and three in February.

John McCloskey, the first American cardinal, being created in 1875.

John McCloskey, the first American cardinal, being created in 1875.

Glenn W., a frequent Canadian contributor to my blogs, suggested a third option, yesterday, for getting around the ‘elector depletion’ problem — that being to create a bunch of cardinal electors in pectore (‘in the breast‘) and then unveil them, in sequence, each time we lose a cardinal elector. Glenn, as I have discovered, is a deep thinker and very astute. So, obviously, this approach would work. THANK YOU, Glenn.

There are, however, alack, three drawbacks to this approach (even if we put aside the issue that in pectore is a ‘special case’ option that should not be overused):

  1. You still need a forum of some sort to unveil the name of the new cardinal and this has typically been an ordinary consistory [hence, my idea of virtual consistories].
  2. Naming under 80 prelates even in pectore could and would be construed as the pope creating more than 120 electors at one time — and thus flip-flopping on his claim from his very first consistory, in 2006, that he would not exceed the 120 limit. [Please read my response to Glenn’s comment above. John Paul II (#265) in 1979 created an in pectore ‘cardinal.’ That was considered to have been the first time , of the total of three times, that he exceeded the 120 limit. So, this is not an optimum option for the pope.
  3. Though this is independent of in pectore per se, topping up the electors whenever the number drops below 120 will BLOAT the size of the College even further. I have had three e-mails in the last couple of days, all from Italy, saying that the College is already TOO LARGE. I agree. Though people love to claim that Paul VI (#263) was a ‘details-pope,’ who pondered hard and long before he didanything, in my opinion, he does not appear to have foreseen what would happen as cardinals turned 80, but would continue to live long past that. I doubt whether he saw a scenario where 40% of the cardinals were in essence out-of-commission, ineligible to vote.

My suggestion is but a variation of Glenn’s in pectore options.

Don’t create any cardinals in pectore. Instead, let it be known that future cardinals may be created, in small numbers, outside of even an ordinary consistory.

This not really a big deal.

Popes use to create single cardinals, typically their ‘cardinal nephew,’ soon after becoming pope. On July 15, 1929, Pius XI (#260) created a single cardinal. There were 8 instances when he created just 2 cardinals. << check here — towards the bottom >>

There will be those that claim that this overturns conventional tradition and pageantry. But, the papacy evolves. It may be slow, but changes do occur.

This pope did NOT greet all of the cardinals individually at his inauguration (the cardinal electors having already paid their homage to the new pope soon after he is elected. Page 203 of ‘The Next Pope‘.)

The popes no longer wear a tiara or use the sedia gestatoria. I also do not think they use the Royal ‘we.’ So change does occur.

So my suggestion is virtual consistories when the pope creates one or two cardinals without the expense of an elaborate ordinary consistory.

Maybe, if the Vatican could sort out the technology, he could do this via a virtual consistory … with many cardinals, around the world, participating via Web cams. But, that would be a stretch.

Anura Guruge

Sep 102010

Click to read the notes, if you like.

On Sept. 5, 2010, I gave you a heads up as soon as I became aware that credible sources were talking about a November 2010 consistory to create a crop of new cardinals.

Since then the chatter (part of it no doubt in response to the interest generated by my post) has grown and many are getting convinced that we will see a cardinal creating consistory on November 20, 2010 or thereabouts.

Having a cardinal creating consistory in November or December of 2010 is mindless … unless the pope is willing to go back on his word or change the ‘numbers’ — given that the numbers are totally arbitrary.

There is ONLY one, and ONLY ONE, LOGICAL rationale for a November or December 2010 consistory to create new cardinals.

That rationale being the attempt to avert the potential psychological impact within the Church of seeing the number of cardinal electors drop below 100. [cf. stock market index support levels.] As rationales go, this is pretty flaccid. As I have pointed out, the conclave that elected John XXIII (#262) only had 51 electors. That which elected Paul VI (#263) 80. There were only 62 electors present at the 1939 conclave that elected Pius XII (#261). Moreover, let us not kid ourselves. Benedict XVI (#266) adding new electors is hardly going to change the overall makeup of the electorate! It isn’t as if he has to bolster the ranks of the traditionalist so that they stand a chance against the moderate faction.

Here is the problem with a November or even December 2010 cardinal creating consistory.

Six (6) cardinals will turn 80 between January 26, 2011 and April 11, 2011.

So five months after a 2010 consistory we will be down at least 6 cardinal electors — and that is ASSUMING no other attrition. And here is the kicker. After April 11th, we go a FULL seven (7) months before we have one of today’s cardinal electors turn 80. So, a pre-Easter consistory, given that I think Easter is on April 24, makes much more sense.

The pope has at least TWO (2) options to overcome the rapid depletion problem if he is hell bent on having a November (or December) 2010 cardinal creating consistory:

  1. Pull a John Paul II (#265) and create MORE THAN 120 electors — though Benedict XVI, at his first consistory in 2006, volunteered, on his own volition (with no outside pressure whatsoever), that he intends to always stay within the 120 elector limit. Remember that in 2003, John Paul II had 135 cardinal electors! Yes, 15 over the limit. In 2001, he tried it out by having 128. So, Benedict, if he has the chutzpah, should create enough cardinals so that we have at least 126. Then let time and age trim the numbers, which was John Paul’s tactic (even though he wasn’t, by 2003, in the best of health). [This approach does, of course, assume that the pope continues in good health.]
  2. The other option, in my opinion long overdue, is to raise the 120 limit, arbitrarily created by Paul VI 37 years ago. There is no biblical, doctrinal or even historic basis for 120 (though there was for the prior 70 limit). So why be constrained by an arbitrary ceiling. Bump it up to 130 or even 135, if there is really a feeling that well over 100 cardinals have to participate in a conclave to give it legitimacy.

The above two options are the LEAST that the pope should contemplate. Ideally, we needs to revisit the whole notion of the College. Remember that between 1586 and 1958, i.e., for 372 years, the size of the College, in total, was capped at 70 — the 70 indeed having some biblical basis. Adding new cardinals, as the number of non-elector cardinals grow is CRAZY. By November 2010 we could have 78 non-electors. Just 52 years ago we couldn’t even have so many cardinals in total. This pope, but most likely the next, has to tackle this problem. The current parameters are those created by John XXIII and Paul VI, to some extent, compliment Vatican II. It is time for some reform. Some restraint. Some reality. I will talk about this within the month. But, I would like YOU to also think about it.

Thank you. Cheers.

Anura Guruge

Sep 072010

One of our avid readers from New York City sent me a link to this video over the weekend … after I had answered his question about the ‘Ordo Exsequiarum Romani Pontificis‘ book, that can be clearly seen in this video.

Over the years, thanks to the readership, I have watched various ‘conclave’ related videos on YouTube. This, however, in terms of picture quality is the best.

I can’t vouch for the Italian, BUT the English subtitles are not always ACCURATE. PLEASE be aware of that. I will list the three most egregious that I spotted … and I will confess that I watched it, despite its beauty, in a ‘hurry.’ But, I will go back and watch it again, and again.

Here is the YouTube << link >>.

If you are wondering, what ‘Ordo Exsequiarum Romani Pontificis‘ is all about, I spelled it all out in pages 77-79 of my ‘The Next Pope.‘ Here is the lead up from page 77:

Page 77 of The Next Pope book by Anura Guruge talking about Ordo Exsequiarum Romani Pontificis

The errors that I noticed and can still remember:
1/ The General Congregations start PRIOR to the funeral and continue after the funeral. [Page 68 onwards … in ‘The Next Pope’]

2/ When the ‘All Out,Extra Omnes is announced, two (2) non-cardinals STILL remain within the Sistine … per the norms! [Page 181 … in ‘The Next Pope’] You clearly see, the easily recognizable then Master of Papal Liturgical Ceremonies, Piero Marini, closing the door. [Pictures of Piero Marini on pages 193 and 210 of ‘The Next Pope’] The electors now listen to the second homily, delivered by a ‘renowned’ cleric. [Page 181]. The Master of Papal Liturgical Ceremonies and the cleric leave the Sistine AFTER the homily. That is when the conclave proper, with just the cardinal electors occupying the Sistine begins. [Page 181]. So Extra Omnes is a bit of a red herring.

Sep 062010
Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, 'the Little Ratzinger'

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, 'the Little Ratzinger'

During the last 5 days I have had two separate correspondences, one from I think Spain and the other from an aspiring seminarian (currently in College) in the US,  listing Spanish curial Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera,  the ‘Little Ratzinger,‘ as a papabile. One was a comment on this blog while the other was in a papabili listing that is going through its final ‘scrub.’ Antonio Cañizares Llovera, as a 51 year old bishop, started working with Cardinal Ratzinger (the now pope) at the influential and authoritative Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (at one point known as the Holy Office and prior to that the ‘Roman and Universal Inquisition’) in 1996. This was when the similarity of their doctrinal postures came to be noticed. There is also some physical resemblance having to do with the white hair and the glasses. Hence the ‘Little Ratzinger’ moniker, the pope being aware of (and supposedly even amused by) it.

Anu's Piper

Anu's Piper, January 1, 2003

Within those same 5 days, I had another comment, on my WordPress PAPAM blog, asking me what I thought of Scottish Cardinal  Keith Michael Patrick O’Brien as a papbile? To say that I, a man that claims to have his own piper, is biased when it comes to anything Scottish, is wee bit of an understatement.

Both of these picks were ‘out-of-the-box’ picks. Both European, one who appears to be to Benedict XVI (#266) what Benedict XVI was to John Paul II (#265), while the other though he looks hearty, has a pace maker. One, as the head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, as of December 2008, is gaining significant recognition among his peers, while the other as the Archbishop of St. Andrews can provide unparalleled golfing access. Alas, the golfing might be Cardinal O’Brien’s strongest suite — albeit, diluted, by his pace maker. Totally independently, Father John of the papabili and cardinalabili list fame, and I, commented that the only way that Cardinal O’Brien is likely to get many votes is if he had been an extremely generous golfing host in the past! But, after John Paul I (#264) there is going to be reluctance to elect a pope with known heart trouble, though he is relatively young. He has also earned a reputation for being ‘controversial’ and ‘undiplomatic.’ I fear that all of these count heavily against him, not to mention that a pope from Britain, at this stage in Church dynamics (with the clergy sex abuse scandal still an open sore), might not be optimum.

Computer created sketch of Scottish Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien

Computer created sketch of Scottish Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien

But, there is the pope’s forthcoming trip to the UK, starting on Sept. 16. << check this post >> This trip could prove to be beneficial to Cardinal O’Brien … but I still come back to the pace maker. I find it hard to categorize him as anything other than a marginal, 2nd tier papabile. It is a shame, but that is how the cards appear to stack up. But, to be on the safe side, I decided to check what Paddy Power thought of him. They, being inordinately Irish, like me, tend to cut slack for anything from the Celtic 7 Nations. But they had him at #41, at 66::1 — way behind even the likes of Ghanaian Peter K. A. Turkson at #33 and Indian, Ivan Dias at #30. C’est la vie.

I have been doing a fair amount of thinking about Antonio Cañizares Llovera. I gave him at least 10 minutes of quality think time during my 40-45 minute run this morning. [I run real slow.] He has a number of indubitable ‘pluses’ — though some possibly double-edged. That he is so much in sync with Benedict XVI and John Paul II, in being a traditionalist, has to make him popular among his peers, most of whom are also traditionalist, though some more so than others. But, as I articulated in my ‘The Next Pope,’ it is hoped that the cardinal electors, despite their own leanings, MAY decide that it would be best to elect a ‘moderate’ to rejuvenate the Church following what has been turbulent times. Since 1978 the Church has been ruled by traditionalist popes. So, the electors may decide to opt for some change. That would count against Cardinal Cañizares. But, if the electorate, stubbornly obdurate, decide that they want to continue with the John Paul II agenda, then Cañizares, as well as my #3 papabili, Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, are in good standing — with some saying that Cardinal Ouellet stands a better chance than the Spainiard.

That, viz. Spain, is the other plus. Given that it is now over 500 years ago, I think it is safe to assume that the Borgia stigma can now be discounted, the infamous, debauched Alexander (‘Borja’) VI (#215) having been the last pope from Spain. The only other pope from Spain having been his uncle, Callistus III (#210) — who wasn’t exactly a paragon of virtue either. Given that he is the ‘Little Ratzinger,’ the chances are low that if indeed elected, he would surprise all by announcing that he is going to make the Borgia Apartment the new Papal residence. So, basically we can rule out a ‘veto’ on Spain based on past history.

But being Spanish gives Cardinal Cañizares a vicarious Latin American connection — this being the rationale for me having the older, Portuguese Cardinal Policarpo as #10 in my papabili list. The notion of a Latin American pope, or at a minimum Marc Ouellet as a pope from the Americas, is gaining popularity (and I sometimes wonder whether it was my papabili list in December 2008 that got this ball rolling). But, as I also articulated in my book, the electors may, when push comes to shove, have difficultly crossing the Atlantic in one mighty bound. They might decide that they want to go Westward but Spain or Portugal is fine as the first step. That is my compromise Latin American scenario for Cardinal Cañizares. His age is also spot on. So this is a name that we need to now watch.

P.S., Paddy Power has him at #27 at 25::1 — ten places behind Cardinal Ouellet.

P.P.S., A cardinal with a pace maker got me thinking. The Church as we know, with the unique exception of the soon to be John Paul I, condemned the the first ‘test tube baby,’ the British Louise Brown (July 25, 1978). The Church continues to condemn in vitro fertilization as a grave, evil act. But, in vitro is not genetical engineering and could just involve the necessary ‘body parts’ from a married couple. If so, where do you draw the line. Pace maker, IVF for married couples. A cardinal with a pace maker.

Anura Guruge

Sep 052010

On September 6 , 2010, Italian Cardinal Priest Salvatore De Giorgi turned 80, thus ceasing to be a cardinal elector.

The College of Cardinals remains at 179 (as it has since May 4, 2010) though we are now down to 105 electors.

As is our wont, all the relevant postings and listings have been updated to reflect this change, in particular:

0/ The ‘College of Cardinals’ display ‘box’ on these pages.

1/ College of Cardinals demographics << here >>

2/ 6-page listing of the College of Cardinals statistics << here >>

3/ Father John’s increasingly popular Cardinalabili list, which has also been enhanced (ages of the prelates included) and scrubbed to eradicate the gremlin typos << here >>

There is also a new posting on the latest thinking as to when we might get the next cardinal creating consistory — November 20, 2010?

I haven’t updated the consistory data, for example << here >>, because I clearly specify when that data was compiled. I only have so much time, and I have to prioritize. SMILE.

Thanks. Enjoy.

Anura Guruge

Sep 052010

That there might be a cardinal creating consistory in late 2010 was always on the cards. We even spoke about it on July 25, though at that time I was favoring the pre-Easter 2011 camp.

Then yesterday I received this comment, from I think Spain, with this link to an article by Marco Tosatto. It says, with a fair amount of conviction, that the next consistory will be announced on Oct. 20 (about 6 weeks from now) and that it will occur a month later. I looked up the author, Marco Tosatto. He sure knows his way around the Vatican. So this could be the real deal. Though he may have very good connections inside the Vatican his basic arithmetic worries me. He says, at least per my automatic Google translation, that ‘From 1 January 2011 the number of cardinal electors will drop to 101 (120 seats) …

Well, barring other eventualities, we will be at 101 electors on November 14, 2010 — when Cardinal Janis Pujats turns 80. See the list here. So January 1, 2011 is a bit of a red herring. The first cardinal to turn 80 in 2011 is on January 26.

I am not sure that there will be two cardinal creating consistories within 14 months, i.e., one in late Nov. 2010 and another in 2011. Too expensive for the Vatican. I personally don’t see an urgency for a cardinal creating consistory. The pope seems in god health and obviously has no plans to retire. Even if there was to be a conclave, there is nothing wrong with having ~100 electors. It isn’t as if there are major factions within this electorate. Yes, while we hope there are some shades of gray, this is still a very uniform, homogeneous body of electors, hand picked by John Paul II (#265) and his protégé (#266).

If the pope waits until March 5, 2011 he will have, at a minimum, 5 more cardinal elector vacancies. Please refer to this post on cardinal creating consistory trends and background data. The pope has enough titles and deaconries to accommodate these new creations, though he use pro hac vice ‘titles’  for the 6 current cardinal deacons who will be eligible to request cardinal priest titles, per jus optionis, on Feb. 21, 2011.

His cardinalabili list has no surprises … and if anything rather congruous with that produced by our Father John as of August 14, 2010. [Now at rev. 10]. He might even have got some ideas from Father John’s list. [[ smile ]].

So … very interesting stuff. Please stay tuned. It is late on a Sunday night, but we are making sure that you are kept as up to date as possible.

Thank you. All the best.
Anura Guruge

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