Apr 302011

by Anura Guruge

The March 18, 2011 post of Cardinal Burke sporting a red, 15-tassel (on each side) galero proved to be very popular. We should also not forget the November 30, 2010 post about the giant, motorized red galero float prepared for the newly created Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don by the ever resourceful and creative folks of Sri Lanka. [Disclosure: I was born in Ceylon.]

We visited St. Patrick’s in New York City last Thursday, and given the interest folks had shown in seeing pictures of the suspended galeros of dead cardinals, I asked my wife to take some pictures of the four, cardinal galeros at the Cathedral.

The four galeros suspended from the vault of the East-end apse (a.k.a. sanctuary), behind the altar, belonged to:

1/ Cardinal John McCloskey (born 1810, created 1875, died 1885, bio),

2/ Cardinal John Murphy Farley (born 1842, created 1911, died 1918, bio),

3/ Cardinal Patrick Joseph Hayes (born 1867, created 1924, died 1938, bio), and

4/ Cardinal Francis Spellman (born 1889, created 1946, died 1967, bio).

The gallero worn by Cardinal Spellman is said to have belonged to Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (created 1929) — who went onto become Pius XII (#261) in 1939. Spellman was one of his creations.

In 1969, post Vatican II, a papal decree, by Paul VI (#263), eliminated the practice of cardinals receiving a galero when created — deeming that it was too elaborate and would detract with people identifying with their lord cardinal. The faithful in New York adhering to this papal edict stopped presenting galeros (galeri) to their cardinals — though the papal edict only eliminated new cardinals receiving a galero at their creation consistory as opposed to a blanket ban on cardinals receiving galeros from their fans. Subsequently, Cardinal Terrence Cooke who died in 1983 and Cardinal John Joseph O’Connor who died in 2000 did not (in theory) have galeros that could be suspended in public. Hence, just the four galeros of the four cardinals who died prior to 1969.

The apse vault is about 80′ to 85′ feet above the floor. The cables used to suspend the galleros appear to be 15′ to 20′ in length. So they are still way up there and the lighting is subdued. Hence the quality of the pictures.

Four useful links about St. Patrick’s: Wikipedia, St. Patrick’s Cathedral Web site, the architecture, and Fordam University description.


St. Patrick's Cathedral by Anura Guruge

The Altar, facing West. The apse with the galeros is behind this.

Apr 292011

Leo XII (1823 - 1829)

by Anura Guruge

1/ 996: End of Germanic Gregory V’s (#139) 2.75 year reign.

2/ 1527: Clement VII’s (#220) first cardinal creating consistory, 3.6 years after becoming pope, at which he created the first 5 of the total of 33 cardinals he would go onto create in 14 consistories over the next 6.5 years.

3/ 1758: End of Benedict XIV’s (#248) 17.7 year reign.

4/ 1824: Leo XII’s (#253) first cardinal creating consistory, 6 month after becoming pope, at which he created the first 2 of the total of 25 cardinals he would go onto create in 8 consistories over the next 5 years. [The blue-blood Leo XII’s birth name was Annibale Francesco Clemente Melchiore Girolamo Nicola Sermattei della Genga.]

5/ 1858: Pius IX’s (#256) Amantissimi Redemptoris encyclical on Priests and the Care of Souls.

6/ 1932: Pius XI’s (#260) Caritate Christi Compulsi encyclical on clerical reform.

5/ & 6/ above kindly provided by L. Fitzclarence, of Boston.


Apr 292011

80 year old Cardinal Camillo Ruini

by Anura Guruge

80-year old Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar General for Rome from 1991 – 2008), on the eve of John Paul II’s (#265) May 1, 2011 beatification, has claimed that a number of cardinals, at the 2005 conclave, put forward a signed petition calling upon the yet to be elected new pope to fast track the beatification process. Ref. 1. Ref. 2

Cardinal Ruini should NOT have disclosed this!

It explicitly violates conclave protocol — and not just the well known blanket requirement about conclave secrecy.

A petition of this sort, trying to bind the new pope to a course of action requested by the cardinals, is called a capitulation.

The first capitulation took place at the 1352 conclave. [Pages 108 to 115 of ‘The Next Pope’ book.] Innocent VI (#200), the pope elected at that conclave, ignored the capitulation, stating that it was illegal, though he was one of the cardinals who signed it!

After this, capitulations occurred fairly regularly at conclaves — even though they were all promptly ignored by the new pope.

In 1692, after 300 years of this charade, Innocent XII (#243) banned capitulations.

The 2005 conclave that Ruini is talking about was governed by Ven. John Paul II’s 1996 Universi Dominci Gregis Apostolic Constitution. (See this post.)

Clause 82 of Universi Dominci Gregis alluding to capitulations state: “82. I likewise forbid the Cardinals before the election to enter into any stipulations, committing themselves of common accord to a certain course of action should one of them be elevated to the Pontificate. These promises too, should any in fact be made, even under oath, I also declare null and void.

A petition of the sort talked about by Ruini falls into this category … since it tries to get the next pope to commit to a course of action.

Then there is also the whole issue of cardinal electors abstaining from distractions during the conclave. Gregory X (#185), who wisely instituted the whole notion of sequestered conclaves, said this in his seminal Ubi periculum constitution that laid out the initial dictates for future conclaves: The cardinals are to devote all of their time to hasten the election, without taking any time out to deal with any other business – unless there is, by general consent, an urgent matter related to defense of the Church or the Papal States.’That fast-tracking John Paul II’s beatification was an urgent matter crucial to the defense of the Church would be quite a stretch — even for cardinals.

Even if this petition initiative actually happened during the conclave, Ruini should not have divulged it because it now makes the other cardinals and Pope Benedict XVI (#266) look bad!

It is possible that Cardinal Ruini misspoke or was misinterpreted. The term ‘conclave’ might have been loosely used to mean sede vacante. That cardinals talked about fast tracking John Paul II’s beatification immediately following his death was widely known. Raising a petition prior to the conclave would not have violated any protocols. So …


Apr 252011

Body of Pius V in Rome's Santa Maria Maggiore.

by Anura Guruge

1/ 1045: End of 3-term Benedict IX’s (#146, #148 & #151) second term that lasted but 52 days, when he handed over the papacy to his godfather, Cardinal John Grantin (Gregory VI (#149)), reputedly in exchange for 1,450 pounds of gold.

2/ 1045: Start of Gregory VI’s (#149) inauspicious 1.6 year reign after he obtained the papacy from his unprincipled godson. [above]

3/ 1507: Julius (warrior pope ) II’s (#217) fourth cardinal creating consistory at which he created but one cardinal, the Archbishop of Toledo, Spain.

4/ 1555: End of Marcellus II (#223) reign of 22 days — the last to date to retain his prior name on becoming pope.

5/ 1572: End of Pius V’s (#226) reign of 6.25 year reign. See next.

6/ 1672: Pius V (#226) beatified by Clement X (#240) on the centennial anniversary of his death. cf. 6.1 years for John Paul II, also on May. See 12/ below.

7/ 1917: Benedict XV’s (#259) Dei providentis, motu proprio that established the curial Congregation for Oriental Churches.

8/ 1894: Leo XIII’s (#257) Insignes encyclical on the Hungarian millennium.

9/ 1946: Pius XII (#261) Deiparae Virginis Mariae encyclical on the possibility of defining the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a dogma of faith. encyclical. [On November 1, 1950 he went ahead and defined it as dogma citing his infallibility.]

10/ 1948: Pius XII (#261) Auspicia quaedam encyclical on worldwide public prayers to the Virgin Mary for World peace and the solution of the problem of Palestine.

11/ 1991: John Paul II’s (#265) Centesimus annus (the hundredth year) encyclical, on the centenary of Leo XIII’s (#257) pivotal, May 15 Rerum novarum (of new things) encyclical on social and labor rights — John Paul II stressing the dignity of every human and the preferential option for the poor.

12/ 2011: Beatification of John Paul II (#265) — the fastest beatification ever.

6/ above kindly provided by papal history whiz ‘Mark T’.


Apr 252011

Alexander VII

by Anura Guruge

1/ 862: A synod at Aachen (Germany) that sanctioned a divorce between Lothair II of Lorraine (second son of Emperor Lothair I) and his wife Teutberga to the displeasure of Nicholas I the Great (#106) who overturned the ruling.

2/ 1658: Alexander VII’s (#238) very incongruous second cardinal creating consistory at which he created just three cardinals — all in pectore (though they were all bona fide members of his Apostolic Chamber), their names then published, in bloc, a year later.

3/ 1670: Start of Clement X’s (#240) 6.2 year reign.

4/ 1848: Pius IX (#256) refuses to join the war to expel Austrian forces from Italy.

Apr 252011

Italian poet Dante praised by Benedict XV

by L. Fitzclarence & Anura Guruge

1/ 892: Formosus (#112), best known as the unfortunate subject of the Cadaver Synod, re-crowns Guy III of Spoleto as the Holy Roman Emperor with his son Lambert as co-emperor.

2/ 1728: Benedict XIII’s (#246) eight cardinal creating consistory at which he created two cardinals for a cumulative 23 in his first four years.

3/ 1841: Gregory XVI (#255) publishes encyclical Quas Vestro on mixed marriages.

4/ 1902: Leo XIII (#257) publishes encyclical Quod Votis on the proposed Catholic university.

5/ 1921: Benedict XV (#259) publishes encyclical In Praeclara Summorum in praise of Dante (Durante degli Alighieri, c.1265 – 1321) who wrote the Divine Comedy.

6/ 1930: Pius XI (#260) publishes encyclical Ad Salutem honoring St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church.

7/ 1965: Paul VI (#263) publishes encyclical Mense Maio, on the eve of May, paying homage to the Virgin Mary, the month of May by tradition dedicated to her, as the Mother of God.

8/ 1969: Pius V’s (#226) feast day from the original May 5 (established in 1713) to this day, the day prior to the anniversary of his May 1 death, in 1572

8/ above kindly supplied by Mark T. a papal history expert.

Apr 252011

Council of Trent (1545 to 1563)

by Anura Guruge

1/ 1552: Julius III (#222), with enemy troops bearing down on the Emperor, suspends, indefinitely, the 16th session of the pivotal, 18-year long Council of Trent [1545-1563] that set about the Counter-Reformation.

2/ 1738: Clement XII (#248) publishes his In eminenti constitution — the first papal condemnation of Freemasonry.

3/ 1969: Paul VI’s (#263) third cardinal creating consistory at which he created 34 cardinals — the largest cardinal creating consistory until surpassed by John Paul II’s (#265) February 21, 2001 42 cardinal celebration.

Apr 252011

Leo XI's ornate tomb in St. Peter's despite his ephemeral papacy

by L. Fitzclarence (with annotations by Anura Guruge)

1/ 1605: End of Leo XI’s (#233) fleetingly brief 26 day reigm.

2/ 1859: Pius IX ( #256) publishes his Easter-time, peace-oriented Cum Sancta Mater Ecclesia (Pleading for Public Prayer) encyclical that urged bishops and the faithful to beg God to banish war to the very ends of the earth.


Apr 242011

Click to see John Paul II's Last Will and Testament per the Vatican

by Anura Guruge

On May 2, following his May 1, 2011 beatification, the remains of Bl. John Paul II (#265) will be re-interred within St. Peter’s Basilica in the Chapel of St. Sebastian, beneath the altar — above ground. See this post for more details and even a picture.

A transcript of John Paul II’s last will and testament, published on April 7, 2005, is available from the Vatican.

This would violate an explicit, handwritten margin note by John Paul II, on March 13, 1992, on his will that categorically says: burial in the ground and not in a sarcophagus, 13 March 1992.

John Paul II's explicit instructions for burial in the ground

As many know John Paul II was indeed buried in the ground, in bare earth, in the grotto under St. Peter’s Basilica — in an alcove previously occupied by Bl. John XXIII’s (#262) coffin before they were moved after he was beatified. [See picture of original tomb below.]

While it is indeed customary to move the remains of popes to the main body of the Basilica once they are beatified, removing John Paul II’s coffin from below ground and having elevated above ground seems somehow wrong — though this was, of course, approved by his friend, the current pope.

What makes this doubly wrong is that it is the second thing in his will that has been overridden. As with burial in the ground, he explicitly asked for his personal notes to be burned — by Dziwisz. Dziwisz has publicly admitted that he did not burn them — despite the precise, unequivocal instructions in the will.

John Paul II's specific instructions that his personal notes be burned.


Then there is the whole issue that he wanted to be buried in Poland. But, that (mysteriously) is not stated in the will. See ‘The Next Pope‘ book page 79.

Ven. John Paul II's original tomb, in bare earth per his wishes.


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