Jun 292011

by Anura Guruge

Please q.v.:
1/ June 28, 2011Cardinal José da Cruz Policarpo Statements On Female Ordination — A Trial Balloon?
2/ June 27, 2011Papabile, Portuguese José da Cruz Policarpo Gives A (Guarded) Nod To Female Ordination

I continue to ponder on a possible plausible rationale for Dom José IV da Cruz Policarpo’s comments that he sees no fundamental theological obstacle to women priests in the Catholic Church. I think I have a theory.

To begin with I think that it has to be in some way connected to Benedict XVI’s November 4, 2009, Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus — which provides for Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering full communion with the Catholic Church. Three former Anglican Bishops, all married, were ordained as Catholic priests into this Ordinariate, named Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham [a UK name for the Virgin Mary], in January 2011. Just this month it was announced that an Episcopal church in Maryland (USA), headed by a married priest, will also be joining the Catholic Church per Anglicanorum coetibus.

Anglicanorum coetibus makes it very clear that it will only admit celibate men to priesthood — but, then immediately, providing a possible papal exception for married men! The disingenuousness is striking.

I do not think that the current pope nor the Cardinal of Fátima envisage accepting female Anglican priests as Catholic priests — as yet. The Cardinal did stress, ‘not in our lifetimes’ — and he is 75.

But, here is a scenario that warrants consideration. What happens if an Anglican church with female priests requests communion — stating up front that the female priests would not be seeking ordination? You would not want the whole church to feel as if they were raging heretics because they had permitted female ordination. I think the pope might be sensitive to that. The Policarpo statement is a brilliant diplomatic solution to this. An olive branch.

So that is my first contention.

I think we all know that the growing unavailability of Catholic priests, around the world, is forcing females to perform some Church duties. I also gather that this is happening more and more in Latin America and Africa. Who better to give a guarded nod to these good women than Cardinal Policarpo? So that is my second contention.

I also think that Fátima has something to do with all of this. Isn’t it strange that so many totally unabashed Marian devotees, led by John Paul II and this pope, are also dead against women pastors? There is an incongruity here and I am always struck that the Anglican Ordinariate is named after the Virgin Mary.

So that is my take. Basically, I refuse to believe that this was an accidental case of ‘foot in mouth.’ Policarpo seems way to savvy. However hard I try not to, I see the pope’s hand in this.

Jun 282011
Angelo Scola

Papabile Angelo Scola

by Anura Guruge

Cardinal Angelo Scola has been on my papabili slate, since I started maintaining that slate in 2009. He started off at #5 in 2009. He was regularly mentioned in this blog in 2010 and this year. On my latest slate, for the 2011 edition of ‘The Next Pope,’ he is at #4.

Today’s announcement that he is being transferred from Venice to Milan only enhances his stature and some are even calling it the pope’s anointment of him as his successor (though pope’s are not supposed to explicitly designate their successors).

For those that are not that familiar with the hierarchy of the Italian Church, this transfer from being the Patriarch of Venice to the Archbishop of Milan may have appeared as a ‘demotion.’ Quite the contrary. It is a promotion and the highest promotion possible within Italy — hence the talk of the pope giving him his blessings.

[In case you were thinking, Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, now 77, was talked about as a papabile in 2005. Then age wise he was on that cusp and now he is too old — even by my standards, and as some of you know I am betting on an older pope.]

Milan is the largest see in Italy. It is thus considered the senior most see, next to Rome. The Archbishop of Milan automatically becomes the speaker of the Bishops Conference of Italy. So this is an influential post — not that Scola, a friend and collaborator of this pope going back to the early 1970s when they were co-founders of the influential Communio Theological Catholic Review, needs any publicity among the cardinal electors. His credentials have always been solid.

Most people know that popes Pius X (#258), John XXIII (#262) and John Paul I (#264) were from Venice — the only three popes from there.

But, Milan has had two popes two: Pius XI (#260) and Paul VI (#263).

That said, Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada and the curia remains my top pick for 2011.

The chances of there being a conclave in the next two years, i.e., 2011 and 2012, is extremely slim. Though people tell me that the pope looks tired, I am still betting on him overtaking Leo XIII’s (#257) 93 years. BUT, if there were to be a conclave prior to 2013, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, rather than Scola, is my Italian pick.

So that is my latest on papabili.

Thank you. Cheers, Anura

The huge, spectacular Cathedral of Milan

Jun 282011
Cardinal Policarpo on female ordinaltion -- a trial balloon?

Cardinal Policarpo on female ordinaltion -- a trial balloon?

by Anura Guruge

I refer to yesterday’s post on ‘Papabile, Portuguese José da Cruz Policarpo Gives A (Guarded) Nod To Female Ordination‘.

I have been giving it more thought.

That the announcement that the pope extended the Cardinal Patriarch’s term in Lisbon by two years came JUST as the news of Policarpo’s statements hit the ‘wires’ seems very curious. The two news items balance each other.

On top of it we also have the ‘dismissal’ of the Australian bishop on May 2 — though we know that this was the culmination of a process that started at least in 2009.

So … it occurred to me. In 2005, when Cardinal Schönborn, in the New York Times, belittled ‘neo-Darwinism,’ thus, in effect giving credence to ‘intelligent design,’ counter to the Vatican stance of ‘evolution under God,’ some did speculate whether he had been instructed, by his dear friend, the pope, to test the waters.

Why couldn’t it be the SAME here?

Yes, Cardinal Policarpo is mot considered to be a member of the pope’s inner cadre, as are Cardinals Bertone, Ouellet, Scola, Schonborn et. al. But, the two of them have to go back a very long time.

If you really think about it, getting Policarpo to take center stage on this issue, pushes the Australian bishop’s firing into the wings. Now you have a Cardinal spearheading this thorny issue as opposed to an up-start from the boonies.

Plus, Policarpo, a respected academic, did not put a foot wrong (let alone going anywhere even close to putting his foot in his mouth). All of his statements are valid. He didn’t say that the Vatican position was wrong. He, like a good academic, stated the background and facts.

I think that the pope definitely knew about this beforehand and maybe even gave his blessing Policarpo.

John Paul II’s (#265) pronouncement on this topic, in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, is now 17 years old. Much water has flowed under the bridges over the Tiber. This pope has welcomed MARRIED priests into the Catholic Church. Remember?

Yes, as Louis Epstein commented some of his peers will be put out by this statement. But, then again, I am sure that there are other cardinals that agree with Don José da Cruz Policarpo. As for his papabile status … I currently have him at #7. So they were never that great anyway.

So just my thoughts. Feel free to share YOUR thoughts.

Cheers, Anura

Jun 282011

by Anura Guruge

Dear Father John send me this link to the new La StampaVatican Insider‘ conclave tutorial with the note: ‘I know you will find the mistakes too! One glaring and one a little ambiguous.’

I had a quick look. One glaring! I only looked at a FEW pages but saw a mistake in each!

Here is the link.

Then it occurred to me. Much more fun if you folks find them. So here is the deal.

Anura Guruge with Montgomery

Sorry. You can't have Montgomery. IF you really want it you can have my Greek fishing hat. Bit sweaty inside.

List all the mistakes you see. I will award prizes for the top three — and yes, I already know that Louis Epstein will be among those. You can submit the list as a comment or if you are shy send it to me via e-mail with what degree of privacy you want.

The prizes. No, YOU can’t have the new puppy. Sorry. And I don’t think there will be a next born. So that is out too. Also you can’t have my two John Paul II relics, one Class II the other Class II.V.

You can have an autographed copy of ‘The Next Pope 2011‘ when it comes out. Or you can have a Rev. 1 copy or a copy of ‘Pope Names‘. [Of course, you can have your name published here.]

If you have other ideas let me know. [If you are from outside of the US, please remember that it is illegal in the US to trade humans. So, please don’t even ask, though a good Catholic from Mass. once asked me in all seriousness how much I wanted for my ….]

Enjoy. Cheers.

Jun 272011

Papabile Policarpo, known to be a moderate

by Anura Guruge

Portuguese José da Cruz Policarpo [dob February 26, 1936] has been a papabile since 2005. Much of his appeal is that he can, when it comes to papabile, be the initial bridge between Europe and the Americas — particularly Latin America.

Interviewed recently by a Portuguese publication named ‘Oa,’ that deals with legal issues, the Patriarch of Lisbon (since 1998, cardinal since 2001) has stated that he sees no fundamental theological obstacle to women priests in the Catholic Church. Quite rightly, he points out that this is also but another of the long cherished and honored traditions. He also, cannily, points out that we are not likely to see female priests in ‘our’ lifetime and that it will happen when God wants it to happen.

Though this position is at odds with that of the Vatican, it would not have been seen as that dramatic if not for the ‘firing,‘ 7-weeks ago [i.e., May 2, 2011] of the 67-year old, Australian Bishop of Toowoomba, William Morris — supposedly for views he expressed a few years ago on the possibility of female and married ordination. Morris, who had been a bishop for 18 years, was made to ‘retire.’ He was not excommunicated or liaised.

So the speculation is whether the cardinal will be treated as harshly as was the bishop.

The answer has to be no.

For a start, we know, that just two days ago, the pope extended the Patriarch’s term in Lisbon by 2 years — after he, per the requirement in Canon Law [Canon #401 of the 1983 Code], submitted his resignation when he turned 75. From all I have learned about the workings of the highest echelons of the Church, it seems clear to me that cardinals, one way or another, give the Vatican (and the pope) a ‘heads up’ before any controversial statements they have made (intentionally, as was the case here) appear in ‘print.’ Given that his resignation was pending as of February 26, I have to believe that he let the Vatican know that this interview was coming out.

Policarpo, like the pope, is, at his core, an academic. [Recall, the pope and his ‘academic’ remarks in 2006 about Islam?] What Policarpo said is incontrovertibly true. It is not the Vatican position, BUT not even the pope can honestly state that Policarpo’s statement(s) are wrong.

Furthermore, all bishops, in theory (as with Orwell’s pigs), are equal, but, we know that some bishops are more equal than other — particularly if they happen to be a Prince of the Church from a traditional Catholic country. With all due respect to William Morris (who comes across as a very decent, down-to-earth Australian) he is NO Cardinal Patriarch Policarpo of Lisbon.  Toowoomba has a population of 159,000. I think that was part of the problem that William Morris ran into. As was the case with the British empire, the colonials, way out in the boonies, must know their place.

Cardinal Schonborn, another papabile, as we know, made controversial statements about the clergy sex abuse — linked it to clerical celibacy and even lambasted the old Secretary of State. He was not fired. The pope made peace with him (and it is only fair to point out that the pope and Schonborn, as ‘friends,’ go back decades).

I do not think Policarpo will be openly chastised. He is known to be a moderate. In 2007, he raised a lot of eyebrows, by not attacking Portugal’s referendum of legalizing abortion — legal abortions now permitted in Portugal.

The last cardinal to be ‘fired’ was in 1927.

I, however, now need to go an update my write up on Policarpo in ‘The Next Pope 2011.’


Jun 272011

by Anura Guruge

Related post: May 13, 2010 — The Next Conclave — Those That Will Officiate.

Giovanni Battista Re will chair general congreagations

If there was a sede vacante now, Giovanni Battista Re, rather than the Dean or Subdean will chair the daily, general congreagations

I think that we all know that the Dean and the Subdean of the College of Cardinals cannot participate in a conclave if they exceed the 80-year ‘cut off.’

I think most of us also know that all cardinals can attend the pre-conclave general congregations, irrespective of age, though those over 80 who cannot participate in the conclave are given the option of not attending. [This is mainly to preclude elderly cardinals living outside of Rome having to journey to Rome to attend these congregations.]

I think many also know that the Dean (and if he is incapacitated, the Subdean) chairs these general congregations.

Since, I wrote about it in ‘The Next Pope‘ [page 69] I should have remembered this, and it should have stuck. But, obviously it didn’t. I am working on a new Appendix for the latest version of this book, which will be called ‘The Next Pope 2011,’ and was pouring over Universi Dominici Gregis all over again.

Clause #9, stopped me dead in my tracks: “9. The General Congregations of Cardinals are to be held in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican or, if circumstances demand it, in another place judged more suitable by the Cardinals. At these Congregations the Dean of the College presides or, should he be absent or lawfully impeded, the Subdean. If one or both of these, in accordance with No. 33 of this Constitution, no longer enjoy the right of electing the Pope, the assembly of the Cardinal electors will be presided over by the senior Cardinal elector, according to the customary order of precedence.

I knew this. I put it in the book. But, IF you had asked me … I would not have remembered this twist.

There is a strange ambiguity here (as pointed in the Comments below by Louis Epstein). It refers to the ‘the assembly of the Cardinal electors.’ General congregations are NOT limited to the cardinal electors. It also does NOT refer to the particular congregations. Those consist of just 4 cardinals, at any one time — one of which is always the Camerlengo (and, though not spelled out, it is fairly clear that the Camerlengo chairs these congregations since the other 3 participants rotate, by the drawing of lot, every 3 days.) So though misleading this statement, has to refer to general congregations. Also please refer to ALL the comments below.

So, as is the case now, if both the Dean and Subdean are over 80, neither of them can chair these general congregations. Today, it would be Italian Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re [b. Jan. 30, 1934].

Just wanted to make sure that we are all on the same page on this.

Thanks. Cheers, Anura


Jun 252011

by Anura Guruge

I know that some of you thought I was joking. Well, when it comes to my writing I try not to make too many jokes myself — leaving that to others.

The book is available as of today on Amazon. Here is the link. It is a full-color, 108 page book with lots of photographs (including copies of the photographic plates that enabled Pluto and Charon to be discovered), pictures, diagrams and tables. I just submitted the Amazon ‘Look Inside’ files. So, with luck, that should be available soon. [You can never tell. I only approved this book at 1pm yesterday. It was on Amazon this morning. I have been very lucky with the speed in which I get listed on Amazon.]

Anura Guruge book on Dwarf Planets

Anura Guruge's book on Dwarf Planets

There are no popes mentioned in this book. But, there is an interesting write-up on Father Giuseppe Piazzi, a Theatian, who discovered Ceres.

If you are interested in astronomy you should have a look at this book.

All the best. Cheers,


Jun 212011

by Anura Guruge

Bl. John Paul II Relics, Post May 1, 2011 Beatification post — May 02, 2011

While composing the above post, I went ahead and requested a remnants from a Bl. John Paul II (#255) cassocks (many or all provided by Dziwisz), per #1 of the classes of relics available.  This would be an ex indumentis (from the clothing) Second-Class relic. I followed the instructions supplied by the Vicariate of Rome and requested it via e-mail (without enclosing a donation) using this supplied e-mail address: postulazione.segreteria@vicariatusurbis.org.

It arrived today. It was postmarked [by machine, without stamps], Vatican City, June 15.

It was a 3.125″ x 5.5″ prayer card. It took me awhile to spot the relic. It is a small circular insert on the pope’s right shoulder. It is neat.

Anura Guruge Bl. John Paul II relic

This is what is on the reverse. I am a bit disappointed with the ink smear from the printing that you can see right down the middle. You would think that they would get this ‘right.’ C’est la vie.

Back of Anura Guruge's Bl. John Paul II relic

These letters came with the relic.

Yes, I checked. There are similar, but not identical, relics on ebay. Some are as much as $190. There was one for $3.75 + $1 shipping. I just bought it. My son might like it.

I know that some of you, based on this post, also requested relics. You will probably get yours.

This was neat. All the best. Anura

My Time Away From The Blog

 Posted by at 12:57 pm
Jun 092011

I am writing more than ever. That is good. The book on ‘dwarf planets’ is on its second proof-cycle. Working on a major update to ‘The Next Pope‘ with a new slate of papabili. With luck that will be out ‘soon.’ Working on two other ideas. One on the mysteries of calendars and the other on pops. So stay tuned.

This is my latest pastime. Totally hooked. Run in the morning. A few miles of paddling and then a swim. Summers are short up here.


Anura Guruge -- first time out on a standup paddle board, June 8, 2011

Anura Guruge -- first time out on a standup paddle board, June 8, 2011


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Jun 082011

by Leopold Fitzclarence

Gregory XVI

June papal reigns (start / end):

1/ 1st 1846 end Gregory XVI.

2/ 3rd 1963 end John XXIII.

3/ 16th 1846 start Pius IX.

4/ 20th 1667 start Clement IX.

5/ 21st 1963 start Paul VI.

Encyclicals (by date):

1/ 2 1951 Evangelii Praecones Pius XII.

2/ 2 1985 Slavorum Apostoli John Paul II.

3/ 3 1933 Dilectissima Nobis Pius XI.

4/ 4 1871 Beneficia Dei Pius IX.

5/ 5 1952 Ecclesiae Fastos Pius XII.

6/ 7 1912 Lacrimabili Statu Pius X.

7/ 9 1832 Cum Primum Gregory XVI.

8/ 11 1905 Il Fermo Proposito Pius X.

9/ 13 1792 Ubi Lutetiam Pius VI.

10/ 13 1940 Saeculo Exeunte Pius XII.

11/ 15 1917 Humani Generis Redemptionem Benedict XV.

12/ 17 1793 Quare Lacrymae Pius VI.

13/ 17 1847 Ubi Primum Pius IX.

14/ 18 1859 Qui Nuper Pius IX.

15/ 20 1888 Libertas praestantissimum donum Leo XIII.

16/ 20 1894 Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae Leo XIII.

17/ 24 1888 Saepe Nos Leo XIII.

18/ 24 1893 Ad Extremas Leo XIII.

19/ 24 1967 Sacerdotalis Caelibatus Paul VI.

20/ 25 1834 Singulari Nos Gregory XVI.

21/ 25 1891 Pastoralis Leo XIII.

22/29 1881 Diuturnum Leo XIII.

23/29 1896 Satis Cognitum Leo XIII.

24/ 29 1921 Fausto Appetente Die Benedict XV.

25/29 1923 Studiorum Ducem Pius XI.

26/29 1931 Non Abbiamo Bisogno Pius XI.

27/ 29 1936 Vigilanti Cura Pius XI.

28/ 29 1943 Mystici Corporis Christi Pius XII.

29/ 29 1958 Ad Apostolorum Principis Pius XII.

30/ 29 1959 Ad Petri Cathedram John XXIII.

[ June 29 seems to be a very popular date! ]

 Comments Off on Papal Events In June by Leopold Fitzclarence of Boston
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