Jan 312012

I saw this today in the January 23, 2012 issue of Time.

Since Wikipedia is invariably my first, but rarely only, port of call for most of my ‘recent’ research I don’t have a problem with this.

So I am posting it, in situ, sans any comments.

A quick Google of ‘new cardinal bios from Wikipedia‘ came up with pages upon pages of results.

I am kind of disappointed that none of my supposedly diligent Vatican watchers, with Fr. John in the fore, didn’t bring this to my attention. Hhmmm. I guess they werre worried that I would parody it  without realizing my respect for Wikipedia (which some of them should have known) — given that with my penchant for honesty I list Wikipedia as my first online reference source in all three of my papal books, not worried at all what the supposed ‘scholars’ may think of that.

Well some of the posts are not complimentary and that is too bad.

It is humbling to see that PC Magazine did a post on it — and it is information packed. So, you should definitely read that — and it has a great picture of a cardinal in deep contemplation.


Jan 292012

Cardinal-to-be Timothy Michael Dolan’s penchant for Miller Beer has even been chronicled in The New York Time (here and here) — and it is said that he always wears a Miller T-shirt underneath his vestments.

I heard this story this morning on CNN. On weekends, given there is no germane market news I don’t, as I do on weekends, wake up to CNBC on the TV. Instead, it is CNN — and post 8:30. This morning around 8:39 I heard this, just as I was waking up. Not sure who was talking. I think it was the ususal Sunday morning ‘Faith’ segment. This is said to be a story as told by Dolan, when he was Archbishop of Milwaukee — a community that was noted for being weight-challenged. Read this — from 2007.

The rotund, Friar Tuck emulating,  Archbishop was visiting the Pope, John Paul II (#265), at the Vatican.

Archbishop Dolan: ‘Holy Father, I have great news. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is growing.’

Pope John Paul II: ‘So is the Archbishop.’

Thank YOU, pope. Pity that the Archbishop thought of it just as a joke. What a GREAT example he is to our weight challenged kids.

Jan 282012

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

  by Anura Guruge

Fr. John, very anxious not to miss the boat, already had an initial crack at this on January 8, 2012 (just two days after the publication of the list) — and I added some in-line comments, though I hadn’t had a chance to really ponder on the possibilities.

Spanish Santos Abril y Castelló, 76, a possible papabile by Anura Guruge

Santos Abril y Castelló

I have now had a chance to better  mull over this matter and make some prognostications. I am not sure whether there is anybody in this crop of 22 that really that really stands out and screams ‘papabile‘ — in contrast to the last consistory when Angelo Amato and Gianfranco Ravasi definitely begged serious consideration. [October 24, 2010 post.] Ravasi went onto be #8 in my 2011 list — as it appeared in ‘The Next Pope 2011‘.

My first step, as ever, was to use my ‘conviction filters’ to eliminate those that in my considered opinion have no chance — my convictions being that the next pope will be certainly be white; will not be from the U.S.A. and is likely to be closer to 75 than to 70. I have justified this convictions many times here and continue to stand by them. You don’t have to agree with them, but, in case it slips your mind, this is my take on the papabili and I always stay true to MY convictions.

February 18, 2012 consistory cardinals not considered papabile by Anura Guruge

February 18, 2012 consistory cardinals sorted for papabie potential. Click to ENLARGE.

So I am left with just Manuel Monteiro de Castro, Santos Abril y Castelló, Antonio Maria Vegliò and Francesco Coccopalmerio.

I think it is safe to rule out Vegliò (despite his diplomatic credentials from he ‘Orient’) and Coccopalmerio. They have both had low profiles and there are more vibrant, higher profile Italians already at bat including Ravasi, Scola and Antonelli. If there was to be a conclave in the next 15 months, which I doubt very much, then the top pick will be the incomparable Lord Bertone, my #2 pick in the book. So that only leaves me with two Hispanics. As I have said before an Hispanic or Marc Ouellet (barring his age) could be a surrogate Latin American pope. So both of these deserve a looking. Major Penitentiaries haven’t had much luck becoming popes. But, Monteiro de Castro does have an impressive resume and is likely to be known to quite a few of the electors from his days as a nuncio and his stint in the always center stage Congregation for Bishops. The same applies to Abril y Castelló. I will not put either, right this minute, into my top #10 list, but both these names can be considered worthy 2nd-tier candidates.

Refer to the ‘Consistory‘ TAB right at the top, above the banner ((↑)), for all the requisite links, including those for the February 18, 2012 consistory.

Jan 262012

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

   by Anura Guruge

Detailed Itinerary Of Benedict XVI’s March 23 to 28, 2012
Trip To Mexico & Cuba — January 7, 2012.

A Golden Rose (Rose d’Or), an intricate, artisan gold ornament, made from at least two ounces of gold (but often more, and thus now costing well in excess of US $4,000), depicting as of the 15th century a branch with multiple roses, is one of the oldest (from at least c. 1050) and important favors that can be bestowed by a pope.

Since the time of Leo IX (#153), [1049 – 1054] a Golden Rose is blessed each year by the pope on the fourth Sunday of Lent, Lætare Sunday (Rose Sunday/Mothering Sunday). [This year, Lætare Sunday will be on March 18 — 5 days prior to the pope’s departure to Mexico and Cuba.] Originally the blessing would take place in Rome’s Basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem). In the early days the Golden Rose could also get presented to a worthy prince in the papal court straight after the ceremony. But in time this shifted to the Golden Rose being reserved to be sent to nobility, typically kings and queens (in time the fairer sex usually getting preference). It is not clear where the blessing takes place these days. It is in the Vatican, and the indications are that it happens in the Apostolic Palace as opposed to St. Peter’s.

Leo IX ordered a large monastery for nuns to be constructed in Bamberg, in the German province of Franconia. The claim is that the nuns were required to provide the pope, hence after, a Golden Rose, annually, on Lætare Sunday. If they could not meet this obligation they had to provide at least two ounces of gold as compensation. Another version of the story has it that the pope inherited this monastery (or similar) but opted to give it back to the nuns who established the tradition of paying homage to the pope for his kindness with this annual Rose.

These days the creation of the Golden Rose or Roses, usually by a famed artist, is funded and managed by the Vatican. c. 1950 the Golden Rose was not routinely awarded each year. So a new one was not produced on a yearly basis — the pope blessing the last one still at the Vatican. There were only five awarded during Paul VI’s (#263) 15 year pontificate. It appears that John Paul II (#265) made even fewer awards! Benedict XVI (#266), who appears to have a weakness for all things gold, has so far awarded 12 Golden Roses — the one he is taking to Cuba thus being his 12th (and he has yet to be pope for 7 years).

Henry VIII [1491-1547], of the six wives, the King of England & Ireland, the founder of the Church of England received not one but three (3) Golden Roses, one each from Julius II (#217), Leo X (#218) and Clement VII (#220) — which must have come in handy as nice presents for the then wife. Charles IX, King of France, was given one to celebrate the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre. So if the pope gives a Golden Rose to Fidel it would not be that incongruous. But, to be fair to the pope, the Golden Rose he is taking to Cuba is not for Fidel.

Actually, since 1956 the Vatican has not presented a Golden Rose to a person (though there is nothing that says that a pope can’t renew that tradition). Instead the Golden Rose now gets awarded to shrines. Thus, the Golden Rose being taken to Cuba will be given to the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity, the patron of Cuba, when the pope visits the shrine on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.

Yes, there is chatter that the pope will indeed meet with Fidel — albeit not at the Shrine. Fidel, as shown here, dressed in a snazzy black suit, did meet with John Paul II when he visited Cuba. The meeting will most likely take place in Havana, later on in the day on March 27, the pope is scheduled to meet with Fidel’s brother, the now President of Cuba.

Jan 252012

Mark T. is a trusted collaborator who always ultra helpful and never fails to encourage.

Mark collects papal coins. He has at least one coin (or medal) of each pope from Calixtus III (#210) to Benedict XVI (#266), plus a few from before then, including the sede vacante for the Long Conclave of 1268-71, and one of antipope Clement VII. Ever generous he has agreed to provide me with scans of his entire collection for reproduction here. Thank you, Mark. You really do fit the bill: a true scholar and gentleman.

I am going to do this in batches, ideally 12 at a time. So here is the first set of 12:

Pope coins at popes and papacy by Anura GurugePope coins at popes and papacy by Anura Guruge

Who Are These Cardinals?

 Posted by at 5:00 pm
Jan 242012

David W. Tschanz, an author considerably more prolific, gifted and successful (not to mention good looking) than yours truly, who is currently working for a huge oil company in Saudi, is a good friend of this blog — and makes sure that we get at least a few hits from Saudi each day (which must drive those that monitor these things, which we know they do, nuts). He also often, usually late at night (my time) provides with with amusing commentary of my posts and particular my vocabulary (or lack thereof).

David sent this picture in last night (it must have been about 4am for him), in an e-mailed titled ‘Any idea who these prelates are?‘, with this remark: ‘I have no idea where/when this picture was taken, but that appears to be (Arch)Bishop Fulton Sheen with the biretta, with at least three cardinals, one of whom is Spellman at the far right’.

This morning in another e-mail he clarified that he had got the picture from izismile.com — a Web site I was not familiar with till then given that as you all know I live a very sheltered life. But, you really should visit that Web site. I saved in on delicious for future reference and perusal.

Francis Joseph Spellman, of New York, supposedly an avid believer in the St. Malarky prophecies, was created in February 1946 and passed away in December 1967. So based on that, the box camera being used by the cute little girl and her dress, I suspect that this picture was taken somewhere in the mid-1950s. I could be wrong but those steps could be those of St. Patrick’s in New York City. The resemblance spotted by David of the far left prelate to an infamous German WW II villain, in his youth, has to be irrelevant and irreverent because that reprobate did not make it out of the Nuremberg Trials.

Jan 232012

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

   by Anura Guruge

Thanks to Cardinal Angelo Scola’s ‘out-of-cycle’, upside down pallium in September 2011, the significance and history of palliums got discussed quite a bit on this blog last year. The 3rd section of this post talked about the two lambs whose wool, in the main, are used to make the palliums for a given year and how these two sheep are blessed, usually by the pope, on the feast day of St. Agnes, viz. January 21. Since that was this past Saturday, the blessing did take place.

Click image to access YouTube video.

Sant'Agnese fuori le MuraThis YouTube video in addition to showing some adorable shots of the two blessed lambs as a fairly decent tutorial on palliums — if you still feel that you would like to know more.

The blessing of the two lambs on Saturday morning, the Feast of St. Agnes, the patron saint of chastity and virgins, took place in the Basilica Sant’Agnese fuori le Mura (St Agnes Outside the Walls ) on Rome’s Via Nomentana where St. Agnes is said to be buried. The pope was not at the Basilica for that blessing. Instead, later in the morning, the pope, dressed in his ermine trimmed cloak, met the two blessed lambs in the rather intimate Urban VIII (#236) Chapel, close to the Papal Library, within the Vatican Apostolic Palace. [Italian Cardinal Priest Camillo Ruini, created in June 1991, and who turned 80 last February, holds the title to this Basilica.]

The wool of the lambs is used to make the palliums bestowed on new metropolitan archbishops on 29 June, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles.

The lambs are one of the symbol of St. Agnes. Agnes, 12 or 13 at the time, and a virgin, was martyred in Rome, supposedly on 21 January 304,  during the infamous Diocletian persecution on the pretext that she refused to marry the son of a high-ranking Roman.

The pallium lambs raised by the Trappist Fathers of the Abbey of the Three Fountains in Rome.

The palliums are woven from the newly-shorn wool by the sisters of St. Cecilia in Rome.

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