Dec 312012

void2012by Anura Guruge

One related post:
>> Papabili 2012 — by Darien N. Clark … — July 27, 2012.

Though we can all bandy around names like Lord Ouellet, Angelo Scola, Gianfranco Ravasi, Angelo Amato, Oscar Rodriquez Maradiaga et. al. as papabili, as Darien does in his July 2012 list, we all have to agree, deep down, that none of them are outright front runners in the same league as were a Montini, Pacelli, Ratzinger or a Sarto. Lord Ouellet deserves to be pope. He, as a cardinal, whether in Canada or in the curia, has been immaculate. But, he is just too damn young at 68.5. Hopefully he will be pope one day, but he really is too young to be the next pope, unless, of course, the current pope lives on for another 10 years!

I am kind of surprised that ‘Papal Succession Plan “B”‘ has not been invoked as yet. Maybe the pope, the ego maniac he is, wants to wait until he, 10 days from now, passes another milestone: the 4th oldest since 1400.

Some of you may have missed this. Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re’s father died last week. Cardinal Re is 78. His father was 104. That is the problem these days. Longevity is not what it used to be.

Whether you like it or not there is really only one top dog, one alpha male, at the Vatican: Lord Bertone, who turned 78 ‘a month’ ago. I still believe that he holds most of the ‘cards’ if there were to be an election within the next 6 months. Though this pope had just turned 78 when elected, I still think that 78.5 might be a psychological barrier, hard to breach, when it comes to the next pope. But, as ever, I could be wrong. As this pope gets older, the electors may feel that they have no option but to elect older popes. So the 78.5 might become 79.5. That would give Lord Bertone another year.

Right now, however hard I try, I really can’t see anybody plausible beyond Lord Bertone.

Happy New Year.

Will we see a conclave in 2013? There are a lot of comets whizzing by next year. So maybe that one of these will portend a change in papacy.

Dec 292012

by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
1. Cardinal Creating Consistory Habits Of The Last 15 Popes, Benedict XVI To Pius VII … Dec. 26, 2012.
2. When An ‘In Pectore’ Creation Becomes A Cardinal Eligible To Vote … — Dec. 27, 2012.

The pictures tell the whole story without need for elaboration.
Click to ENLARGE.

Pius VII’s 19 cardinal creating consistories. Click to ENLARGE.

The above data 'graphed'. Click to ENLARGE.

The above data ‘graphed’. Click to ENLARGE.

Pius VII's preferences for when he held his consistories. Click to ENLARGE.

Pius VII’s preferences for when he held his consistories. Click to ENLARGE.

Dec 282012

During 10 to 10:2o pm (Eastern), most nights, I switch between CNN, MSNBC and Bloomberg, to catch up on the day’s happenings (at least since I last watched the news at 6:20 pm) before watching cricked for 20 minutes before I start my 3rd shift. Last night I happened to catch this segment live. For obvious reasons I like Lawrence. To me, it is like listening to myself — sans my accent (though the one thing that he and I are not 100% inline has to do with gay marriage).

Anyway, this piece is worth reading. Enjoy.

Click to read about Lawrence giving the Vatican a much needed history lesson. Enjoy.

Click to read about Lawrence giving the Vatican a much needed history lesson. Enjoy.

Dec 272012
Click to access the February 20, 2011 comment.

Click to access the February 20, 2011 comment.

Pertinent entry at the 'Cardinals Website'. Click to access if you want to double check.

Pertinent entry at the ‘Cardinals Website’. Click to access if you want to double check.

Click to access original comment by Dr. Marko B. Not sure why he has disappeared. He was very knowledgeable and helpful. I miss him. I should e-mail him.

Click to access original comment by Dr. Marko B. Not sure why he has disappeared. He was very knowledgeable and helpful. I miss him. I should e-mail him.

One related post:
>> Popes Who Were Bona Fide Cardinals When Elected = 130 — June 16, 2012.

As the 1st comment cited shows, there has been much debate on this blog as to when a cardinal created in pectore becomes eligible to vote in a conclave — bearing in mind that the Pius V (#226) edict of January 26,Pius Vensured that all published cardinals can participate in a conclave irrespective of whether they had received their insignia, i.e., red hat, ring, scroll assigning Roman property, or not.

Click to enlarge. From a 1910 'Encyclopedia Britannica' on art, culture etc.

Click to enlarge. From a 1910 ‘Encyclopedia Britannica’ on art, culture etc.

I having carefully studied all the pertinent edicts, multiple times, have always maintained that an in pectore becomes bona fide as soon as the pope publicizes their names. Others have disagreed vehemently claiming that the publication can only occur at a ‘consistory’.

Marian Jaworski and Jānis Pujats who were created in pectore at the February 21, 1998 provide the ideal scenario for discussing this. Their names were publicly announced on Sunday, January 28, 2001. I have always maintained that they became eligible to vote at a conclave at that point — not following the February 21, 2001 consistory that took place 3 weeks later.

Yesterday while looking at Pius VIII (#252) cardinal creating record I found irrefutable proof — which Marko B. had alluded to in his comment (above) but had not taken to the ultimate conclusion. This is what the “Cardinal’s Website” says after the February 23, 1801 consistory that created a number of in pectore cardinals.

Click to access the relevant entry at the Cardinal's Website.

Click to access the relevant entry at the Cardinal’s Website.

But, the September 28, 1801 and March 29, 1802 ‘consistories’ are NOT LISTED! Bingo. They are no listed because no other cardinals were created on those days. It was just the publication of the in pectore names.

Anytime the pope sits with two or more cardinals in a formal setting, it is by definition a consistory. This has been my contention all along. You do not need a formal, cardinal creating consistory, with all the bells and whistles, to publish in pectore creations. As long as two or more cardinals are present when the names are publicized, the cardinals are valid. So now I can always refer to this, the next time this issue comes up, as it will surely do.

Happy New Year.

Dec 262012

by Anura Guruge

Related post:
>> Multiple Cardinal Creating In Consistories In One Year — Dec. 14, 2012.

As I was doing the above post, at the behest of ‘Mark T.‘, I knew that I really had to start going back and collecting more data. I started doing that today, going back to 1800, the start of the 19th C.

The data should be fairly self-explanatory. I, as ever, highlighted the significant fields. Found some very interesting data about Pius VII (#252) in the process which I will write about tomorrow. For now, enjoy this table.

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

Dec 252012

by Anura Guruge

The two posts from yesterday re. this year’s Southern Italian nativity got me thinking. I had not realized that these scenes were a 1982 innovation by John Paul II (#265). I had assumed that they went back much further. This morning I went looking for information, if not a picture, of the 1982 nativity scenes. I have had no luck so far. I was also surprised that there was no list of all of the nativity scenes going back to 1982. So, I have decided to create it right here — HOPEFULLY with your help. It appears that the ‘Knights of Columbus‘ did a Christmas exhibition 2006 – 2007 on: ‘A Vatican Christmas: Creches of Pope John Paul II‘. They published a catalog, but extremely parsimonious in the pictures they made available on the Web. So, this is my start, today, Christmas Day 2012. If you can help, that would help. Just send me links or point me roughly in the right directions. Yes, I can deal with pictures too. Thanks. Merry Christmas.

There is also a nativity scene inside St. Peter’s, typically with real people playing parts. That will have to be another separate study. These are pictures of the outside creche in St. Peter’s Square.


2012: Southern Italy, Sassi di Matera, in the Basilicata region, nativity scene. ‘AP’ news photo published in ‘U.S.A. Today‘.


2011: ‘Mary, the Mother of God’ theme. Picture from (with thanks) ‘’ who got it in turn from Getty Images.


2010: From ‘Gilbert and Christina’s Travels’ blogs. They took the picture, on Christmas Day, 2010. Thanks.


2009: From Flickr ‘Creche School’s photostream’ — with thanks.


2008: From Flickr (again), this one belonging to Chezhed270. Thanks.


2007: Another from Flickr. This time it belongs to ‘ruarunner’ Thanks.

This is said to be a reshowing of the original 1982 scene … in 2006.

1982 original (in 2006): From “Women’s Daily” who got it from Flickr. This what their caption says: In 1982, Pope John Paul II began the tradition of displaying the nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square. This shot shows the final time it would be erected, since it was replaced in 2007 by the much-anticipated Nazareth scene, which was unveiled by Pope Benedict XVI. Photo courtesy of Bill Fisher via”


2005: From Flickr; from Ken and Nyetta’s photostream. Thanks.

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