Oct 242010

by Anura Guruge

Statistical analysis of the 24 cardinal designates named on October 20 for the November 20, 2010 consistory.

That the Sri Lankan, Albert Malcolm Ranjit Patabendige Don, independent of my personal geographic bias, has to be considered given his standing as the ‘Very Tanned Ratzinger’ is now already a done deal — thanks, albeit partly, to this post. Since I let this genie out of the bottle, I guess I will have to include him in my final list, even if it is at #10. Lot to cogitate here and I know I will get plenty of input on this one. He would, indubitably, be #3 in what has now being a very long chain, in terms of years — and that might be too much for many. But, the flip side. That would appeal to quite a few in what is an increasingly conservative and aging College. [It is the US tea party movement all over again, though he need to come up with a more apt name, the ‘Gdansk Groupies‘?]

Amato, Koch and Ravisi the three new next pope possibles being looked at by Anura Guruge

I still will not budge from my thesis that the next pope will not be from the US, Germany, Poland or an African country. Also I am reluctant, at least right now, to consider anybody close to or above 75. So that rules out many.

Damasceno Assis, the only Latin American contender (who meets my criteria), seems insipid. I could be wrong. But, we have better contenders from Latin America already.

I agree with most. This was not exactly a very inspiring group to begin with.

There are only two names I am left with to kick around. I know lots of you will disagree. But, I need to look and the pros and cons. I could, as ever, be wrong, but I get a feeling that ‘compromise’ might be the watchword at the next conclave. Hence, even Patabendige Don. If you have a Swiss on deck, it is crazy not to consider him, if you are looking for European compromises. Hence, Kurt Koch.

Angelo Amato, by all accounts, is popular. Benedict XVI (#266), by naming him first, has given him a BIG NOD. He has a high profile curial post. He can grant ‘favors’ to countries and thus other cardinals. [Read between the lines. Causes of the Saints.] He is the only ‘young’ Italian in this crop that elicits a second look.

[[Following a comment from ‘Peter’ I am also adding Gianfranco Ravisi to my list to kick around. Thank YOU, Peter.]]

Not saying that these two will make my 2011 cut. But, they will be considered. All input greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  13 Responses to “New Papabili From The November 20, 2010 Crop Of Cardinals I Am Cogitating”

  1. What´s about Ravasi…I think he may be a candidate too..

  2. Thank you. Good point. I will SURE consider him. I knew you folks will help me out. That is great. THANK YOU.

  3. Ravasi is the only contender from this crop . . . again, my footnotes went unread!! (Except by Andrew, of course!)

    In speaking with my cousin from Switzerland this week, he said that Koch is bright, but with no people skills.

    Also, the proper name of the S.D.B.’s is spelled, “Salesians” of St. John Bosco. That is not like you to misspell!

  4. Now sarcasm. [[ smile ]] I think I get it right 6 times out of 10, which for me is good.

    You don’t know this, BUT you (and if I can muster enough courage, Louis) are going to proof my new Chapter 1 before I publish the 2011 issue.

    Do you remember YOUR first e-mail to me. [It had this classic line: ‘I don’t want to sound like my old teacher but you spelt …]

    GLAD you are back. Hope the conference was productive. THANK YOU.


  5. Very, very good question.
    Perfect age. 67, right now.
    I think one issue is that there are SO MANY Italians … and the FIRST issue is going to be … back to Italian pope or not.
    I still think that that is the PIVOTAL issue.
    My current feeling, and I AM NO EXPERT, is that they will go for a non-Italian.

    What do YOU think on the Italian, Non-Italian … European, Non-European … Latin America, Sri Lanka. [Forget all other Asian candidates for now. SMILE.]

    Thank YOU. Cheers.

  6. Remembering quite well some commentaries after the 2005 conclave (“the non-Italian era continues”) I firmly believe that the next pope will be Italian. But who are the candidates ? No doubt that Amato and Bagnasco will be very influential in a conclave to come but after all I do not believe in their chances to become pope. The cardinals will have to search the happy medium (a conservative and at the same time also open minded one): In this case the most promising candidates could be Ravasi and Angelo Scola from Venice.

  7. Thank you.
    You sure know your stuff. I have to bone up on Ravasi. I hate to say this because it sounds superficial, but I like Ravasi’s face. He looks gentle and kind. Like an uncle you would like to have. Again, I know many will jump down my throat for this, but that is something I like to look for in a pope. Avuncular. Yes, I had (they are all dead) some great uncles. John XXIII definitely met that criteria and having read nearly all the books written about him, I like the way he treated his nephews and nieces. I can’t see the current pope as an uncle. If he was, he would be the type that sat in corner, never said a word, and had his head buried in a newspaper. [[Father John. I know you are into uncle’s too, and that you lost a dear one last week. Any comments on the uncle criterion for papabile?] I had an uncle, a Baptist, a lawyer and a Burgher, who looked just like Baldelli. But Baldelli is already at 75 — my cut-off.
    Thank YOU. Cheers.
    Please keep the comments coming.

  8. The uncle stuff is important to people, but I don’t know if it is a criteria for the Cardinals!

    I think they are going to do a “job description” first and then look for the right man to fulfill it. At least that is the current going “organizational development” practices and I think, or at least hope, that these “secular” processes are taking place in the church.

    Further, I will email you what I have been working on in the papabili arena. Now that most of the Cardinalabili stuff is behind us, although not all – we are still “Monday morning quarter-backing” the focus will eventually gravitate in that direction.

  9. Do YOU have a draft ‘job description’?
    I know Greeley, quite infamously, wrote one for the first 1978 conclave. I think he only got the ‘a pope that smiles’ part right … and he even then didn’t tip Luciani.
    I was thinking about the cardinals earlier today. I know there are marked exceptions, but too many, for my liking, appear to have checked in ‘affability’ at the St. Peter’s cloak-room when they went to get created and never went back to retrieve that asset.

  10. Avuncular… when I first read it, when I thought of John XXIII and when I saw Ravasi’s face, which really IS avuncular i liked your remarks very much. Then I started thinking. Yes, a priest CAN be an uncle (within his family). Ratzinger is not an uncle and may truly not be an uncle liked by children (Wojtyla did not even have a parent or sibling after he was 20-something). I don’t have an uncle but I do have an unmarried aunt (not divorced; she never married). I always liked her. Our discussions were always pleasant and she sometimes made me realize something about the world before my parents did so. But the Holy Father is not a holy uncle. A parent is a person who sometimes forbids things and who is thought (by his/her family) to be able to overcome the obstacles posed by different challenges of this world and to lead the family safely to a harbour (before another storm comes). Uncles seem nice. But uncles mostly chatter. They give some nice remarks and smiles but are not resposible nor feel responsible for the nephews. It is their parents who are responsible. While my parents were definitely too strict (I did not realize that with 15 or 20: it is the age when you think everyone is too strict, i realized that when i bacame a father myself). We probably seek an avuncular pope, a person that would allow us to do more than we should. a person who would be too scrupulous to stop us sometimes. No, a pope shoud be a father to the people, not a nice uncle without responsibility. Of course, a father can be a good or a bad one and his relationship with children can be good or bad. But certainly more complex than that between an uncle and his nephews.
    Of course, I did not mean at any point that Ratzinger is a good father and Roncalli an irresponsible uncle. i meant only that WE seek an uncle instead of a father.
    And yes, I like Ravasi’s face.
    They say he may be the new archbishop of Milan?

  11. Glad you agree with me about Ravasi having a kind, avuncular face.
    It is a shame that you did not have an uncle.
    Uncles don’t have to be those that chatter and indulge you. They can be very strong, disciplined individuals that guide you by example, words, acts, approachability, kindness and even lectures on behavior.
    I was blessed to have a bunch of uncles that shaped my life. One married to my aunt, an engineer, tutored me in math — 2 -3 times a week in the evenings. I was young. I hated it. We fought. I threw tantrums. But, he still taught me. I still think of him with gratitude today. I had an uncle who was a doctor, who delivered me, and took care of my health while I lived in Ceylon. Amazing person. He is the one who did the fire walking. He set up a private orphanage. It is because of him that I did become a doctor! he used to take me on his rounds. I didn’t like what I saw. He LOVED life. Was always fun. Life was for living. I have many of his traits. [My father is full of gravitas.]
    I had another uncle. Again a person married to an aunt. He was a Burgher (Dutch decent within Ceylon), thus very fair in skin color, a Baptist and a lawyer. [He was actually the lawyer for the Ministry of food]. They didn’t have children. My aunt was assistant principal in Ceylon’s most prestigious boys school, Royal College. [All my cousins went there. My father didn’t send me there, because of my aunt.]
    Though I was the youngest among some 20 odd [and very odd indeed] nieces and nephews (my mother, though not Catholic, was one of 9) this lawyer uncle and my aunt took a shine to me when I was just a baby.
    Father in Sinhalese is ‘Tatta’ (testifying to our Aryan roots, because this, to my amazement, is also more or less the same as the Yiddish word).
    My parents were busy. I was really brought up by my grandmother, who lived with us. This uncle and aunty came around 3-4 times a week.
    I started calling him ‘Ta’. A made up name. I was like 1 year. The first two letters of ‘Tatta’. Nobody had ever used that word. I was MADE.
    But, really it was my first two words that changed my life.
    Per family lore, the first two words I ever spoke were said to be ‘Ambili Amma’ — moon mother in PALI! Though both my parents were Pali scholars, Pali is not something spoken at home.
    So at ~9 months, I start using these two classical words to refer to my grandmother — who did have a round, pale face, like a moon. [I called her that, or just ‘Ambili’ for the rest of her life.]
    In a superstitious culture, that believes in reincarnation — I was MADE.
    My grandmother, a matriarch of a very powerful family, that for a time ran the country — immediately mandated that I was the anointed. [This boy speaks in tongues.] Rest is history.
    So … uncles. Ta.
    I have many of his traits too. My father instilled a love of books in me. Most of my other traits I got from my uncles.
    Sorry, to bore you with these stories … but I am still drinking my 2nd cup of coffee. So this is still idle time.
    Thanks & Cheers.

  12. Wow. Pretty heavy stuff. Never heard that before. Thank you.

  13. Anura,

    Here are two insightful articles about Ravasi:



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