Sep 102010

Click to read the notes, if you like.

On Sept. 5, 2010, I gave you a heads up as soon as I became aware that credible sources were talking about a November 2010 consistory to create a crop of new cardinals.

Since then the chatter (part of it no doubt in response to the interest generated by my post) has grown and many are getting convinced that we will see a cardinal creating consistory on November 20, 2010 or thereabouts.

Having a cardinal creating consistory in November or December of 2010 is mindless … unless the pope is willing to go back on his word or change the ‘numbers’ — given that the numbers are totally arbitrary.

There is ONLY one, and ONLY ONE, LOGICAL rationale for a November or December 2010 consistory to create new cardinals.

That rationale being the attempt to avert the potential psychological impact within the Church of seeing the number of cardinal electors drop below 100. [cf. stock market index support levels.] As rationales go, this is pretty flaccid. As I have pointed out, the conclave that elected John XXIII (#262) only had 51 electors. That which elected Paul VI (#263) 80. There were only 62 electors present at the 1939 conclave that elected Pius XII (#261). Moreover, let us not kid ourselves. Benedict XVI (#266) adding new electors is hardly going to change the overall makeup of the electorate! It isn’t as if he has to bolster the ranks of the traditionalist so that they stand a chance against the moderate faction.

Here is the problem with a November or even December 2010 cardinal creating consistory.

Six (6) cardinals will turn 80 between January 26, 2011 and April 11, 2011.

So five months after a 2010 consistory we will be down at least 6 cardinal electors — and that is ASSUMING no other attrition. And here is the kicker. After April 11th, we go a FULL seven (7) months before we have one of today’s cardinal electors turn 80. So, a pre-Easter consistory, given that I think Easter is on April 24, makes much more sense.

The pope has at least TWO (2) options to overcome the rapid depletion problem if he is hell bent on having a November (or December) 2010 cardinal creating consistory:

  1. Pull a John Paul II (#265) and create MORE THAN 120 electors — though Benedict XVI, at his first consistory in 2006, volunteered, on his own volition (with no outside pressure whatsoever), that he intends to always stay within the 120 elector limit. Remember that in 2003, John Paul II had 135 cardinal electors! Yes, 15 over the limit. In 2001, he tried it out by having 128. So, Benedict, if he has the chutzpah, should create enough cardinals so that we have at least 126. Then let time and age trim the numbers, which was John Paul’s tactic (even though he wasn’t, by 2003, in the best of health). [This approach does, of course, assume that the pope continues in good health.]
  2. The other option, in my opinion long overdue, is to raise the 120 limit, arbitrarily created by Paul VI 37 years ago. There is no biblical, doctrinal or even historic basis for 120 (though there was for the prior 70 limit). So why be constrained by an arbitrary ceiling. Bump it up to 130 or even 135, if there is really a feeling that well over 100 cardinals have to participate in a conclave to give it legitimacy.

The above two options are the LEAST that the pope should contemplate. Ideally, we needs to revisit the whole notion of the College. Remember that between 1586 and 1958, i.e., for 372 years, the size of the College, in total, was capped at 70 — the 70 indeed having some biblical basis. Adding new cardinals, as the number of non-elector cardinals grow is CRAZY. By November 2010 we could have 78 non-electors. Just 52 years ago we couldn’t even have so many cardinals in total. This pope, but most likely the next, has to tackle this problem. The current parameters are those created by John XXIII and Paul VI, to some extent, compliment Vatican II. It is time for some reform. Some restraint. Some reality. I will talk about this within the month. But, I would like YOU to also think about it.

Thank you. Cheers.

Anura Guruge

  75 Responses to “November 20, 2010 Consistory? Timing Could NOT Be Worse.”

  1. Thanks Anura for my much looked forward forgiveness. now Keith….that’s a new one!!!!! though I have heard many different versions of my name!!!!

    Keith (LOL)

  2. Anura, you are watching too much MSNBC! I do not have a privileged life and I my healthcare is not paid for. I have gone days without medications because I cannot afford the co-pay (it has doubled since the infamous healthcare bill passed!) As did my medical visits, which I also cannot afford since I live on a very limited income. I cannot enjoy collecting unemployment for 3 years without looking for a job. Obama wants to give everything away. He has a Robin Hood complex. He is very far to the left. He is spending money we don’t have. And, I really don’t care to go on any further on this website about Obama – but to say, thank God that presidents, unlike popes, are voted in for a term. And, with the Divine help of the Holy Spirit, Sarah Palin and Glen Beck – he will not be re-elected.

    I will contemplate other issues here, such as voting ages of cardinals, but I will NOT talk politics again. I do not live a privileged life. I never have. I come from a blue collar ethnic neighborhood in the inner city. I also never thought I would see the day when I had wished Hillary Clinton was president!

  3. Dear Father,
    I am very sorry and distressed to hear about your situation. Yes, I watch a LOT of MSNBC and CNBC. Though not a Republican, I wake, each weekday, at 7:56am, to CNBC … which is my alarm clock. That way I can get the market rundown at 8am. Then for the next 1 hour and 15 minutes I switch between MSNBC & CNBC — sometimes watching them both using PIP.
    But, I researched the benefits of Catholic priests. It says AVERAGE SALARY is $70,000 — and like with any average that means there are people making much more and much less. It also says HEALTH INSURANCE.
    Here are some links from University CAREER boards as opposed to MSNBC:

    IF YOUR greedy, blood sucking INSURANCE company raised your co-pays WHY THE HECK is that Obama’s fault? He tried to get us a Public Option. Opt into MedicAid. The Republicans killed that.

    So father, if YOU have nothing to give, why are YOU so worried about Obama trying to give it away. YES, we will NOT talk politics anymore. Good idea. But, in your second sentence YOU ANSWERED a question — I was going to ask you yesterday in a private e-mail. That was: have you missed taking your medication? Well, PLEASE don’t miss taking the medication.

    MAYBE … we can ask for DONATIONS for YOU here. Maybe we could get Marko B. to send it to you from Croatia. I bet it is cheaper there than your copay. But, would that be too socialistic. Maybe, Glen Beck will put you on his payroll — as his adviser on sex scandals.

    Peace. Keep on taking the medication. It is good for you.

    SMILE. Best medicine of all.
    P.S., must go and watch some MSNBC & CBNC.

  4. Dear Anura,

    you asked how many Americans do not have any kind of health care (meaning they have no coverage). I think it is 30 millions, i.e. 10% of the population, which is a huge number.
    Am I right?

    I said in my previous post regarding Obama that I speak with political-cultural bias of a person who lives in a former communist country.
    I also must admit that while I may indeed be an insufferable, arrogant bastard (like you used to be 20 or 30 years ago),I definitely do not make more money
    than I know what to do with. I also admit that I could sacrifice the time I spend with my family and probably earn some 30%-50% more than
    I earn (or at least I could do it before the economic crisis came 2 years ago).

    You looked up the demographics of Croatia. Indeed, small population, half the size of New York City. One cardinal (Josip Bozanic, archbishop of Zagreb).
    Plus one possible future cardinal, Nikola Eterovic (see Fr. John’s list).
    Considering some reform of the College of cardinals proposed here, where there could be e.g. one cardinal per each 10 million people, Croatia would have no cardinal.
    However, Zagreb has been a cardinal see since Pius IX, almost at the same time when the diocese was elevated to the level of archdiocese
    (this was a major political issue at the time).

    Back to Obama and healthcare. Croatia has an old population.
    There is only 1.3 working persons per each retired person! I receive 54% of my gross income. Some 14,6% goes to the basic healh insurance. This used to be
    universal healh insurance. No you have to pay some additional 20$ (cheap indeed) per month to get the universal insurance. Other 17% go to pension fund. Only a quarter of
    that pension money goes to my personal pension account; the other three-quarters go to the solidarity fund, which means that
    current pensions are financed by this money. First, the number of children in Croatia is very small and the population is decreasing. Second, many people were
    previously allowed to retire after working only for 25 or 30 years while being penalized by only several percents smaller pension. Those persons, mostly female, were victims
    of the communist “age of industrialization”: born as peasants, spending their life working in factories and retiring when becoming grand-parents in order to
    take care of their grand-children.
    You may wonder why would they do this, since pension is significanly lower than employee’s payment. Well, you get time and time is also money.
    And, as I have already said: “you cannot pay us as much as we can reduce our working time”.
    Since the demographic problem increases, people retiring now receive some 70% of the pensions they would receive
    retiring 25 years ago. The supreme court event claimed this unconstitutional, but the parliament (including all parties) postpones the just solution.
    Since three quarters of money I pay to the pension funds is spent now, I expect not to receive any pension when my time comes. Really. I perceive this three quarters of
    17% of my gross income as a mere tax. Not as a guaranteee for future. Next, I pay another 14,4% percent of my gross income as income tax.
    We have an inefficient pension and healthcare system which makes 46% of my gross income disappear. This is a terrible burden, both for employers and for employees.

    With the basic+additional=universal healthcare system, I theoreticaly have access to every medical service or procedure.
    In reality, the waiting lists are endless. If you need a mamography, you can wait for 6 months. You probably die before these 6 month expire.
    You have some other type of cancer. Capacities for radiation treatments in state hospitals are limited. I board of doctors suggests which patients will
    receive the radiation treatments, and which will die. Certainly, after bribing you receive your treatment.
    Certain doctors ask for bribe if you need an emergency surgery.
    However, if you need to “jump” on the waiting lists, you can bribe a local clerk for much smaller amounts. Of course, more skillful
    doctors are not paid more than not so skillful ones.
    There is still the feudal habit of bringing a bottle of wine to a male or parfume to a female doctor when you go to a procedure.
    No one asks, but it is a habit. Some doctors hate it since it makes them feel actually cheap.Health is not purchased by a bottle of wine.
    An example of spending money recklessly: my son (1 year old at that time) had to give a urine sample. The hospital does not allow us to take the sample anywhere else (including a private lab),
    or have it analyzed at a private lab.
    Why? Because they earn more from the public healthcare system for thatb sampling than the sampling costs at a private lab. He had to urinate into a small plastic bag.
    Of course, one-year-old children cannot give the sample in a reasonably short time. While urinating, he also defecated. I reported this to the nurse, fearing that the sample
    would be contaminated. She refused to repeat. The sample was analyzed and found contaminated. next, i had to visit his pediatrician to give me another prescription
    for sampling and the state healthcare system had to pay an additional sampling and an additional analysis.

    And I think indeed that every American should get a minimum healthcare. The problem is who states what that minimum is.
    I do not disapprove of “Obamacare”. I disapprove more of his stimulus packages. There have been many such packages in Croatia
    during the lastb 15 years. Always in order to “save the existing jobs and create more”. With the state depth increasing.
    Today, our economy is not better and our state depth is much larger.

    And I think that your words to Fr. John:
    > Stimulus plan to rejuvenate the US economy? Heck no. Screw the poor.
    > We are ONLY interested in RICH Catholics that can maintain our luxurious lifestyle. Got it.
    really bring nothing to defence of Obama’s stimulus packages, but only seem to be an attack ad hominem.

  5. @ Fr. John

    Papal elections every fifth year? Every tenth year? How much would that cost? Do you expect faithfull parishioners to pay for it?
    I think American presidential elections are the most expensive show in the world. Democracy is expensive.

    Fr. john, do you really think that nothing in the world can exists without democracy? Remember that Germans elected Hitler. Not exacly Hitler, but he came into power as the prime minister of a coalition government.
    The biggest failure of american politics is that you think all societies and organizations work best in a democracy. Not true at all.

  6. Dear Marko, Marko, Marko,
    You are a BRILLIANT man! Your grasp and insights into so many global issues, at YOUR tender age, boggles my mind.
    So much we can talk about. So much we can discuss. But, per Fr. John’s suggestion itself, I SUGGEST that we ALL stop discussing secular politics on this BLOG … right after this post. OK? Yes?
    I grew up in a very political family. My father, a consummate politician, like all politicians, was into memorable soundbites. When I was quite young, maybe even ~3, he told me: ‘you can learn your name by looking it up in the newspapers.’
    That was double-edged! Did I ever tell you that my very, very first career was as a full-frontal model? Yep, 8 years. OK. OK. The picture was taken when I was ONE and they air-brushed off my ‘thingy.’ DAMN. [[I thought I had it on the Web. I will post it on one of my other Web sites — one of these days]. My picture as ‘baby Guruge’ appeared in all 9 (maybe 12) daily papers in Ceylon (in English, Sinhalese and Tamil). So there was always at least ONE mention of ‘Guruge’ in every paper. But, my father’s name also appeared, near daily. Though he didn’t always have a picture of him — in the nude! So, yes, I am used to the hurly-burly of political and public life. Oh. I was the Lactogen Baby for the Swiss Lactogen company. They have since gone belly up. Most likely because they used me!
    Marko, my heart BLEEDS for young folks like you in IT today! Unless, you create something like Facebook it is difficult to make the big bucks. In the early 1990s we had stock options. I, by no means, made a killing on options, like some … but, for 20 minutes work, on a Sunday, I made enough on Cisco stock options than you are likely to earn in 5 years working in a normal IT job. The 1970s and 1980s were even better. Just straight salary. I joined IBM on August 27, 1974, with a B.Sc. in Computer Technology. I was still 20. In the next 9 months, I was getting a pay rise nearly every month. Then they did something REAL CREATIVE, to give IBM UK employees another big pay rise — bypassing the UK government rules (at that time, to curb inflation). This was GENIUS. They paid as for the past month on Friday as normal. Then on Sat. they changed the rules. Rather than being paid in arrears (i.e., after you have worked) as is the norm, starting Monday they were going to pay us a month ahead (i.e., on trust, for work we still hadn’t done). So on Friday we got one check. On Monday we got a second check for the same amount. Since this was the UK, we used to have a very liquid 3 to 3.5 hour lunch. We were in no condition to do any real work for 2 hours after that … other than sit around and chat. But, come 5pm we would have recovered. So we would all work till 7pm … before going to the pub again. But, the two hours after 5pm was overtime. Life in IT, in the 1970s and 1980s was great. Margins were between 60 to 80%. I left IBM to work for ITT. Because corporate tax was so high in the UK, ITT UK was run at a loss, so that not only would they not pay any British tax, they could write off the British loss against their US tax liability. Trust me. There is NOTHING LIKE sitting at a management meeting, in early January, to be told: “OK, our goal for this year is to lose 40 million pounds.” I think I mentioned, that as the Customer Support Manager, I had a no questions asked expense account. My monthly belly dancing dinner for customers was renowned, and customers groveled to be included. Then I went into sales and marketing for a company called CASE. They had huge margins. I was good. That is how I ended up in the US. Both ITT and CASE paid me even if I sneezed. (I won’t go into other bodily function). Those were the days, my lad. IT was great. Company cars with everything paid. Per diem (for lunch and dinner every day). Private health insurance. Etc. Etc. I won’t even go into some of the other benefits we had access to because they were definitely not Catholic. Well, at ITT and CASE, you needed certain ‘resources’ to make sure you always won the deal. When I came to the US, as a Director of Marketing, I had a reputation, of being extremely skilled at allocating the resources available to win large deals — and we are talking multi-million dollar deals.
    So I do genuinely feel bad for young folks in today’s IT and marketing. I did a lot of work for Cisco. Wow. Cisco, in 1995-1997. You have NO IDEA.
    Anyway, enough nostalgia. This was just to explain … why it is difficult to live the lifestyle that we enjoyed 20-30 years ago.
    Your 30 million uninsured is VERY, VERY good. Bravo. You are very well informed.
    But that number was in March 2010. It is now 50 million … which is why I had looked up the population of Croatia. 10 times your population.
    These people have NO INSURANCE.
    Some would gladly wait 6 months.
    Marko, Sri Lanka has nationalized health, education and transport.
    I am a Brit. True, I haven’t experienced the British system of late. Last time was on a Sunday, c. 1990. I had been living in the US for 4 years. I was in the UK to do a seminar. Had my wife and daughter. My parents came over from Paris. We were out in the New Forest. I tried to jump a ditch and twisted my knee. Went to the hospital. Since I was living in the US … I tried to show them that I was a Brit. They didn’t want to know. They treated all. They fixed me up.
    About 5 years earlier … it might have been a Saturday … I dislocated a thumb on a dry ski slope. I was operated upon within 4 hours.
    Canada has national health system too.
    But, we are not going to talk politics … after this.
    Marko, as I always tell people … I am not totally stupid. Just partially stupid. I would never mount an ad hominem attack on a Catholic priest, in this case dear Father John. [I know Father John. He is Italian and he has ‘contacts.’ Wink. Wink. Nudge. Nudge.] If you really look at it attacking Obama is ad hominem. Yes, I was reacting. Maybe, I went to far. But I am not a priest or a saint. Just a struggling mortal trying to defend those that can’t adequately defend themselves.

    But … lets not talk politics. I love politics. In my blood. But, this is NOT the right forum.

    So PEACE to all. Goodwill to all. I will keep my political opinions to myself.

    SMILE. It is good for you.

    I am still amazed by YOUR depth and breadth of knowledge. When I was your age … I was ONLY interested in one thing.

    Marko, at this rate, YOU could be Secretary General of the UN or, if you want, President of Croatia. (Will you still have to pay $20 more for Universal Health Care even if you were President). I will vote for you. (Do you have electronic voting machines and can they be rigged?).

    LAUGH. Enjoy. How is that 2 month old?

    Yours truly,
    [P.S., I have to go write a book on Dwarf Planets.]

  7. Kenny (and possibly Fr. John),
    I am confused.
    I refer to the section that goes: “Anura, As for MR, I agree with what you stated. He will receive the red hat for his conservative nature and for being an ardent supporter of Benedict. If you look at a historical viewpoint, every secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments (CDW) …”
    Who is ‘MR’?
    When did I talk about an ‘MR’?
    Current Secretary of CDW is Joseph Augustine Di Noia.
    Is that ‘MR’?
    Please explain?
    Was this something that MAYBE Father John stated.
    I am confused. What are we talking about here.
    Thanks & Cheers

  8. It is probably Malcolm Ranjith.

  9. Thank YOU, Marko B.
    Now it makes sense ….
    Few things conspired to confuse me.
    I do NOT think of him as ‘M.R.’ — actually I think of very few people in terms of their initials or acronym — other than a few popes (e.g., JP 1).
    Plus … and don’t laugh … it is a NATIONAL thing … I think of him more in terms of Albert PATABENDIGE Don — the DON being most important. [A quick cultural lessons. His name is a very CURIOUS combination of Sinhalese and European names. I think Patabendige is his village name. Ranjit is Sinhalese. But, I like the Don — I had a NUMBER of uncles who had Don in their names.]

    Now, the real crux. I do NOT think of him as being in line to be a cardinal! That is what threw me all together. I kept on thinking who the heck is ‘M.R.’ that I thought is in line for the Red.

    Plus, I had NOT spoken about it on this blog — in a post or as a comment.

    I had in an e-mail to Kenny, us Sri Lankans both, said that IF Albert Patabendige Don is, by some miracle, created (and I had meant way, way in the future rather than at the next consistory) IT would be because he is very much a conservative.

    Right now I do not think the pope has enough slots to give onto Sri Lanka … unless he really, really wants another ultraconservative on the bench.

    Many other countries more deserving right now.

    Yes, we have had a cardinal. Interesting timing. Most of you probably have not even heard the term. This was when Ceylon was a VERY IMPORTANT Non-Aligned nation. Height of the cold war. Countries aligned to one side or another — and then the Non-Aligned nations — Ceylon, given its geographic location and Trincomale, a natural harbor to die for, being very key among these. In the late 50s and 60s Ceylon got a lot of attention, from all over, because of this Non-Aligned status. I think … I could be wrong … that this is what got us Thomas Benjamin Cooray as a cardinal (European names, though Cooray is an old family name — which I think may have come from the Portuguese. Not sure.)

    So that is the story. Hope that is clear.

    Thank YOU.

  10. Paul’s last laugh!

    The voting age cutoff of 80 for Cardinal electors was an innovation by Paul VI. During the General Sessions of the Cardinals after his death but before the conclave, those very cardinals made a last ditch effort to discard the new policy, these were the very same Curia Cardinals that Paul had in mind when he penned this policy. During his pontificate, he felt suffocated by these cardinals who ran the show. He agonized about decisions based on having to live and work with these guys. He wanted to guarantee that their influence would not haunt his successor. More notably, he wanted to make sure that THEY did not chose his successor. That, was the last thing he tried to exhort control over. The last decision that he didn’t have to deal with their criticism. Paul’s choice was clearly Albino Luciani. However, had they (the octogenarians) been able to deliberate and vote, his chances of becoming the eventual Pope would have diminished. John Paul I (and even II) was no ones puppet. The Curia wanted an Italian puppet. Paul was wise, but he wasn’t thick-skinned.

    The policy has been useful and there is no current push to revive it on any front.

    Organizational Development would say that if one is looking to revise voting policy, do not look to revert to older customs or revise practices, rather, look towards innovation. Start from scratch.

    Maybe one day, the election of the pope will be influenced by Facebook. Look what it did for octogenarian Betty White!!! (Pope Betty Albino)

  11. Dear Anura,

    I meant Malcolm Ranjith, former Secretary of CDW.


  12. Kenny,
    I just replied to Marko B. — who also put me straight on that.

    PLEASE read comment. You will understand why I was confused.

    Thank YOU. All is clear. Cheers.

  13. Father John,
    What YOU claim in the 2nd para is very misleading! Sorry.

    I very rarely like to contradict you outright (preferring banter and humor), but in this instance …

    The 1978 conclaves were held per Paul VI’s 1975 Romano Pontifici Eligendo constitution (which was written after the 80 year cut off edict, with the pope very aware that cardinals might try to circumvent his new rule).

    Father, you may want to read this in the original Latin, but … please check:

    Please, read and re-read clauses 2 & 4. Note, if they tried to change the 80 law the election was automatically NULLIFIED.

    No can do. Yes, the elderly cardinals may have talked about it … but the law is the law. So … PLEASE.

    His goal was to disqualify 25 … elderly cardinals … known to be ant-Vatican II. Please see Page 122 of my book. I do not think they were all curial. Check this list:

    Many Latin American cardinals etc. Yes, he wanted to sideline 25 elderly cardinals to give a LIBERAL a better chance.

    Luciani was NOT CLEARLY Paul’s choice! PLEASE show me one reliable reference to this OTHER than your buddy Lucien … and as far as Lucien is concerned:

    Check Greeley. He was in Rome and his mission was to predict the pope. If Luciani was Paul’s favorite choice Greeley who spent 14 months … prior to the election … working on papabili … missed it.

    Check my page 254. Luciani was NOT included by the bookmakers! Seems strange if he was known to be Paul’s clear choice. PLEASE … if you are claiming this … please provide reliable references.

    [[Smile]] There is already a Facebook page called ‘The Next Pope’ [[smile]] Not mine. I can’t even post on it since I do not have a Facebook account. I am too old for Facebook. This is my wife’s doing … She thinks I should have Facebook visibility.

    Sorry to openly disagree with YOU. But, I do know a few things about papal election law and lore and what happened, in detail, in the last 15 conclaves.


  14. I think Malcolm stands a pretty fair chance of being named a cardinal. He has practically made every list.

  15. He has made every list.
    But from what I remember he was in the 2nd tier of the Italian list.

    I just checked YOURS. He is in the 3rd tier. Are YOU now REVISING that to put Ranjith as a definite … your YELLOW background.

    PLEASE … at least on this blog and in e-mail to me PLEASE do not refer to him PURELY as ‘Malcolm’! There is only one ‘Malcolm’ in my life and he died, tragically, very young — and I thought that I too would die in the next 12 months. Huge psychosomatic, sympathetic symptoms. My ‘Malcolm’ was world class.

    I was there the day he made he debut for Hampshire. (No, no. Not the new one. The old, original one in England.) He was 18 and was feeling the cold. He dropped a catch. I, a member, shouted out: “Give him a bucket”. People laughed. He looked mortified. When he died, I posted a note apologizing for that remark.

    So PLEASE … only ONE Malcolm in my life. Very good looking too.

  16. Fr John,

    Yes Malcolm Ranjith will definitely make the cut in the next consistory, I’ll bet on it any given time. I have clearly mentioned the reasons too in some earlier posts. Besides He is multi-lingual and the list includes languages of some European countries.

    Having served in the Curia, he is a known personality among some Cardinals in the College. Note that at his invitation some Key Cardinals in the likeness of Arinze, Cañizares Llovera have visited his Archdiocese and Shonborn is slated next. He’s personally well known by the Pope for being conservative and as a strong backer of him too.

  17. You do know that he is in the 3rd tier of Fr. John’s list right now. I have asked when the list will be updated.
    I am seriously going to think about taking a bet with you on this.
    [[ Smile ]]

  18. Anura,

    I know he’s on the third tier in the list, but against all odds he will make it. As for the bet, how about buying some land in Canada as mentioned by you earlier and experience some -35 weather in winter? LOL

    Now Cricket??? How many have heard that as a sport in North America? Ah the true Englishman’s game!


  19. Kenny,
    Further to e-mail, St. Malachy Prophecy and Pope Peter The Roman Proponents … OF COURSE I have covered it … and debunked it, factually, with more conviction that others. You REALLY should read my entire corpus of work on the popes. I have at least 3 other papal blogs.
    Start with this post:

    Then read this:

    There is also another post referred in there.

    Kenny, we have ALSO visited papabile cardinals named ‘Peter’ with one person even going as far as pointing out that my #1 pick’s MIDDLE name is ‘Pedro’ (Peter). You will see that in my book, ‘Peter the Roman’ is in the same category as ‘pigs will fly.’ WILL NOT HAPPEN. I can take a bet with you on this too … but do YOU own one of the Canadian territories at least … so as to keep it interesting? Frozen tundra really is of little interest to me. But, I would consider a few hundred acres of Canadian oil sands. [[ smile ]]

    Cricket. Not many have heard. Saw in a newspaper, earlier this week, that the term ‘home run’ originated in cricket! But, there is more cricket played in the US than most would realize … particularly in places with large Commonwealth immigrant populations — though alas, thanks to American TV picked up via satellite, many kids in the Caribbean have abandoned cricket for basketball! It is also a path for them to become professionals in this country. But there are ACTIVE cricket leagues in Boston (lots of Brits, Oz and brown folks like us), D.C. (lots of everything), N.Y., N.J. — and Hollywood as a famed cricket club that is over 100 years old. Look it up. Lot of famous actors belonged. Must go. Must translate the distances of the dwarf planets from AUs to miles.

    Thanks & Cheers
    P.S., you really should buy my book. Available from Amazon Canada:

  20. Anura, the picture of Paul placing his papal stole on Albino Luciani in Venice, accompanied by the words, doesn’t that look good, is a historical fact. It cannot be disputed. He was clearly his choice. It is mentioned several other places and I will find the references. What is your problem with Albino? Why do you buy into the Vatican propaganda about him being unfit to be Pope? Greeley also did not have Cardinal Karol on his list. He was just as a surprise as was Albino. Whats up with that? What’ up with that? (Sorry, just watched Saturday Night Live) also, in the last conclave, very few, had Ratzinger on the their last (until the last minute when rumors started to circulate).
    Also, the Cardinals have the power to overturn the rules for they are the governing body interregnum. They voted against the proposal and to up-hold Paul’s rules.

  21. Dear Fr. John,
    I love Luciani. PERIOD.
    I do not buy into any Vatican propaganda — even if they tried to pay me to buy into it. [[It would be NICE if they would try. Hint, hint. Yes, they do read this. SMILE]]
    I think he was an inspirational pope and would have done GREAT THINGS. So, please …
    Any pope who went on record saying that RICH churches should give 10% of their wealth to the poor is FINE BY ME.
    He sold treasures from St. Mark’s to support the poor.
    ALSO Louise Brown. YOU are probably too young to remember that. Plus, it probably wasn’t reported in the US papers … because it didn’t happen in the US. She was BRITISH.
    You know where this is going …
    Cardinal Albino Luciani’s words about her were MAGIC. My type of guy.
    Warm, passionate, principled and with socialist leanings. Way to go.
    I think he was GREAT. He would have done J23 proud.
    So after saying all of that …
    All I am taking exception was HIS PAPABILE status.
    Paul VI and the stole incident was in LATE 1972. Three months before he was made a cardinal in 1973. I doubt whether Paul VI or anybody else was THINKING of succession at that point.
    PLEASE do some research. I have. I have read Greeley’s ‘Making of the 1978 Popes’ twice … and skimmed it again today. (Father I have hopes that YOU could, with my help or hindrance, become Greeley Mk. II, but I think you will have to become even more worldly. I am reading one of his FICTION books, for light relief, right now. What a guy. He appears to like women even more than I do and that is saying something!)
    The bookmakers in 1978 did NOT have odds for Cardinal Albino Luciani. He himself went on record saying that he was in the C-list. IF he was Paul VI’s preferred, the bookmakers, if nobody else, would have picked it up.
    Now … and I apologize in advance.
    You are WRONG. WRONG and WRONG again. [[Other than that you are GOOD]]
    Father, please go by the facts … not Saturday Night Live.
    PaddyPower had Ratzinger as #2! So for you to say he was an outsider is ….
    Actually Greeley had Wojtyla as an INFLUENTIAL cardinal even prior to the August 1978 conclave. After Pope John Paul I’s death, Greeley MOST certainly had Wojtyla as the ONLY viable non-Italian.
    All of this is OK …
    But …
    “Also, the Cardinals have the power to overturn the rules for they are the governing body interregnum.”
    I am NOT even going to dignify that claim with a rebuttal.
    IF you truly believe that … you must also believe in the tooth fairy.
    PEACE. I will hold my piece.
    I will close with THE motto by which I have lived MY life for the last 30 years: ‘If you lose all your wealth, you have lost nothing; if you lose your health, you have lost something … BUT IF you lose your CREDIBILITY, you have LOST everything!’
    I am off to the circus.
    I have stop spending time on this papal stuff.
    Dwarf planets are my new poison. Was calculating their orbital distances last night. Much more fun that keeping track of how many cardinals are over 92.
    Thanks & Cheers

  22. I talked about Louise Brown just yesterday — relative to John Paul I’s enlightened comments, albeit when he was still a cardinal.
    This morning I saw that Robert Edwards, the British Pioneer of IVF, had been awarded a Nobel Price for medicine. I was VERY HAPPY on multiple fronts. [Yes, yes, he is a Brit too.]
    I also knew, viscerally, that the Vatican would embarrass itself. [I have a knack to anticipate such things. 8 hours BEFORE the uproar I told people that there would be complaints that Obama swatted and killed a fly during an NBC interview. I was right.]
    FOOT IN MOUTH again … by the Vatican. Please see:
    The pope may not appreciate it, but he is supposed to also be CEO, of Vatican Inc.
    He just got back from Britain.
    He should have, if he was on the ball, instructed all to let this one go. As my wife tells me often, when it comes to the kids, lets pick the battles we want to fight.
    This was not necessary. At a time when the Vatican is under siege again, with banking scandals (again) and folks trying to sue the pope, this was not a fray that the Vatican should have entered.
    They really have no clue when it comes to PR. They really should hire me to guide them on PR.
    No wonder so many young folks think the Vatican is irreverent and irrelevant.

    P.S., Hey, Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, explain the difference between IVF and pace makers. How come at least one of your cardinals, viz. Pat O’Brien, is strutting around with a pace maker. What is the difference. IVF is a godsend for many. Yes, I had looked into it too. Hypocrisy is never pretty.

    Yet again, shaking my head in bewilderment,

    P.P.S., Fr. John. Theological question for YOU. IF God was against IVF couldn’t he have prevented it from ever ‘taking’. That couldn’t have been that difficult. Please explain.

  23. If I was a fish I would be a cannibal. I eat a lot of fish. [[ smile ]]

  24. Anura, there seems even more stronger vibes for a consistory in Nov, contrary to our early Feb dates. In any case I trust your up on that bet with me?


    p.s. I will write on e-mail.

  25. Time is drawing close for a November consistory to be announced.Putting it off to February would let the cardinal-deacons of the February 2001 consistory have a crack at moving to vacant priestly titles,not sure how much weight is given to that.But whenever the particular dates are,I think there will be two consistories within the next three years,and quite probably two more in the following three.

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