Father Anthony’s pictures from the November 20, 2010 cardinal creating consistory.
Father Anthony’s initial reflections from attending the November 20, 2010 consistory.
Father Anthony’s post consistory notes. November 28, 2010.
Papabili 2011 (the next pope 2011) — the current thinking, by Anura Guruge. Jan. 4, 2011.
To my mind there is an interesting comparison to be made with the election of Cardinal Pacelli in 1939. Both Pacelli and Ratzinger were exceptional men who had held the highest offices under their immediate predecessor. Both were very well known among their colleagues, and were highly respected. We know that there was a minority among the Italian Cardinals who did not believe that Pacelli had the strength to be Pope at a time of crisis such as the coming world war. He was felt to be too timid, and too cautious for such an office at such a time. This group resisted voting for him right to the end. The myth that he was elected by a quasi unanimous vote is not true. Nonetheless there remained a significant minority who did not vote for the future Pius XII.
Was it not the case in 2005 that a significant minority remained opposed to the election of Ratzinger? If we are to believe the “revelations” of an unknown Cardinal, his final tally of votes was 84; enough but only just enough for election.
I would argue that Both Pacelli and Ratzinger were elected because they were outstanding personalities, and had a considerable measure of support from the outset. I would agree with Father Peter’s view that personality will always be a key issue. I do not know either Ouellet or Sandri, and so cannot comment, but would love to know more from those who have had personal contact with them.
Regarding the age of candidates, I must distinguish between what I think should happen and what will happen. I am not happy that we should have increasingly older men in positions of leadership. I recognize that there are some outstanding people in their seventies and eighties, but they are the exception rather than the rule. The Church, as I see it, needs men who are strong enough to take on the demands of leadership, and who have sufficient vision to be able to contemplate the changes demanded by new situations. This will open up the possibility of Papal resignation. In his recent interview Benedict XVI recognizes that this could happen, and that in some situations it should happen.
I would not want to argue with the names being put forward, but I wonder if we will not face a conclave where there will be no obvious choice. This could lead to a longer conclave, not necessarily a bad thing, and the gradual emergence of a suitable candidate. I do not see at the present moment either a Pacelli or a Ratzinger.
I will be interested in people’s reactions to these thoughts. Meanwhile I pray for all who are readers of this site. May God bless each of you.
Submitted by e-mail on Friday, January 7, 2011 in response to Anura Guruge’s comment on Cardinal Bertone:
His time as Secretary of State has been a difficult one.
I would not include him in my list of Papabili. I believe that he is very good as a radio commentator on football. That may not be enough…