Jan 062011
 

by Father Anthony, STL
Sussex, UK

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.


Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, S.J., papabile in 2005

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, S.J., papabile in 2005

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.
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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.
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Cardinal Eugenio Maria Pacelli, Pope Pius XII (#261)

Cardinal Eugenio Maria Pacelli, Pope Pius XII (#261)

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.
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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.
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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.

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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.

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Submitted by e-mail on Friday, January 7, 2011 in response to Anura Guruge’s comment on Cardinal Bertone:

With regard to Cardinal Bertone:
I should say that whilst there are some comparisons to be made with Cardinal Pacelli in the 1930′s, they do not amount to making him papabile, at least in my mind.
His time as Secretary of State has been a difficult one.
His position with regard to the Italian Government under Silvio Berlusconi is much more supportive than that of the Italian Bishops’ Conference under Cardinal Bagnasco.
His lack of diplomatic experience has been a serious handicap in the view of many observers, and not only in Italy.
Under his direction things in the Secretariat of State have become much more Italian.
It is striking that on a number of important occasions we have had to wait foir the English translation of Papal texts. This did not happen before.
Cardinal Bertone himself does not speak English. This may have been an advantage during the Holy Father’s visit to the UK in September, in that it prevented him from saying anything unfortunate, as he has done on a number of occasions, but it would be serious lack in a Pope for the media age.

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…

PAPABILI 2011

As always, Father Peter’s recent post was extremely interesting. I would certainly agree with the view that the two outstanding candidates in 2005 were Ratzinger and Martini. Although I did not see it at the time, this made the election of Ratzinger almost inevitable. There was no one who could present a serious alternative, and thus Benedict XVI emerged on the 4th ballot.

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 recognise 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 contem

PAPABILI 2011

As always, Father Peter’s recent post was extremely interesting. I would certainly agree with the view that the two outstanding candidates in 2005 were Ratzinger and Martini. Although I did not see it at the time, this made the election of Ratzinger almost inevitable. There was no one who could present a serious alternative, and thus Benedict XVI emerged on the 4th ballot.

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 recognise 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 recognises 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.

PAPABILI 2011

As always, Father Peter’s recent post was extremely interesting. I would certainly agree with the view that the two outstanding candidates in 2005 were Ratzinger and Martini. Although I did not see it at the time, this made the election of Ratzinger almost inevitable. There was no one who could present a serious alternative, and thus Benedict XVI emerged on the 4th ballot.

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 recognise 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 recognises 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.

plate the changes demanded by new situations. This will open up the possibility of Papal resignation. In his recent interview Benedict XVI recognises 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.

  37 Responses to “Papabili 2011 (Possible Next Pope 2011) by Father Anthony”

  1. When I wrote of Cardinal Ratzinger and Cardinal Pacelli as “personailities” I did not mean to imply that they were charismatic figures after the style of John Paul II, but that among a group of rather anonymous people they stood out as men of note. In both 1939 and 2005 no-one needed to ask “who” the new Pope was. They were already well known, and indeed controversial figures in their different ways. Cardinal Martini was the other such personality in 2005. His already poor health made him a highly unlikely choice, but no other Cardinal had the profile of Ratzinger and Martini. The same was true of Pacelli in 1939. He was by far the bets known Cardinal.

    I only met Cardinal Villot once. There was considerable tension between him and Mgr Benelli, who was officially his number 2. I cannot imagine that Villot viewed the prospect of Benelli as Pope with any kind of approval.

    You mention Cardinal Arrinze as a “shoe-in”. That was very much a media image. I did not know many in Rome who really thought it likely. The BBC and the London Times were keen to promote the idea, which tells us how out of touch they actually were.

  2. Dear Father,
    Thank you, again. Multiple points I want to raise, one related to your new comments on Cardinal Bertone which I appended to your post, today [i.e., Jan. 7]

    1/ If we look at today’s ‘personalities’ would Ouellet figure prominently … given that he has an office that has direct, immediate influence over all countries, prelates and in that context also cardinals (given that I trust all cardinals must have favorites from home that they would like to see made bishops).

    2/ Father, did you read pages 199-200 of ‘The Next Pope.’ I talk about the documented story that Villot permitted two 30 minute ‘timeouts’ during the 2nd 1978 conclave — the first of which might have derailed Benelli, his nemesis.

    3/ Yes, it was the British and the Irish media, in particular, who were obsessed with Arinze, BUT even Greeley got sucked into it. Though he was in Rome for the sede vacante (albeit not from day 1) it was quite a few days BEFORE he warmed up to Ratzinger as a papabile — initially dismissing him as too old and authoritative (per his pope’s enforcer role).

    4./ Father, I read and digested your insightful remarks on Bertone. He speaks French, German, Portuguese and Spanish. Hhhhmmm. But, while walking Ulysses, this evening, I was thinking. All your remarks are true and valid, and though you are indeed a part of the fabric, WE are still very much outsiders. What do the European, African, Asian and Latin American cardinals think of Bertone? That is THE question. Think back to Wojtyla. It is what the electors think that matters — and OPUS DEI! Does Bertone sit well with them? Probably not that well, but would they consider him a compromise given that even they probably realize that neither the Little Ratzinger or the Tanner Ratzinger are likely to cut the mustard? I do not know. Just thinking. I do a lot of thinking. That is my hobby and salvation. As it says on my Web site: ‘think free, or die.’
    Thank you father. All the best.
    Anura

  3. The last conclave that lasted for months was that of 1831. In the next, in 1846, Pius IX was elected on the third day, 4th ballot, while the archbishop of Milan was still on his way to Rome, with imperial veto in his pocket against Pius. This shortness was probably a result of avoiding political pressure, but it marked the start of present-day short conclaves. It seems that Leo XIII, Pius XII, Paul VI and Benedict XVI were obvious choices, while Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, John XXIII and both those named John Paul were not.
    The number of ballots is, in my opinion, very important. Three or four ballots show that one candidate was a fronrunner since the start. But is that candidate really one that was widely expected. Let us list the popes from Leo XIII to Benedict XVI and the number of ballots needed for their election (I am giving numbers produce by Salvador Miranda): Leo XIII (3), Pius X (7), Benedict XV (10), Pius XI (14), Pius XII (3), John XXIII (11), Paul VI (6), John Paul I (4), John Paul II (8), Benedict XVI (4). Indeed, Ratzinger was by far the strongest personality among the (let us call it so) conservative majority, as was Pacelli. However, as far as I can remember, most predictions expected him to be the kingmaker (popemaker), not the winner himself. I actualy started with my present attachment to papacy and conclaves during the vacant see of 2005. I was totally ignorant of any other cardinals except Sodano, Ratzinger, Bozanić and Puljić (the last two being of my own ethnicity). During the first days of vacant see I saw many journalist forecasts while outsiders I spoke with were not able to produce candidates. It is my impression indeed that the funeral of John Paul II changed things. Due to the enormous popularity of John Paul II in Croatia (he visited six different dioceses during his three visits in 1994, 1998 and 2003), the funeral was broadcasted live by the state TV channel. After the funeral, complete outsiders started talking whether Ratzinger would be or would not be the new pope. And it seems that cardinals may have thought in a similar manner.
    But I would not say that Ratzinger was such an obviuos choice on the eve of John Paul’s death. It is quite reasonable that Benedict XV and Pius XI implicitely or even explicitely pointed at their eventual successors. Did John Paul II also show his intensions by asking the Dean of the College to write the meditation for the Way of the Cross in Colloseum? Would Ratzinger be elected without the impact of the meditations, which were read less then a month before the conclave started?
    Pius XII and Leo XIII took only three ballots and were both camerlengos.
    What do the numbers (balloits) say of other popes? Paul VI was surely another expected choice but had a bit larger opposition than Ratzinger.
    But what about Luciani? After 4 ballots only?! A quick decision.
    What about Pius X? Only seven ballots for quite a change of the course. It seems that Rampolla not only had the unpleasant veto against him, but also the climate within the College. The chosen secretary of the conclave was not Rampolla’s candidate but Merry del Val y Zulueta, future Secretary of State of Pius X. And every cardinal in the conclave except the Dean was created by Leo XIII.
    My point is that sometimes frontrunners are elected, sometimes not. But some popes were elected within a small number of ballots although not frontrunners. Here I think of Luciani. And, bach to Ratzinger, while he was on all Top 10 llists, I would say that only a handful of both experts and quasiexperts had him in his Top 3.

  4. My friend, Marko,
    So close, BUT no cigar. But, given that you do not have my 2nd papal book, you definitely have an handicap.
    1846 was good and so was the ‘avoiding political pressure,’ BUT you didn’t hit the nail on the head.
    The ‘nail’ here being — the loss of the papal states in 1870. In the book, as you would expect, I have all the interregnum numbers. It is very clear. After the papal states became ‘history,’ conclaves got shorter. Easy to understand. Yes, the political pressure was off. They were no longer ALSO trying to elect a secular leader. So the nationalistic prejudices, France, Spain and ‘Holy Roman,’ started to take a back seat.
    Hope this helps. Cheers.

  5. I think Fr Anthony raises some very valid points here. In particular two: there is no obvious front-runner Cardinal as at january 2011; not one cardinal stands out as BXVI’s successor should he die today. And two, the next conclave could well see many ballots before any one cardinal receives the two thirds majority.
    Fr A also mentions the matter of old or elderly popes and I think he has very valid point here. The energy and charisma of the 58 year old cardinal from Cracow made him a global ‘star’ within years of being elected. And this is the man who used to nip out of the vatican quietly and head for the mountains to ski. when was the last time you heard of Benedict heading for the hills to ski? I can’t think of any pope this century or possibly ever who nipped out under secrecy for a little ski down the Italian slopes.
    But the Church is now entering a new era of global capitalism and nihilism which is going to (if it has not started already) see battle for the soul of humanity. There is going to be a Clash of faith and non-faith, of faith and rampant atheism which will swirl across all countries in which Catholicism is present. We are seeing already the attacks on Christians in the Middle East and the pope has condemned these in his New year’s addresses.
    So, the next pope will have to be a dynamic preacher and missionary not just to Catholics but far across the world, especially to the media and national governments,
    Benedict XVI is a teacher of the highest order. And let me say that were he not the great theological mind that he is, I am not sure he would be making any great impact. He is by nature a shy man, reserved, somewhat distant when met. He does not do hugs and kisses like JPII did. He does not pick up kinds and babies – they are handed to him. He has a secretary who fusses over him far too much in public, something JPII’s never did as the pontiff was very much his own man.
    But lets not race ahead too much. The media will have its usual bets on who will be the next pope. Oh yes, time for an African or an Asian or a South American – but that is not the way the conclave works.
    Some years ago I knew an Italian cardinal who was thought to be papabile after Paul VI died. He was close to the pontiff but was a very excitable man. He had not been a cardinal long yet the media grabbed on to him as one who ‘could be pope’. He died not too many years later and is a forgotten footnote. He never ran a large archdiocese, but he was a very dynamic man.
    But along with Fr Anthony I believe it will not be a man in his mid 70′s but rather a young man perhaps late 60s or thereabouts. But then, do the present cardinals even know or hazard a guess?
    We will not know until the words Habemus papam are announced on the loggia.
    In Oct 1978 I was under the loggia of St Peter’s when the new pope came out on a warm evening in Rome. People gasped and shouted at the new polish pope, most of whom had never heard of him. A total surprise to us, but perhaps not to many cardinals.
    SOme days earlier as I left the bier of the late and great Joh Paul I in St Peter’s the young polish cardinal rushed (yes) passed me towards the body of the dead pope. He was alone without his secretary. I will never forget it. But some days later he was surrounded by bishops and cardinals and the laity. A moment of transformation totally unexpected and surprising.
    Perhaps it will happen again when that time comes after Benedict’s pontificate ends.
    I hope so.

  6. Thank you Adam for this long comment. I particularly liked, as I always do, your PERSONAL experiences such as being there in Oct. 1978 to hear the Habemus papam for John Paul II. Do you realize that Fr. Anthony was there too? Did you see him?
    Adam, I will, however, confess that I could not follow some of your thoughts. I am sorry, but as you may know English is not my strong suite — it being my second language. So, as John Paul II himself said that day, and you no doubt heard him (do you speak Italian?), ‘if I make a mistake (with my English) PLEASE correct me.
    So …
    Your very first statement, viz. ‘In particular two: there is no obvious front-runner Cardinal as at january 2011; not one cardinal stands out as BXVI’s successor should he die today.’
    OK, I am confused. Isn’t that the same thing? So rather than ‘two’ aren’t you saying the same thing in two different ways?
    You also say: ‘I can’t think of any pope this century or possibly ever who nipped out under secrecy for a little ski down the Italian slopes.’
    By century, are you now referring to the 21st century … in which case, as far as I recall, we have only had two popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. And one of them, as you yourself said, did ski — though I am not sure whether he ever snuck out of the Vatican, in secrecy, to go skiing. Though I have skied a LOT in Italy, I am not sure of all the various ski slopes they have. I would have to think that the pope, most likely, had to go some distance to find a slope worthy of his skills (unless, like me, when I lived in the UK, he was willing to risks his thumbs on artificial ski slopes … they being unforgiving on your fingers if you fell). So it wasn’t like he could sneak away for a few hours, as if he was going to ‘visit with a friend,’ as popes used to do in the past.
    Yes, of course, we will not know until the name of the new pope is announced from the loggia — unless of course somebody manages to infiltrate the secrecy of the conclave, which seems definitely likely given the advances in technology. Was done in the past when technology was considerably more primitive. Sweeping for bugs is not foolproof. You can get a pair of glasses today with a cell phone transmitter embedded. You could even embed a tiny RFID like transmitter inside an elector or conclavist!
    Plus for comparing the public appearances and behavior of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, are you not comparing apples and oranges as to their AGES? I sure would not have wanted John Paul II trying to pick up my baby during the last 5 years of his life! Handing the baby to him, a la Benedict XVI, would have been MUCH SAFER. So let us not compare what a 60 year old pope can do with one who was 78 when elected.
    Any way, this was good … as far as I could follow it and AGAIN I recognize that it was probably my poor English. Sorry.
    Thank you. All the best.

  7. Adam George,

    I agree with you with regard to large extent of JP2′s appeal and popularity despite his conservative stances was that he was his relative youth and dynamism. By the way, Anura seems to doubt that JP2 actually went on secret ski outings – I wonder if that is apocryphal or real.
    About younger popes, there are currently only 17 cardinals that are 65 or younger. I do not know how many of them would be considered papable – certainly Schönborn of Austria, Scherer of Brazil and Turkson of Ghana have been advanced as papable before.

  8. I knew that he went skiing as pope … what I was questioning was the secrecy aspect per se. First a link. By secrecy, I mean … that the pope and his entourage went to great pains to keep it totally hidden … as would be the case if he was consorting with a female. It is difficult to ski in secret, UNLESS you go heli-skiing — and sure the pope had the resources to do that.
    There is nothing immoral about skiing — as far as I can tell. [Not sure the Bible talks about skiing.]
    This is a pope who had a swimming pool built.
    By the way he did leave the Vatican, in secrecy, within 48 hours of becoming pope, traveling, wearing all black, in an ‘unmarked’ black car to see a friend — the ailing Bishop Deskur at the Gemelli Clinic.
    More later. Cheers. Working on a post on John Paul II’s beatification — FASTEST ever, beating that of Mother Teresa by 15 days!
    Do some checking. There are those that are questioning, like I too did, whether such hurried beatifications devalue the honor and process. Your thoughts.
    I gather it got up to 40 in Atlanta today. We were in the 20s. I still did 90 minutes of shoveling today — front steps and deck. About 30″ on the deck … but snow falls on it from the roof.
    Cheers

  9. Anura – two points to clarify:I meant the last century of course, without being pedantic. Also, the late John Paul II DID in fact leave Rome in secrecy. That fact was revealed by his long serving private secretary, now cardinal, in his book released in English last year ‘A Life with karol’. +Dziwisz revealed that the pope along with his secretary and one or two others left Castelgandolpho and headed for the northern clopes by car. It was there that the pope was able to ski unseen, except on one ocassion when a young girl recognised the pontiff at the ski lift. Soon after the papal ski party headed back to Rome unbeknowns to anyone. The secret remained as such until his pr sec revealed it after his death.His secretary does not say how often they went secretly to ski early in his pontificate.
    I did make a second point re the next conclave and it was: it will be a long one with many ballots as Fr Anthony suggested. That was my point – longevity of the conclave along with point one, No obvious front runner.
    Of course we are opinionating all this as of January 2011. Benedict could exceed the age of Leo XIII who lived into his 90′s, which means BXVI could still be pontiff in 2017.
    But we race ahead of ourselves.
    I still believe that Turkson and Bergolio will be likely front runners next time around. But we could well have some new younger ones who may be in the running after the next consistory where quite a few young and ‘eligible’ cardinals will be created.
    Pax tecum !

  10. I knew that he went skiing as pope … what I was questioning was the secrecy aspect per se. First a link. By secrecy, I mean … that the pope and his entourage went to great pains to keep it totally hidden … as would be the case if he was consorting with a female.

    Reading the link, what adam wrote (“And this is the man who used to nip out of the vatican quietly and head for the mountains to ski”) is accurate.
    I wonder if JP2 ever cavorted with < < CENSORED. SORRY. SORRY. >> of his papacy or if he was too tired from all the skiing and swimming he’s been doing.
    You know that old joke about pope < < CENSORED. SORRY. SORRY. e-mail me if you want the joke. It is GOOD. >>

    There is nothing immoral about skiing — as far as I can tell. [Not sure the Bible talks about skiing.]
    This is a pope who had a swimming pool built.

    Given 30,000+ protestant traditions in the US, I am sure there are at least a few that see skiing, swimming or both as immoral. :)

    There are those that are questioning, like I too did, whether such hurried beatifications devalue the honor and process. Your thoughts.

    I absolutely think both inflationary and express beatifications and canonizations devalue the Church. A good editorial cartoon would have B16 sitting in a drive-through window of “McChurch” with JP2 driving through (“do you want fries with that halo?”)
    I will have more thoughts once you post your main article on the subject.

    I gather it got up to 40 in Atlanta today. We were in the 20s. I still did 90 minutes of shoveling today — front steps and deck. About 30″ on the deck … but snow falls on it from the roof.

    Yes, most of the ice is gone from the roads by now, which is good, and we’ll be above freezing tonight so all traces of it should disappear by tomorrow afternoon. About time too I say – Atlanta is simply not equipped to deal with wintry weather.

  11. My friend, I try HARD to stick to my principle of trying not to censor … free speech, free thought, all of that. But, that joke is likely to get both of us into trouble!
    Remember we had a guy, what was his name, already complaining about … what was it … something about unorthodox or something. So I am going to take it out. OK. SORRY. Really hate doing that. Made me laugh and it will go into MY collection. If any body wants the joke … e-mail me. I have to, as my wife reminds me often, act like an ‘adult.’

    Just doing a post on fast track beatification. PLEASE comment. AGAIN, SORRY. Really distresses me.

    Cheers

  12. Please (and again excuse my English) but I, as I have mentioned in these ‘pages,’ am NOT very impressed with Dziwisz. He did something very that NO BODY should be proud of. He EXPLICITLY ignored SPECIFIC instructions left for him, by name, by the pope. That is not good. Then to ‘boast’ about it, is even worse.
    The pope, as far as we can tell, went skiing MORE than once. As far as I can tell there are only two ski resorts close to Rome … Terminillo and Roccaraso. I (as an avid skier myself who had skied a LOT in Italy) do not think either of these ‘bumps’ in the ground were worthy of the pope’s skiing. I have to think he skied the alps. Yes, of course, you can get to any Italian ski resort by car, but it would be quite a lengthy drive from Rome. That pope, like this one, did vacation, openly, in the alps.
    My ‘issue’ was that of ‘secrecy.’ As I have said, unless he went heli-skiing (which I don’t think he did, though he certainly could have), it is DIFFICULT to ski in secret. At a minimum you need people to run the lifts and in Italy the gondolas. Some would recognize the pope. There is also the issue of safety. Usually there would be somebody to make sure that the pope was OK — given that we KNOW that he couldn’t rely entirely on the ONE UP THERE to keep him out of danger at all times.
    So I am not sure how clandestine his skiing trips were. It couldn’t have been akin to a US President having liaisons with a string of women, on a near daily basis, without the world hearing about it.
    But, no big deal. We all knew he skied after he was pope. It would have been strange if he didn’t.
    As for the other 20th Century popes — not sure IF any skied BEFORE they became pope. Most lived rather pedestrian lives before turning to the priesthood. But, then again, it is also said that the pope may have been married, when young, just before or during the early days of the War. Not that that is a problem. St. Peter, for one, was also married.
    Turkson is DEFINITELY out. The next pope will be white. Of that I am sure.
    Bergoglio is papabile. I have said that before.
    not sure about … many ballots. Can’t see it going much beyond 4 days — 17 ballots. These are not the bad old days. Most of the electors are savvy, very politic operators. They will thrash it out fairly quickly. But, I could be wrong.
    But, I am not wrong about Dziwisz. To disobey a will is a grave error. Shame that the pope doesn’t have any close kin. They could have sued Dziwisz. What would YOU think if you left specific instructions in your will and they were blatantly IGNORED?
    Cheers

  13. Anura, I was not going to reply BUT have to.
    One: JPII’s secretary did appear to break the late pope’s will instructions BUT perhaps he was overidden by Benedict. A living pope has virtual total authority and in the vatican where JPII lived and died as pope and is buried, the pope is surpreme and may indeed have believed after speaking with JPIIs secretary that it was best NOT to burn his papers etc. The pope obviously must have agreed with this act as i can’t imagine a cardinal ever winning on this issue if the incumbent pope recommended otherwise. Also those papers may have been very instrumental in the beatification process which BXVI obviously knew would happen soon (cf the signs at JPIIs funeral SANTO SUBITO).
    Two: In a conclave there are two ballots each morning and each afternoon (4 each day) except on day one when there is one (obviously to assess how the cardinals may be thinking and a good chance to fly a kite on a number of them).
    Three: No one could have sued Dzwisz. The late pope had living parents or close relatives, viz children. And besides, as I mentioned in point one, the pope is a Head of State and no one could have sued Benedict if he agreed with Dzwisz as I am sure he did, otherwise the papers would have had to be destroyed.
    Four: I dont know why you are so certain about Turkson. Do you have some inside knowledge from heaven or a large number of cardinals we do not have?
    Enough for a saturday
    ps. Today I attended possibly the most historic Mass in Westminster cathedral in London – where 3 former Anglican bishops (up till 3 weeks ago) were ordained priests for the Church. Only 14 days they became Catholics; two days ago Deacons and today priests. Their wives were there. In a very moving moment at the end the Archbishop of Westminster took off his mitre, knelt on the sanctuary each new priest gave him their blessing. Very moving. Huge applause from the 2000+ as the procession left the Cathedral.
    Pax.

  14. Anura – I place on this site the following text I have copied from another blog, which relates to scurrilous rumours about Venerable John Paul II – any mention of such is really reprehensible:
    The excerpt here also mentions among other events the possible infiltration of vatican radio by a communist early in his reign. But I will let this piece speak for itself:::::::

    “When Pope John Paul II was elected, he took some counter-intelligence steps; for one thing, materials dealing with Poland were no longer archived in the Secretariat of State but were kept in the papal apartment.”

    Weigel also stated that in 1983, Polish security attempted to smear the Pontiff’s reputation, creating a fake diary that portrayed a decease female employee of the Archdiocese of Krakow as the Pontiff’s lover.

    The security official who planted the diary in a priest’s home became drunk, however, and started telling others what he had done.

  15. I can refute this claim in MULTIPLE ways and refer you to Chapter and Verse, some of it written explicitly by John Paul II.
    But, I will start off by just addressing the overall tone of what you are saying.
    You are saying is that one pope can override the will (and in this case we can say ‘will to the power of 2′) of another.
    John Paul II was also pope when he wrote his will. At that time he WAS, per your words, SUPREME.
    So what you are saying is that BXVI is second guessing his predecessor. That JPII was wrong and BXVI is right.
    Hhhhmmm.
    Quite a claim by you.
    As with Cheney and Bush, I had heard that there are those that believe that Ratzinger was the BRAINS of the operation and your ‘lets sneak off for a quick ski’ pope was just the brawn. So basically that is what you are saying. POPE John Paul II says please burn my personal papers immediately (because I have had a premonition that in 2010 and 2011 Vatican papers are going be leaked by a group called WikiLeaks) … and then … still Cardinal Ratzinger … the will is read and executed BEFORE the conclave … says … it is OK … ignore … I know better.
    Sorry, that line of reasoning does NOT sit well with me.
    Pope or NOT, any man’s WILL, if it is legal, should be properly executed.
    It is a nightmare that all of us with HEIRS fear. My will not be properly executed. So and so will step in and distort what I wanted to happen.
    Not good.
    Next … when I have time … I will start quoting chapter and verse from JPII’s OWN UDG … which is THE LAW … to show HOW wrong this is/was and how JPII … quite amazingly … seem to have realized that this might happen.
    Thanks & Cheers

  16. The late pope had living parents or close relatives, viz children.

    Did YOU mean to say ‘The late pope DID NOT …’?

    Just checking.

  17. Yes, as for Turkon I do have some heavenly guidance from Buonarroti’s ‘The Last Judgment‘ that towers over the electors as they contemplate their choices.
    The last time I looked, I did NOT see any non-white figures … and yes, I can say that because I am non-white.
    Also … IF you didn’t read this … please read it now … IF ‘Rome reports’ now cannot even bring themselves … a la the good old days … to even mention the non-white cardinals to be … what chance now of a non-white pope … post Obama?
    I have already written extensively about this and it is a CHANGE of heart for me.
    Peace. Cheers.

  18. As for the former Anglican bishops …
    That it was Historic … is indeed true. It will be talked about for centuries … and I am not sure in what light.
    I couldn’t ‘read’ your feelings about all of this … in particular married men being ordained as Catholic priests (though, of course, I know that this is also the case with the Oriental churches).
    Didn’t it bother you … even slightly?
    Such a divisive issue in the Church … that has cost the Church thousands of priest … and now this.
    I do not know. I guess, I like all things to be fair in life.
    Cheers

  19. My friend, I try HARD to stick to my principle of trying not to censor … free speech, free thought, all of that. But, that joke is likely to get both of us into trouble!

    Two thumbs down for censorship. By the way, you did not only censor a joke, but also a comment about pope clandestinely meeting women, which was a point you yourself brought up. How come it’s censored when I say it?
    What kind of trouble? Are they going to sick the Spanish Inquisition on us?

    Remember we had a guy, what was his name, already complaining about … what was it … something about unorthodox or something. So I am going to take it out.

    Don’t remember him. But I’m glad you liked it. :)

  20. So I am not sure how clandestine his skiing trips were. It couldn’t have been akin to a US President having liaisons with a string of women, on a near daily basis, without the world hearing about it.
    But, no big deal.

    Ditto for that last sentence. You guys are really splitting hairs already.

    We all knew he skied after he was pope. It would have been strange if he didn’t.

    And the original context of adam bringing skiing up in the first place was to connect JP2′s popularity with his relative youth and energy. And that is a good point to make given how bullish you are on very old papabiles.

    But, then again, it is also said that the pope may have been married, when young, just before or during the early days of the War. Not that that is a problem. St. Peter, for one, was also married.

    You mean JP2 again, right? Seriously? Where did you get that from? Not that I disbelieve you, but I never heard that rumor. I reckon she must have died then, not too surprising given that there was a major war on.

    Turkson is DEFINITELY out. The next pope will be white. Of that I am sure.

    Probably so but I do not think you can discount non-whites like Turkson altogether.

    Bergoglio is papabile. I have said that before.

    Except that there has never, to my knowledge, been a Jesuit pope. But you are the papal expert. What do you say on that?

    But, I am not wrong about Dziwisz. To disobey a will is a grave error. Shame that the pope doesn’t have any close kin. They could have sued Dziwisz.

    Based on what damages? I think this is a very disturbing development in countries like US and UK that on ecan sue without being damaged and pull dollar (or pound) amounts out of where the Sun don’t shine. I think and hope Italy has not succumbed to that so again, how would the estate and hypothetical heirs of the late pope have been damaged by a leak of his personal papers?

    What would YOU think if you left specific instructions in your will and they were blatantly IGNORED?

    Nothing. I’d be dead. As Ecclesiastes says, the living at least know that they will die, but the dead know nothing and their loves, hates, desires etc. are no more.

  21. Weigel also stated that in 1983, Polish security attempted to smear the Pontiff’s reputation, creating a fake diary that portrayed a decease female employee of the Archdiocese of Krakow as the Pontiff’s lover.

    I do not see why people should view that as scandalous – the pope, and any pope with the possible exception of “Popess Joan”, is just a man. Very few people are truly asexual (in Christian parlance, given the gift of celibacy”) and even fewer of the people who accomplish great things are. Just look at how many presidents and other leaders have higher than average sex drives. I do not see why this should be any different for priests and the leaders of the Catholic Church. That’s the context Paul wrote “it’s better to marry than to burn”. But if marriage is prohibited as a matter of policy, I do not see how a discrete love affair could hurt.
    I sure hope Anura does not censor any of this. :)

  22. You managed to slip through.
    You make me sound like an ogre … when as you all know … I do my best to let you all have you fun.
    Laugh.

  23. You managed to slip through.
    You make me sound like an ogre … when as you all know … I do my best to let you all have you fun.
    Laugh.
    P.S., There was never a Popess Joan. Never.
    Didn’t YOU ever read this … the most read post on this entire blog. I get 11-15 re-directs from WikiPedia for this EACH and every day … even Christmas. Just amazes me how many searches much take place on this one topic, each day, from around the world.
    Cheers

  24. My friend,
    It is EASY to be full of BRAVADO when you insist on making your comments anonymously — using an alias.
    Yes, I have a private e-mail from you but since it too is a @comcast.net e-mail, I really can’t be 100% sure whether I really know who you are. Are you an architect.

    BUT, on this BLOG you post anonymously.
    We have talked about this before.
    It is easy to be brave when you are shouting through a megaphone while hunkered down in a bunker.

    IF you will comment on this block, with your FULL, verified name … I will allow YOU to say anything and everything you want. I will even give you a FREE PASS — i.e., post without me having to approve.

    Deal? So let me verify your name. Yes, I googled it. But, unlike me, you don’t exactly have RARE name. [[laugh, laugh]]

    So, when you are commenting here under your own name … you can have unrestrained FREE speech.

    I am not so much concerned about the Spanish Inquisition … they would never find me up here. It is too cold for them.

    It really is about NOT OFFENDING folks … like that self-righteous bloke from Wisconsin — what the heck was his name. Must go back and look it up. Name of a British bank. Was it Barclay.

    So … ball is in YOUR court.

    Cheers.

  25. comment about pope clandestinely meeting women, which was a point you yourself brought up. How come it’s censored when I say it?

    Ahhh … my friend.
    You do NOT, alas and alack, pay enough attention.
    Don’t forget I was a rather successful professional writer for 35 years. Even when I am writing in my sleep (check Google), which I still do … but not as much … I am still very precise. Yes, I am very good at using weasel words and saying things that don’t actually, on close examination mean, what people think I said.
    So … yes … YOU thought I said ‘women’
    I DIDN’T.
    I made YOU believe I did … because you were EXPECTING me to.
    I was very precise. I always said ‘friend’ or ‘friends’. Never a mention of gender.
    Got ya.
    I would never ever say outright … the stuff you say.
    Much too diplomatic, tactful and old fashioned. So …
    If you ever get to know me you will appreciate that I epitomize the adage: ‘there is method to his madness.’
    Just because I give the impression of being ultra laid-back, flippant and careless — does not mean that I do not know what I am doing. [[ smile, smile ]] Drives my wife nuts.
    Cheers.
    SMILE.
    If you are indeed an architect and you want tantalizing proposals written for your work … you could try and hire me. I can weave magic with words. Now you see it … that is not what you saw … read the words … did I say that?

  26. well Anura you seem to have opened a can of worms with this blog piece on papabile etc and all that has followed.
    1. Yes, I left out the word ‘NOT’ in my rush of blood this week when I placed that piece on the blog about JPII and his parents etc. They were not alive NOR were any other close relatives. I should have double checked when I wrote it. Bad :)
    2. Now I still stand by what I said re the last will and testament of JPII. The executor was/is the private secretary, now cardinal. But you have to remember that the a will written in the vatican is subject to vatican law, no other. The will is also not a matter that comes under any faith and morals issues for the Church. Thus, the pope’s successor as Head of State can make laws, do whatever he like really if he sees that as fit. The pope is dead, long live the [new] pope. A pope can in fact overide, change a previous pope’s decisions – BUT these will not be on matters of faith and morals that affect the whole Church. Thus, the mutual excommunications of 1054 have been rescinded, by JPII himself and also the condemnation of Galileo was also rescinded by JPII himself.
    What we do not know, as observers, is what transpired between Benedict and JPII’s secretary, who after the pope’s death was an archbishop with no diocese and not yet a cardinal. All papers and belongings of the late pontiff are property of the vatican. And whilst there were calls for him to be buried in Poland, this did not occur. Also, as all his papers and writings etc are held by the vatican it is the incumbent pontiff who is the final arbiter. I think you would not find any previous pope had asked for all his papers to be burnt upon his death. Is this not unusual? So Benedict in the end must have decided that it was for the ultimate good of the Church that these papers be not burned and the former secretary also said the same (here of course is the real dispute – can you deny the will of the late pontiff?). Benedict/ vatican authorities, +D will have to give their own answers on this.
    But my inner guess is that they all felt that the papers would be beneficial for the Church and ought not have been destroyed.
    Pax

  27. Adam George,
    From your first sentence it would appear you are new to my work, my papal books, this blog and my OTHER papal blogs. I opened the can of worms quite a long time ago, so much so that the ‘worms have turned,’ many have been successfully used as bait and others are coring into the proverbial apple. This is mere bagatelle.
    I am glad that you quoted the expression ‘The pope is dead, long live the [new] pope’ — since that had come to my mind too in terms of your views. I think in your case, given that I assume you live in the UK, that, just the pithy English term ‘time server,’ will suffice.
    It doesn’t really matter to me as to what they did with JP II’s will. Just find it amusing. There he was Vicar of God … 5 days after his death … it is ‘just ignore his wishes, he didn’t know what he was talking about‘. Well, unlike YOU, I refuse to be that fickle.
    Anyway … as for Vatican law. I am GLAD you raised that. I could, as ever, be wrong, but we have had lawyers commenting on this blog before, BUT I somehow do not get the impression you are one.
    So as for Vatican LAW … between April 2, 2005 and April 19, 2005 … guess WHO formulated that (replete with its inconsistencies)? JP II. have you read it … all? I have read it, word-by-word, at least 20 times. Know it quite well.
    Clause #32. Read it. Read it CAREFULLY. ‘32. If the deceased Supreme Pontiff has made a will concerning his belongings, bequeathing letters and private documents, and has named an executor thereof, it is the responsibility of the latter to determine and execute, in accordance with the mandate received from the testator, matters concerning the private property and writings of the deceased Pope. The executor will give an account of his activities only to the new Supreme Pontiff.
    The executor will give an ACCOUNT of his activities …
    Well that might not be clear to you.
    Anyway … the will is executed during the sede vacante. There is no incumbent pope.
    OK. I am WASTING my time. Better things to do. Bye.

  28. You do NOT, alas and alack, pay enough attention.
    Don’t forget I was a rather successful professional writer for 35 years. Even when I am writing in my sleep (check Google), which I still do … but not as much … I am still very precise. Yes, I am very good at using weasel words and saying things that don’t actually, on close examination mean, what people think I said.

    I do not doubt that, except maybe the sleep writing bit.

    So … yes … YOU thought I said ‘women’
    I DIDN’T.
    I made YOU believe I did … because you were EXPECTING me to.
    I was very precise. I always said ‘friend’ or ‘friends’. Never a mention of gender.
    Got ya.

    Actually you are wrong, my friend. You used the word female, which denotes gender, and unless you meant to include non-human and/or non-adult individuals (which I do not think you did, of course) is identical in meaning with the word women that I used.
    So I expect an apology of both the unnecessary censorship and condescending disparaging of my reading skills and comprehension.

    would never ever say outright … the stuff you say.

    “The stuff I say” makes it sound like I said something truly awful, unmentionable even.

    If you are indeed an architect and you want tantalizing proposals written for your work … you could try and hire me.

    Nice try again, but I’d really appreciate it if you’d stop with probing into my identity. Besides, I don’t think I could even afford you what with first class air travel and heliskiing.

  29. You said: Can we really be 100% sure of anything?

    Dear, dear, dear. Not sure about you, and if you go back and check what I said about my own writing, me saying ‘not sure about you,’ can encompass a wealth of nuances.

    Well, I am 100% sure of three things.

    1/ That I will most certainly die someday, and based on my questionable health it could be sooner than later. Of that I have no doubts.

    2/ That till the day I die, I will have to pay taxes in some form, whether it is sales, State or Federal. Of that I am sure too, even if we get a 100% GOP House and Senate both in Concord and D.C. I assume you must not pay taxes. Lucky devil.

    3/ That till the day I die, I will have to BITE MY TONGUE, on a daily basis, so that I do not set out to unnecessarily offend people even if they offend my sense of sensibilities. Of that I am sure too.

    Well, I also know, 100%, that my 10 year old Golden will love me till he dies — but some might argue about that, so I will not raise that as a tautology.

    Well, there are a few other things too. I am also 100% certain that while we have a Web, a search on ‘Anura Guruge’ will always result in at least 3 of my books popping up …. even 400 years from now …

    I am also 100% sure that the Sun will be there EVERY DAY of MY LIFE … given that if the Sun goes bye-bye … I will also be going bye-bye within 9 minutes.

    So … you must live a VERY UNCERTAIN LIFE where you are not sure of anything. Wow.

    Well, I think with that statement you have said it all.

    Thanks. You made MY DAY. Of that I am sure.

    Cheers

  30. Bergoglio is papabile. I have said that before.

    Except that there has never, to my knowledge, been a Jesuit pope. But you are the papal expert. What do you say on that?

    So?

  31. Hyperbole, my dear Anura. You must not take everything so literally. ;)

  32. I went and checked, both visually and electronically, as to when I used the word ‘female’ in reference to the ‘pope’. I only found one: “as would be the case if he was consorting with a female.
    That was me using it with an ‘IF’ in an exemplary sense. Was NOT me making an assertion. I checked all instances.
    There is a difference.
    Cheers.

  33. That is true. Jesuits prefer to serve the pope than be pope.
    But, nothing that says a Jesuit can’t be pope.

  34. Anura in one of your earlier posts in this thread you say Opus Dei may not be 100% happy with Bertone but may accept him asa compromise. Why do you say that? Personally I fancy his chances and I quite like him but obviously if Opus Dei have objections to him I will too.

  35. He isn’t conservative enough. Wow. ‘if Opus Dei have objections to him I will too’? Wow. I see you are the last of the free thinkers in this world!

  36. I actually am. I freely arrived at the conclusion that the assessment made by Opus Dei is generally the nearest of my way of thinking so I tend to trust their judgement. Opus dei is in a way the religious equivalent of Foxnews, one knows that they generally tell the truth, so one can accept what they say without analyzing every single word.

  37. I feel bad for you.

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