Jan 042011

by Anura Guruge

The next pope is also likely to be over 75, possibly even a non-elector. December 6, 2010 post.
Some very alluring 75+ potential papabili. December 7, 2010 post.
Next pope is extremely unlikely to be an American. November 20, 2010 post.
Papal election dynamics — the unsaid & even subliminal factors. November 1, 2010 post.

papabili 2011, the next pope, by Anura GurugePapabili 2011, i.e., likely next pope prospects during the calendar year 2011, is meant to be a limited shelf-life list, with a firm expiration date of Dec. 31, 2011, in the very unlikely event that there will be a conclave in 2011.

Actively trying to track papabili for the last four years has taught me many things, but the key among them is that you have to keep the time horizon short in order to be realistic. I have, therefore, decided to do it on a yearly basis, starting with 2011.
Per what I said in my Dec. 6 & 7 posts (see above), tempered by the various helpful comments I received (some, privately via e-mail), my current mindset is that, if there were to be a conclave in 2011, the electors are most likely to opt for a candidate who is in his ’70s’ as opposed to one who his in his ‘mid-60s.’ Increasing longevity, across the board, being the overriding factor — with the current pope and his predecessor both demonstrating that future popes are likely to routinely live beyond the age of 80, easily surpassing the 71.8 year average for the 61 ex-popes since 1400. But, I am convinced that I have to make four (4) exceptions, though two are really on the cusp, viz.:
1. Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S. (Salesian) [June 8, 1944, hence 67 in 2011],
**Prefect, Congregation of Bishops
2. Argentinian Cardinal Leonardo Sandri [Nov. 18, 1943, hence 68 in 2011],
**Prefect, Congregation for Oriental Churches
3. Italian Cardinal
Gianfranco Ravasi [Oct. 18, 1942, hence 69 in 2011],
**President, Pontifical Council for Culture
4. Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola [Nov. 7, 1941, hence 70 in late 2011],
**Patriarch of Venice


Next pope 2011, papabili 2011, by Anura GurugeI struggled with two other under-70 celebrities: Spanish Cardinal Antonio ‘Little Ratzinger‘ Cañizares Llovera [Oct. 10, 1945] and Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, O.P. [Jan. 22, 1945]. In the end, I decided that at 65 they were both really too young, especially given that they are both ‘radical’ in their own separate ways. I have to think that in each instance there will be at least 40 electors who will balk at the prospect of handing the reins of the Church to either of these for what could be 20 or more years.

Cardinal Ouellet was my #3 pick in 2008, while he was still in Canada, with Cardinal Scola was my #5 pick. Cardinal Ouellet’s star continues to be in the ascend, his 2010 appointment to the curia enhancing his visibility, influence among the curial electors and possibly even indebtedness from national electors for promoting the ‘right’ candidates for bishoprics. There is still a magic and mystique attached to the Patriarch of Venice, with Blessed John XXIII (#262), St. Pius X (#258) & John Paul I (#264) having all being elected pope from that seat.

Since he was named a cardinal in October 2010, Gianfranco Ravasi has been touted as a papabile. He gets Father Anthony’s endorsement and that alone is enough to convince me that I cannot overlook this personable Italian. Darien Clark, in October, highlighted Cardinal Sandri’s credentials. After much consideration, I have to agree that he, rather than my #1 pick from 2008, Cardinal Scherer, is probably the strongest candidate from Latin America — especially given his age. Hence, my justification for the four exceptions.

The Other Criteria Used
I have talked about these other criteria for some months now and, as such, none of them should come as a surprise:

1/ The next pope will not be from Africa, Asia, Oceania or Cuba.
2/ The next pope will not be from Poland or Germany on the basis that the electors will want to ‘spread the wealth.’
3/ The next pope will not be from the U.S.A. See post listed at the head of this post.
4/ I am still torn as to whether retired cardinals, i.e., those with emeritus titles, are papabile. My druthers is that they
***are. But, folks tell me that this is not the case. I find it hard to believe that Claudio Hummes will get the cold shoulder
***because he is retired.

  16 Responses to “Papabili 2011 (The Next Pope 2011) — Current Thinking”

  1. One advantage of Bertone becoming pope would be a very snappy looking Papamobile. 🙂

    I wonder how much the shift to elevating older cardinals and having older papabili has to do with fewer men, especially men of extraordinary intellectual ability and bent, choosing a career in the priesthood starting in the 70s. Priests ordained in early 70s are now mostly in their mid 60s. If that plays any significant role it does not bode well for the Church as pre-70s priests will die out soon enough.

  2. Happy New Year. Hope you had a great Christmas.

    Don’t get the ‘snappy looking Papamobile’. Is he into fancy Italian super cars. Does he come to work in a Lamborghini? Please explain that one.

    Thanks. All the best.

  3. Bertone is also an Italian company that does car design, especially sports cars (they designed Lamborghini Diablo for example). Gruppo Bertone founders are probably related to the cardinal in some fashion, just like that cardinal who is a cousin of Luca di Montezemolo (yes I am a Formula 1 fan). But even if they aren’t I am sure they’d be willing to use their name to get the ppapamobile contract…

  4. Thanks. I had forgotten Bertone. Yes, they could be related BUT there is no guarantee. I think ‘Bertone’ is NOT that uncommon.
    Just learned something today. Father Anthony’s last name is very distinctive and extremely famous. It is that of a GREAT Head of State. Though it is not a common name, he informed he today that he is not related … any relationship going back to Adam. Same could be the case with Bertone … though we could speculate that if he were to become pope, Gruppo Bertone might become a SPONSOR. That sure could help with the Vatican finances. I just read that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee plans to declare bankruptcy. So maybe a Bertone sponsored Popemobile (which was your initial idea), with Bertone written all over it. Yes, a modified Lamborghini would look good and will have speed too. Wow. We could have a whole new era of sartorial elegance, that could put the current pope’s ermine capes, jeweled gold pins and red shoes to shame. It could even have Bertone on the back, like on American football jerseys so that people remember what his prior name was. I wonder HOW MUCH Gruppo Bertone would pay, IF the new pope agreed to RETAIN his name … which he sure can do (read my first papal book) and becomes Pope Bertone. [Shame we don’t have a Cardinal Pininfarina. I am quite partial to their designs.]

    But, but, but … Father Anthony this morning (please see update to January 6 post) poured cold water all over my Bertone dreams. And I trust Father Anthony. He is better informed than I AM, and of that I have no doubt. So, I have to rethink my list.

  5. I heard that Milwaukee Archdiocese is declaring bankruptcy, but did you hear about PETA (which stands, of course, for People Eating Tasty Animals) offering them a bailout if they would do some vegan propaganda? Link

    Hmm, which head of state could it be? Fr. Anthony Obama is unlikely. Fr. Anthony Windsor is more likely, but I am partial to Fr. Antonio Berluscone. But I guess I’ll never know given your scrupulous privacy policy. 😉

  6. Well, alak, it can’t be ‘Obama.’ I did say GREAT Head of State … right. [smile]. Obama has yet to reach greatness. I am ashamed to admit that I know more about papal history than I do of British, American or even Sri Lankan history. But, if I am not wrong ‘Windsor,’ a name of an ancient village, was ADOPTED by the German royals, after WW I, to make them look more British. Father Anthony’s last name is more ancient, more entrenched, truly English … meaning it is made up of common English words … name. So, it can’t be Italian … plus … back to the GREAT. Has there ever been a great ‘Italian,’ as opposed ‘Roman’ or ‘Pontifical,’ Head of State, and PLEASE don’t even mention Il Duce because compared to the GREAT UK LION (and I am purposefully not using his animal related moniker, so as not to give anything away) I am referring to, Benito wouldn’t even be a footnote. Enough said. Yes, I will never tell.

    I like PETA’s offer. But, Vegan’s don’t even eat cheese … right? That wouldn’t fly in Milwaukee … right? Isn’t that all they do … in terms of industry … make cheese? As I have said before, never been to that State. Just whiffed the smell of Cheese from across State lines in MN. I wish PETA had called me. Jesus with a lamb is good. Cute. But, I could have pointed them to Pius XII, who during WW II had a movie made of him … at the Vatican and the Vatican gardens, called ‘Pastor Angelicus,’ (yes, per Malachy’s malarky) where he had a lamb draped over his shoulder.

    I have to hand it to PETA. Very clever. Somebody, obviously not me, with a naughty frame of mind, could … I would think … make some jokes/connections about PETA, ‘meat,’ ‘eating,’ and what the troubles at the Archdiocese … but, alas, I am not naughty enough. [[laugh, laugh]]

    Cheers. Back to papabili and dwarf planets. Few hours on each.

  7. Given how much we did tell you of Father Anthony, including is exact location in the UK and his title, we have been amused that many never looked him up. Father Anthony actually has no problem with his full identity being revealed, I have just chosen not to. Do you think we would have published his picture, in full size, if we were concerned about keeping his identity secret? [[ laugh ]]

  8. What got me thrown off was first assuming, incorrectly, it was a current head of state. But secondly, you said “head of state” which the cigar-smoking man in question never was, you royal subject!
    About Obama not being great (yet), sure, but as I said I was focusing on current heads of state (and most English speaking ones have the same one, hence the guess of Windsor – so are you saying that except for the Royal Family nobody in Merry Old England has that last name since it’s made up?)

  9. Not sure about ‘Windsor’ as a last name. There could be ‘native’ Windsors. The UK also has a system called ‘Deed Poll’ whereby you can officially change your last name. So there could be Windsors around. I guess it is my background, where I did know quite a few PMs, personally. A PM CAN BE Head of State, obv. depending on ‘constitution.’ One of them was Nehru. He came to our house, in Ceylon, for dinner and autographed my brand new autograph book. I still have it … right at my desk. For about 5 years of my life, I used to talk to another PM, a female (and alas it was not Mrs. Thatcher … though Sir Thatcher and I went to the same school in London … though he was few years older than me), every morning, on the phone. I consider them heads of state. Sorry, if I misled you, wasn’t overtly intentional … but it was fun … wasn’t it. Got YOU thinking.
    One of my favorite jokes has to do with the cigar smoking, dipsomaniacal ‘demi-god,’ Australia, Canberra, champagne and adultery. Since, it has to do with CHOICE, I used to tell it a LOT when I was doing seminars … because most of my seminars were about technology choices. It might be on the Web. You might like it. You could use it with your condom dilemma. Over Christmas I just got another book on him. I have quite a few books on him and by him.
    So how long did it take you to find him on Google.
    His identity had been Googled well before Christmas! So it was no great secret. I just wasn’t going to come right out and spell it out.
    OK. I have to go an update San Marino. Kind of bothers me. My fault. I left it out because it is an enclave.
    Talking of deed pools, there is at least one person I know, who changed their last name to ‘Guruge’.

  10. We already discussed elsewhere that Ravasi seems a good choice. But I don’t think he can do it as a cardinal deacon, president of a relatively minor pontifical council an without any pastoral experience. Two posts may open for Ravasi: 1) Librarian & Archivist, a position many times occupied by cardinal bishops, including Eugene Tisserant, but not bringing pastoral experience (current holder turning 78 in 2011); 2) diocese of Milan, of Ravasi’s own birth, where he was once the prefect of the Ambrosian Library (Tettamanzi turns 77 in March 2011). This would indeed make him papabile, but here I see one problem. Such a biography corresponds too much to the biography of Achille Ratti, Pius XI, himself another prefect of the Ambrosian Library, the man with probably the quickest and most unexpected rise to papacy in the 20th century, after the longest conclave (14 ballots) since 1846. At 60, Ratti was still the prefect of Vatican library (but not the Archivist of the Holy Roman Church). At 65 he was pope. I still don’t know why Benedict XV chose a librarian as nuncio to the newly established state of Poland and how he came to idea to promote him to Milan after he failed as nuncio there (it seems that Benedict XV, a diplomat, was impressed with personal qualities of this scholar and decided to let the nunciature be occupied by better diplomats and at the same time less good men).
    Anura will say that I must buy his book. Yes, I am planning, but I own no credit card. One of peculiarities each person posesses.

  11. Marko,
    E-mail me your mailing address. I will send you a copy. I don’t think I have ever mailed anything to Croatia.
    In the US, I live in the sticks. Not many, if any foreigners, at all. Small Post Office. They all know me. Less than 10 non-whites in the whole town!
    The post office folks get very excited when I send letters to Sri Lanka or Vatican City. That is all new to them. They are all very proud that they now know the country code for SL. Sometimes sending stuff to the UK is a challenge. So sending my book to Croatia will cause quite a stir.
    Hope you had a great Christmas. Cheers.

  12. Marko, I do not know if you saw, but I answered your posts in the condom thread. So you can go over there and read/answer them.

  13. Dear Anura Guruge,

    might I ask, why you would label Cardidal v. Schönborn as “radical”?
    Being Austrian myself I don’t think that there would be many austrians that would concur.

  14. Thank you for your comment.
    Please do NOT get me wrong, I had him as my #8 papabile in 2008 and in my ‘The Next Pope’ book.
    I knew a frater from Sri Lanka, studying in Austria, that knew the Cardinal … one of his ‘jobs’ at the monastery being to look after the cardinal whenever he visited. He said very good things about the cardinal.
    The cardinal is provocative. What we would call a lose canon. We had the much publicized spat in May 2010 with the Dean of the College, Cardinal Sodano. While Austrians may not consider that ‘radical,’ it was enough of a ‘bombshell’ for the pope to have to bring the two together and act as peace maker.
    Then there has been all of the remarks about intelligent design.
    He attracts attention. He likes that. He is not your Scola or Bertone that try not to say things that will attract media attention.
    I had heard that he upset, at least the Austrian clergy, when he took over the Archdiocese of Austria in 1995.
    I have asked dear Father Peter, an Austrian like you, who knows the cardinal personally, to also comment — if possible. Father Peter has commented on the cardinal in the past.
    So …
    I do have to say one last thing. As for Schönborn continuing to be papabile … the Austrian Catholics, as far as I know, don’t get to vote at the conclave … and as far as I remember Austria only has one cardinal elector … the good cardinal himself … and while it is now PERMISSIBLE to vote for oneself … it is still considered bad form … BUT, then again, the cardinal is known to be ‘radical.’ [[ smile, smile ]]

    PLEASE, keep an eye to see if Father Peter adds to this.
    Thank you. All the best.

  15. Thank you for your response.

    I read you book of course and I noticed our Cardinal to be in your “papabili-list”. It is interesting, how often the Archbishop of Vienna is among those, that media and authors consider as papabile but I do not think that Christoph Schönborn is seriously a candidate. He might be, if the last conclave had voted for an italian or e.g. Cardinal Arinze. Than Cardinal Schönborn could still be papabile. But I think that Cardinal Schönborn instantly knew, that with the election of Pope Benedict the door to the job he probably wanted most – Head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – closed. Under a german speaking pope he had (as we saw) little chance to get this office. And: After a German (or Bavarian) pope, there will be no Austrian pope (at least not immediately).
    And – last but not least: The Cardinal is head of the Austrian Bischops’ Conference – in a time that ten thousands leave the catholic church in Austria every year. I suppose, that the Cardinals in Conclave would say things like: “Can’t control his own diocese/country – how will HE reign the church?!”

    Realizing this, realizing that he would never be pope, Christoph Schönborn could act more courageously – you would call it radically – than in the past. But as a whole, the Cardinal is in Austrian known to be as a diplomat, a “man of the middle”, desperatly trying to not upset neither conservatives nor progressives (with variable success).

  16. Jackob, I am delighted that you have read my book. Thank you. Puts you in elite company. [[ smile ]]
    Yes, I agree with you about the chances of another German speaking pope diminishing … but this popes insensitive dealings in all maters related to WW II, Holocaust and the Jews [e.g., SSPX, Yad Vasjem visit, Latin Mass, Pius XII …] hasn’t helped. And then there was Kasper with his foot in mouth in Sept.
    You might have seen that even last night … my fellow countryman Leon … was rooting for the Cardinal Count … as opposed to Cardinal Ouellet (my favorite) or our man … the Tanned Ratzinger (who has no Germanic connections, unless, of course, he had a German girlfriend in his youth … but I doubt that).
    It is always interesting what Father Peter has had to say, because he knows him.
    Right now, however, I have NOT totally written off Christoph Schönborn. Stranger things have happened at conclaves. He could make an impressive popes. We haven’t had a REAL, true, born in a castle, BLUE BLOOD pope since Benedict XV (#259). Leo XIII (#257) father was a count too!
    THANK you.

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