Apr 202010

Given my somewhat vested interest as to who might be the next pope following Benedict XVI (#266) I spend considerable mental energy, each day, trying to determine how the dynamics of the ongoing (and very unfortunate) clergy sex abuse scandal will tilt the balance in favor of one class of papabili versus another. A week ago I stated, categorically, that based on the current uproar the next pope may have to be a Vatican outsider. Now, having seen what has unfolded since, I am willing to go further and state that my long held hope that the next pope may be from Latin America appears to be looking even more promising by the day.

Many of the European cardinals are not doing themselves any favors of late.

That is OK. Let me remind you that in 1245, Innocent IV (#181) prescribed that cardinals wear a red hat to signify their willingness to shed their blood in the defense of the Church – that having been a time of crusades and conflicts. Well, many of the European cardinals have, of late, appear to be willing to sacrifice their credibility (if not their blood) to defend the pope and the Church. That is good. It is what they are supposed to do, though history tells us that this was not always the case. But, note that I stress that it is the European cardinals that have been in the fore to rush to the defense of the pope. The non-European popes have been much more reticent. There are multiple reasons for this. Some plain ‘mechanical.’ The European cardinals have greater access to the media and the media is more attracted to them … given their birthright status. Comments from a cardinal from Italy, Austria or France will invariably garner more interest in the West than those from cardinals from India, Australia or Viet Nam.

But, I have to also warn YOU that public opinion means diddly when it comes to a papal election.

Papal Elections Don’t Reflect The Wishes Of The Constituents
Papal elections are unique. Though the next pope will head up a billion strong constituency spread across all of the inhabited continents of the world, he will be elected by ~110, predominantly white, unmarried, supposedly celibate males, 72 years old on average – most of who have enjoyed extremely cosseted lives since becoming Princes of the Church.

I could say that the cardinals electing the next pope is akin to the U.S. senate electing the next U.S. president. But that would not be a valid comparison. Though the current U.S. senate also happens to be a predominantly white male institution, all the senators are, however, elected on a state by state basis.

None of the cardinals are elected.

The cardinals are not accountable to anyone. Only the pope can call them to task or deprive them of their title.

They have tenure for life.

As far as I can work out, the last cardinal whose resignation was accepted by a pope was way back in 1927! Even Cardinal Law, once of Boston, so implicated in the inexcusable shenanigans that took place in Boston is still a cardinal!

Papal elections are by secret ballot and we are not even supposed to know what the final numbers were. So there is really no foolproof way to know which cardinal electors voted for a pope, unless we are told that the election was near unanimous … and that, ironically, is unlikely, with even Benedict XVI supposedly receiving 30 or so votes against him on the last ballot. Hence, cardinal electors do not have to worry whether their constituency will ever criticize them for the way they voted.

To be cardinal is to be truly blessed. Power and largess for life with zero accountability.

Consequently, it is always difficult to predict how the cardinal electors will behave come a conclave – the machinations of the Holy Spirit being the only possible variable.

Can They, Will They Put Aside Self Interest?
Given the above factors what the cardinals are currently saying and doing will have zero impact as to their chances of getting elected pope.

It is not what the outside world thinks or cares that matters – it is ONLY what their fellow electors feel that matters. It is kind of scary, BUT true.

Consequently, one can argue that it really doesn’t matter if many of the European cardinals appear to be lemmings jumping off the cliff. As long as they have the backing of 70 other lemmings they could get elected.

But, I am hoping different. In 1241 Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II accused the then cardinals of: “Like serpents you cling to the earth instead of raising yourself to the skies. Each of you are aiming at the tiara, and no one of you is willing to leave it to the other …” Some of that is still applicable 700 years later.

My hope, however, is that ONE of the more positive outcomes from this current conflagration would be that the ~55 European electors opt to forgo their own personal interests.

I have documented the current demographics of the College of Cardinals, as of March 31, 2010 <here>.

So let us do some speculating using the 108 electors that we have today.

The European vs. Non-European split is uncanny; 55 vs. 53 – basically 50:50. 72 votes will be needed to become pope. So the European vs. Non-European split alone is adequate to get a pope elected.

Within this electorate it is difficult to really talk about a ‘conservative’ vs. ‘liberal’ split. All 108 were handpicked by two of the most ardently conservative popes of recent times. I have even read that nearly all had to sign a ‘disclosure’ confirming that their beliefs were consistent with that of John Paul II (#265). That said, there are definitely shades of gray within the ranks – though, I, like many, are not sure whether there is enough graduation here to be the only factor in an election.

We thus come to the clergy abuse scandal and its fallout.

But we also have to factor in timing. So what I am speculating here will only apply to the next 18 months. OK?

Picking The Next Pope Against The Backdrop Of The Scandal
I have already said, going into a fair amount of detail within the book, that I doubt whether the next pope will be from the U.S., Germany or Poland. That was all independent of the scandal.

I doubt whether we will see a cardinal from Ireland, Netherlands or Switzerland.

As I have already said, it will probably also have to be a Vatican outsider – in particular one not associated with any of the curial ‘departments’ in anyway involved with disciplining or transferring clergy.

I basically think that all the European and US cardinals are now in some way tainted. The public actions of many during the last few weeks didn’t do them any favors. Too many came across as cosseted, spoilt and uncaring. I was waiting to hear one of them say ‘let them eat cake!’

But, it is still up to the electors to take all of this into account. And that is the scary part. They can, if they want, be bull headed and elect a pope who may have a history – as does the current pope.

When they elected Benedict XVI, some of them at least, would have KNOWN that he had a history.

But, my hope is that there will be 75-80 electors who genuinely want to resurrect the Church. My hope is that they prevail, before and during the conclave, in insisting that they must elect a pope who has ‘clean hands.’ And that is where things get so fascinating.

Though we have heard of the scandal mainly as it relates to Europe and the USA, it is much more widespread. There have been incidents in India, Australia and Mexico. I can’t believe that nothing ever took place in Canada. That probably also applies to the African countries.

But, I just have a feeling that the problem wasn’t as bad in some of the Latin American and African countries. Plus, as I said at the start, cardinals from many of these countries have tried to stay out of the media during the recent flap. That could help them.

Fifteen months ago when I did my papabili list for 2009 I did favor Latin American, Canadian and African cardinals. I kind of feel good about this now. Maybe my exact picks may not get elected. But in terms of geography I might have got close.

Let me know. This is all speculation on my part.

Thank YOU.

  27 Responses to “The Next Pope: Non-European, Non-Curial With ‘Clean Hands’”

  1. Maradiaga or scherrer – maybe I fancy Policarpo

  2. The point that you made about the cardinals being handpicked by two extremely conservative popes is well taken. As you have stated, most of the cardinals are conservative in their theology and other factors will probably play a more prominent role in the next election.

    Nonetheless, I was wondering whom you believe might be perceived as the liberal ‘favorite’ in the next conclave? My apologies if you have already addressed this topic elsewhere.

  3. Dermot (my friend),
    As ever you may have better ‘instincts’ and insights than I in this matter, and as such your thoughts on Maradiaga and Policarpo have to be given serious consideration. As we know he is much better known both these cardinals are much better known than Scherrer. Scherrer is low-key. As far as I can tell, his hands are clean … but I think that applies to both Maradiaga and Policarpo as well. Maradiaga, though intemperately outspoken, definitely has a following and has done much. Policarpo, as I stress in my book, being Portuguese, can be thought of as THE TOKEN Latin American! Yes, electing Barak was quite a stretch for the U.S. Similarly, the electors, despite their diversity, might have trouble making the leap across the Atlantic — given that they have yet to cross any large bodies of water when it come to electing a pope in the last 1,000 years. So Portugal, the outer extremity of Europe, could be a good place to start. My only concern is his age. he is already 74 … and yes, I know that that is in YOUR ball part Dermot. It is a good age. < < smile >> My father is 82 and he is flying 3,000 miles cross country to visit us in a couple of weeks. So today’s 75 is the ’60s’ of a few years ago. But, in closing, I agree with you that Maradiaga and Policarpo may have a better chance than the low-key Scherrer. Thank YOU, Dermot. Best of luck with your gallant work. Your friend, Anura

  4. David,
    I never tire of discussing the papabili. Yes, there are definite shades of gray within what is a very homogeneously ‘conservative’ College. Did you know that under John Paul II, and most likely with Benedict XVI, potential cardinals had to sign a pledge that they would CONTINUE to uphold the ‘values’ of the Church if created cardinals. Could you imagine the uproar if it came to light that a US president was asking all potential nominees to the US Supreme Court to sign an oath that they would always adhere to the ‘values’ of the then White House? That said, and keying off the very perceptive comments of Dermot Ryan (above), I would say that Maradiaga, Fox Napier, Ouellet and Policarpo fall. I no longer think Fox Napier is as papabile as he was pre-Obama! Basically with Obama the ‘African-card’ was played. Ouellet, as I have always, maintained is the ‘stalking horse.’ He has so much going for him. He also appears to be a good man, but I am not sure whether he has any skeletons in the cupboard when it comes to the clergy sex abuse scandal. I hope not. He is kind of my neighbor, up here in New Hampshire. Maradiaga, would be thought a ‘liberal,’ by most. So that is my first crack at answering your question. Hope it helps. Thank you. Anura

  5. thank you for the kind words, anura. dermotryann@gmail.com in case anyone wants to contact me direct
    from my parliamentary candidacy and party office experience i really need to see an influence chart. this shows the inter-personal underworld of favours paid and requited. before i can predict the outcome of a love-in i would also like to see the hate record, if any. ‘Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.’ king james. ‘man is by ego driven’ [ryan]

  6. Anura,

    I always enjoy coming to your site and blog. Keep up the good work.

    I would agree with you about Cardinal Ouellet, so long as he has not been involved with this issue in Canada in any possibly negative way I also think he could be an interesting candidate. Especially considering his youth compared to other papabili. On to my question. I know that an American Pope is almost out of the question for many years to come, so these questions are essentially hypothetical. Which American Cardinal would be most likely to be elected Pope? And which of our 12 eligible Cardinals do you think would make the best Pope?

    Darien Clark

  7. Darien,
    Thank you for the kind words. Darien, have you had a chance to look at my ‘The Next Pope’ as yet, http://www.popes-and-papacy.com/NextPopeBook.htm?
    Given that I had, right off the bat, discounted all the US cardinals as being papabili, I really haven’t studied their prospects. Give me a few days. Let me think about it. Just one thing I want to point out, re. your statement … ‘our 12 ELIGIBLE Cardinals.’ As you know, in theory, all 16 are eligible; not being an elector not barring a cardinal from getting elected. If anything one could argue that a US cardinal will have the BEST CHANCE if the electors were looking for a stop-gap cardinal … for whatever reason. Maybe to give a young cardinal a few more years to broaden his resume.
    I have emailed Cardinal O’Malley, a Capuchin, about his beard. Innocent XII (#243), who died in 1700, was the last pope with a beard. I have been unable, as yet, to determine if a candidate with a beard had been elected pope since then. I have told the cardinal that he should shave if he ever intends to be a papabile. He won’t respond to this. [smile]

  8. Anura,

    Thanks for getting back to my question so quickly. Unfortunately, I’ve not yet had a chance to read your book as it is very near finals time and my reading is limited to course material at the moment. I hope to get the chance sometime over the summer. I look forward to seeing your further response once you’ve found the time, and again, keep up the good work.


  9. Darien,
    Best of luck with your finals. I did reply to you 4 days earlier but somehow my reply got lost within WordPress. I have been gone for the last 3 days. I took the kids to New York City. Darien, my lost reply pertained to my trip to your University way back in the Summer of 1968. 42 years ago. My one and only trip to the campus. I remember it as being verdant. In 1967 my father got a job at SUNYAB as the Professor of Oriental Studies. We came over from Ceylon in August 1967 as a result. In 1968, my father got a Summer assignment teaching one week classes at the other SUNY campuses. Hence my visit to Syracuse. I was 14. It was fun to see the State. As long as there was a swimming pool I was cool. All the best Darien. Let us talk more after your finals. All the best.

  10. Hi Anura,

    I’m mexican, but what about an Italian Pope, for me there a trio of Angles (Angelo Bagnasco, Angelo Scola and Angelo Amato(yes i know Amato is not a Cardinal yet, but i bet he will be one in the next consistory)) that have a lot of oportunities.

  11. Carlos,
    To start with can I please introduce you to Louis E. who also just now left a comment.
    Whereas there are many that study papabili, Louis studies ‘cardinabili,’ i.e., potential future cardinals. As such he knows a fair amount about consistory trends.
    Within my circle, which isn’t that large, Louis is the one that speculates most often as to when we might see the next consistory.
    As you can see from his comment he is thinking of a February 21, 2011 consistory. His logic makes sense.
    PLEASE feel free to ‘converse’ with Louis using this ‘forum.’ Since I have approved comments from both of you, your future comments will automatically appear on the blog without me having to intervene.

  12. Carlos,
    Sorry … Louis’ comments are against the latest posting ‘The Next Cardinal Creating Consistory,’ dated May 2, 2010. Could you please find that and read the comment.

  13. Carlos,
    There are SO MANY different ‘splits’ that you can make as to how the electors may decide to vote.
    IF they are in the mood to continue with an European pope then Italy stands to benefit. The pope is THE BISHOP OF ROME. So Italy should get preference. It has been a LONG TIME since there has been an Italian pope!
    But, I suspect that the non-Europeans electors, and they represent 50% of the electorate, MIGHT finally have a say.
    The European prelates have not acted that well in the current clergy abuse, scandal cover-up crisis. Some of them have been real jackasses!
    The Latin American, African and Asian cardinals might be able to finally forge an alliance.
    I don’t think we will get a black pope. We already have Obama! [I actually think Obama would make a FINE POPE, given that there are no restrictions to a married man being a pope. St. Peter, #1, was married.]
    Anything is possible.
    I do have Scola as one of my papabili.
    Chat with Loius.
    Keep up the postings.
    Thank you.

  14. Dear Andrea,
    Very good to hear from YOU and thank YOU for the kinds words. Always good to talk to somebody from Italy. I always feel that Italians, as it should be, have a special connection. Better insights. Andrea, are you in Rome?
    Andrea, I am going to post two or three replies to your post … so that we can address specific topics. OK?
    Andrea, your statement ‘First of all, for us Catholics, an election is something guided from the Holy Spirit, and the Latter doesn’t follow any rules nor statistics.’
    This is ONE of my many ongoing research topics right now.
    But, I will SHARE what I am looking into.
    So YOU say ‘election is something guided from the Holy Spirit.
    I know that Pope John Paul II (#265) believed this too. He mentions the Holy Spirit three times in
    Universi Dominici Gregis.
    So Andrea, here is something I want YOU to think about very carefully.
    The Holy Spirit’s involvement in electing a pope becomes VERY RELEVANT today — given the criticism that Pope Benedict XVI (#266) is facing … that maybe he, as a cardinal, was not that quick to take action against priests accused of child molestation.
    So, here is the PROBLEM.
    In nearly all other instances Catholics can claim FREE WILL of man. God/Holy Spirit not involved.
    But, now in this instance … given the conclave … the Holy Spirit DOES get drawn into the picture.
    IF, YOU BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit plays a positive role in the election of popes … then you have to also agree that the Holy Spirit had a say in the election of Benedict XVI.
    That, Andrea, is the PROBLEM.
    This drags the Holy Spirit into the clerical child abuse scandal!
    Think about it!
    This is now outside FREE WILL.
    This has ALL to do with the election of Benedict XVI.
    If the Holy Spirit had a hand in the election of Benedict XVI … then the Holy Spirit becomes embroiled in the scandal.
    To get around that, you have to say … ‘OK, the Holy Spirit was NOT INVOLVED in the election of Benedict XVI.’
    PLEASE, think about this.
    Discuss this with friends.
    Then, PLEASE let me KNOW.
    Thank you.
    Anura Guruge

  15. All this talk of conservative and liberal misses the point. No Pope, no matter how liberal or conservative, can deform or change the Deposit of Faith, which is protected by the Holy Spirit. We have the promise of Christ in Mt. 16:18 to remember.

  16. Dermy,
    In this light … PLEASE consider this: http://popes-and-papacy.com/wordpress/?p=158
    Thank you.

  17. Dear Andrea,
    Please, please. I was in NO WAY irritated. I loved YOUR comments and love this one.
    It is actually DIFFICULT to irritate me … unless you are one of my kids and set out to wake me up before I get my 8 hours of sleep.
    I am SORRY if I conveyed irritation. Please forgive me.
    Thank YOU for these news comments. < < I am NOT irritated. SMILE, SMILE >>

  18. Dermot Ryan says:
    dermotryann@gmail.com in case anyone wants to contact me direct
    am i the only settable ‘thief to catch a thief’?
    do only I know the gutter?
    am i really so different?, so hard?, so cynical?, so worldly?
    i really need to see an influence chart. this shows the inter-personal underworld of favours paid and requited. – Before i can predict the outcome of a love-in i would also like to see the hate record, if any.

    ‘man is by ego driven’ [ryan]

    ‘is it that questing
    only fires frustration
    has life no meaning
    to human reasoning’ [ryan]

    I still fancy Policarpo

    I envy you all for your innocence. i feel lonely in my ‘rock is hard’, ‘water is wet’ reality.

  19. Hello Anu
    I like the following quote in your article:
    Consequently, it is always difficult to predict how the cardinal electors will behave come a conclave – the machinations of the Holy Spirit being the only possible variable.

    I believe they will listen if something of this magnitude takes place over behavior or if the overall outcome is believed to be influenced by the Holy Spirit and they are free of animosities and other ego/persona impurities to some extent. Despite human imperfections it will overwhelmingly and decisively be God’s choice not theirs, as they are a collective group with a sole purpose to listen to internal movements and constellations that are ready to take place. I am the author of a book entitled, As I Passed Him: a prophecy within our times by me, Juan R. Carrillo. It can be found at Amazon.com or B&N.com. Please read it!

    My book is about a spiritual experience that I had where the Holy Spirit reveals the name and identity of an upcoming Pope to me and for us. I would like to share this with you and your website visitors. Thanks.

    Back to your articale, I know your more the researcher and I’m an intuitive type and counselor, but I am very aware of stereotypes or generalities evolving from evidence of abuses that take place in certain regions as you mention above. Norms, societietal cultures, pornography or mixes of sexual tones and violence and other such media allowances have a significant impact on behaviors on a per regional and modernized basis. In our times, modern countries are in the forefront of this negative influence that is taking a toll with many sex offenders in probation offices in every city in the USA and globally I’m sure. For every offender there is a victim.

    The stereotyping of church officials because it hits the hypocritical button more so than it does the societal button is not justice. Without spirituality in the forefront of man there is no justice, they are intertwined. Withouteach other there is no justice. There is a phrase I hear often, when we point the finger there is always four fingers pointing back at ourselves. Anyway just a point made in a nutshell.

    Im in Texas so ‘God Bless Y’All’ and our dear Pope Benedict as our lamb wrestles with the many hostile and advanced media deceivers the technological world has to offer. It’s a dog eat dog world outside the church and yes we do get compromised by a very real and spiritual enemy from time to time, as we are a whole nation in ourselves with a billion to shepherd down the path of righteousness. We should set up our own probation departments for those 1% few that are falling between the cracks. Thank you Jesus for this multitude.

    Love you my dear rep on earth.

    Juan R. Carrilllo

  20. Best of luck with the book. Good to hear from you.

  21. The current Pope and his close circle seem determined to take the church back 50 years. Undoing Vatican 2 seems on the cards. I remember the days when the latin mass was often said at breakneck speed with very little reverence. I find the vernacular very moving and the mass said properly. The church should concentrate on the positive items of belief, in order to be catholic and stop the control freakery; poking into everybodies bed sheets.

    Being a priest to-day is not the same as in years gone by! The pressure from the exploitation of sex in the media is inescapable and many men are too frightened of failure. The time has come to seriously consider married and women priests and not simply the old call to greater sacrifice and dedication. The laity are asked for loyalty to the mass, but it is the duty of the pope to find ways to give us the priests to give us the mass.

    I cannot find anywhere else to go but I am in it – not because of but in spite of!

  22. silence is golden

  23. you all you eshew the inscrutable face of god

  24. Really interesting what I read here!
    But no one of the papabili will be elected during the next conclave! I am sure that the Holy Father will create his successor in one of the next consitory.
    And the most of the new cardinals will be in the line of Benedict and in a most positive conservative.

  25. I would not disagree. But, since I cannot see into the future, I can only speculate about the current cardinals — though, of course, the next pope doesn’t have to be a cardinal.
    Yes, this pope, per the trend set by his predecessor, favors conservative cardinals.
    Do you ALSO believe that the next pope will again be a German (or possibly an Austrian)? I have seen a German blog that criticizes me for not having any Germans in my papabili list.

  26. Hi Anura,

    My Papabili List as of January 2011. I based it on the assumption of this article, that the next Pope maybe ‘Non-Curial, with Clean Hands’. I also based a few candidates on the assumption they may be age 75+ at the next conclave. This List takes into account the Nov 2010 Consistory.

    To the best of my knowledge, none of them are Curialists (or Prefects/Presidents of Curial Departments). Out of 10, 3 were created Cardinals by JPII while the other 7 are made cardinals by Pope Benedict. The list gives the ages of the Cardinals (as of 2011) and country of origin/ethnicity.

    1) Oscar Maradiaga, 69, Honduras
    2) Odilo Scherer, 62, German ethnicity, Brazil
    3) Philippe Barbarin, 61, Moroccan-Born, France
    4) Angelo Bagnasco, 68, Italy. Archbishop of Genoa
    5) Jorge Urosa, 69, Venezuela
    6) Lluis Sistach, 74, Spain
    7) John Njue, 67, Kenya
    8) Raul Chiriboga, 77, Ecuador
    9) Stanislaw Dziwisz, 72, Poland
    10) Jose Policarpo, 75, Portugal

    1), 3) & 10) are made Cardinals by Pope JPII and the others BXVI, so for the other 7, it will be the 1st time they will be in a conclave. Policarpo is last on my list because of recent remarks about Catholic women marrying Muslim men, which are rather controversial. So far, other Cardinals (apart from Maradiaga) are ‘clean’ and don’t have ill remarks, as far as I know.

    2) – an interesting part of Scherer is he is a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation, a very new Vatican body created by BXVI. It is tasked with re-evangelising traditionally Catholic countries that are experiencing secularisation (such as the traditional European countries). For a Brazilian Cardinal with German roots to be in this Council is rather interesting. Of the 10 Papabili, he is the only Cardinal who is a member of this Council. If he becomes Pope, he will be the 1st Latin American Pope overseeing a declining European flock, and will try to stem the decline. When Pope Benedict was elected, he may have been a last-ditch defense against secularism in Europe. Cardinal Scherer will be best positioned since he is white, of European ancestry, and from the Global South of Latin America.
    4), my only Italian choice, is someone nobody will see as papabile. But his background is interesting. He was made priest by Cardinal Giuseppe Siri, and consecrated bishop by Dionigi Tettamanzi. The Diocese of Genoa is interesting, because it has not produced a Pope before (unlike more famous ones like Venice or Milan).

    6) will be 75 soon. He will be involved in World Youth Day this year. Again, he has never participated in a consistory, and his name is obscure. My Spanish choice for Pope.

    8) is a Cardinal who is 75+ in age. He will make a ‘Transitional Pope’, or someone like Benedict when elected (though it seems Benedict is not ‘Transitional’ nowadays. I feel bad calling someone ‘Transitional’ but there has to be a better word).

    10) – we have not had a Portuguese Pope for a very long time, and like mentioned in other sources he may be someone who bridges the Latin American and European blocs.

    And here are the reasons why I bypassed these candidates that are mentioned in your blog:
    * Many of the Italian Cardinals appointed at Nov 2010 are now Curialists.
    * Leonardo Sandri (Prefect of Oriental Churches), Antonio Llovera (Prefect of Divine Worship/Sacraments), Marc Ouellet (Prefect of Cong. of Bishops), Gianfranco Ravisi (Curialist) and Peter Turkson (President of Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace) are all insiders in the Vatican, so I did not include them.

    Of course, it does not mean they may not be considered. In 2005 we have a Curialist (Ratzinger, with 20+ years experience) up against a non-Curialist (Bergoglio). The future conclave may be the same showdown. Although the elections of JPI and JPII, both non-Curialists, and Paul VI, who used to be a Curialist but not in the 11 years before his election, make me think this time it will likely be a non-Curialist who will become Pope.

  27. Bravo and THANK YOU.
    This is great. Love it. Some interesting choices.
    Your TOP #3 were all in my 2008 list and thus in ‘The Next Pope’ book.
    Policarpo was also on my list, propping up the bottom.
    I still like Scherer, Barbarin & Policarpo. I recently wrote about Maradiaga per one of your earlier comments, Jan. 17, 2011. He may have got too controversial.
    No, the next pope will not be from Poland. We have already had one from there and Dziwisz has PROVED, conclusively, that he can’t be TRUSTED. A man who betrays the dying wishes of a supposed friend is a reprobate. Don’t get me started about ‘I am SMARTER than John Paul II’ Satinis-BREAK-the-Law.
    Just yesterday, I yet again, articulated why I am sure that the next pope will not be non-white. And if you REALLY want to get into the dirty dynamics of skin-color politics, Dias, who as an Indian, is lighter, stands a better chance than a good cardinal from Kenya. SORRY. Got to face the facts, however unappetizing that may be.
    I am somewhat familiar with Chiriboga.I have not looked at Sistach or Urosa. A Venezuelian pope will face a HUGE veto from the US cardinals … BUT, if he can promise cheap oil to the others, would stand a chance.
    A pope from Spain or Portugal is definitely on the cards … half-way towards a Latin American pope without having to get your feet wet trying to cross the Atlantic.
    So, poor Ouellet excluded because he is NOW a curialist.
    You might be able to excuse Ouellet. He was not in the Vatican during the sex abuse crisis.
    I have noticed a LOT of interest in our papabili discussions.
    Sometimes I wonder, are WE shaping opinions? As far as I know, this is the first time there has been a ‘semi-open’ (yes, I do exclude those that get on mt nerves) blog, way, way ahead of a conclave.

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