by Anura Guruge
Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pietro_Parolin
Whenever possible, the Secretary of State is the ideal candidate to be the Camerlengo.
Some illustrious Camerlenghi, of recent times were also Secretary of State: viz. ‘my man’ Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B. (2006-2013), Jean Villot (1969-1979) of the two back-to-back 1978 conclaves and Eugenio Pacelli (1930-1939) — who, of course, was elected Pope (i.e., Pius XII) in the only conclave he participated in!
But, PLEASE, do not get excited. Pietro is way, way, way too young to be papabile right now. He will be papabile 7 – 8 years from now.
That he is likely to be the Acting Dean if there was to be a conclave in the next few years is also NOT an issue. Jean Villot was in the same boat.
Being Camerlengo does not in reality interfere with a cardinal doing other sede vacante and conclave duties. In the case of Pietro it gets more interesting. Outside of the Conclave he will not be the most senior Cardinal Bishop and hence the Dean. He will only be Acting Dean inside the Conclave.
The Secretary of State makes the ideal Camerlengo since their duties never overlap or intersect. The Secretary of State loses his office immediately upon the start of the Sede Vacante. And that is exactly when the duties of the Camerlengo begin. The Secretary of State, essentially the Vice-Pope, is invariably the Pope’s #1 Man. So, if a Pope wants that same person to oversee the Papal transition he will also make him Camerlengo — if the ‘vacancy’ is available.
So, hence the logic. Plus the Camerlengo, by law, has to be resident in Rome (so that he is handy as soon as there is a sede vacante). The Secretary of State also has to be Rome-based. So, it all works out nicely.
One possible crimp to this scenario is Pietro Parolin’s health. In October 2013, before he became a cardinal he had some liver related surgery. This matter does not get talked about these days. So, not sure whether he still has any lingering health concerns. He looks healthy enough BUT liver problems can be serious. You only have to think Steve Jobs.
So, that is the whole story as to why it would make sense, barring health issues, for Pietro Parolin to be appointed the next Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church.
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by Anura Guruge