Tag Archives: 80

Pope Francis Turns 80 — How Well Do YOU Know Him?

by Anura Guruge


Do you know the answers to these 12 questions?

francis5561)  Within twenty-four hours of Francis’ election the Holy See Press Office confirmed, surprisingly, albeit in the last paragraph of an announcement on the new pope’s activities during his first full day, that when Jorge was a twenty-one year old he suffered from a pulmonary illness (that involved pneumonia and the detection of three cysts in his lungs), which necessitated the removal of the upper part of his right lung. It has since been revealed that the pope, when even younger, suffered from another impediment, one that was not very serious, albeit one that hampered his desire to be able to play soccer at a ‘higher’ level. What was, or is, this impediment?

2)  Jorge Mario Bergoglio during his two decades as a bishop, prior to becoming pope, was known to be especially devoted to a well known young female Catholic saint, and even enclosed a small picture of her in the letters he mailed, calling her a ‘great missionary saint’. Who was this saint?

3)  Many examples of the newly elected pope’s remarkable humility received considerable worldwide attention during the first few days of his pontificate. Rather than availing himself (as had his predecessor) to the sleek, black papal sedan that had been provided, Francis had chosen to ride back to the Domus Sanctæ Marthæ, for dinner with the cardinals, in one of the shuttle buses, along with some of his electors. On the first full day of his papacy, Francis not only had insisted on carrying his own luggage but had personally settled his bill at the hotel where he had been staying prior to the conclave. A few days later, on March 18, 2014, the pope, to the bemusement but delight of the owner’s son, Daniel Del Regno, telephoned the newspaper kiosk in Buenos Aires that used to deliver his newspapers and very cordially, after conveying his regards to the family, informed him that he would no longer be requiring newspaper delivery. This is now all part of the already rich and inspiring, ‘stuff of legends’, chronicle of Pope Francis. But, what was the ‘hotel’ that the pope had stayed at prior to the conclave – where he had to settle his own bill and picked up his remaining luggage?

4)  At what consistory was Jorge Mario Bergoglio created, what was his precedence at this consistory, and who were some of the others created at that consistory that went onto gain considerable fame?

5)  According to the pope’s sister, María Elena Bergoglio, who was talking with journalists in March 2014, ‘Jorge Mario’ when attending the archdiocesan seminary of Buenos Aires, the Inmaculada Concepción Seminary (located in the northwestern neighborhood of Villa Devoto), in the late 1950s, when he was in his early twenties, had a pet – he apparently sharing a fondness for this type of pet with a pope of that time. What was the pet that the future pope had when he was attending seminary?

6)  Nearly all non-retired cardinals, irrespective of their primary role or where they are based, are assigned as members, with full voting rights, to various curial congregations and pontifical councils – these membership assignments typically reflecting a cardinal’s known expertise or interest. As members of a congregation or council the cardinals assist the head of the dicastery in governing that body particularly when it comes to strategy, direction, tone and agenda. This is a key part of how cardinals help the pope when it comes to running the Church. Thus, Cardinal Bergoglio, though he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires during his entire cardinalate, was assigned as a member to a number of curial diacasteries starting in 2001. These were his only involvements with the curia given that he had never spent much time at all in Rome as a student, priest or prelate. In what dicasteries did Cardinal Bergoglio hold membership?

7)  Who were Pope Francis’ parents and who were his siblings?

8)  Unlike many who go on to become cardinals, Jorge Mario Bergoglio never studied at a pontifical institute or attended a seminary in Rome, or for that matter Italy. Actually he never, prior to becoming pope, spent that much time in Rome or Italy. However, once a Jesuit he went to four different countries to further his education. What were these four countries?

9)  Since his election Pope Francis has chosen, whenever possible, including at his inaugural public appearance, to wear a simple, unadorned white cassock sans an elaborate mozzetta or stole, and to continue using the iron pectoral cross that he had worn when Archbishop of Buenos Aires eschewing the gold ones preferred by prior popes. These sartorial preferences, given their obvious conspicuousness, have received considerable media coverage and are now very much a part of the burgeoning, borderline cultish, Pope Francis’ mystique. However, much less attention has been given to the style of the Fisherman’s Ring Francis chose to wear or that fifteen months into his papacy he changed the style of the pallium he would wear – this the third change to the style of the papal pallium in less than a decade. So, what is the story as to Pope Francis’ Fisherman’s Ring that he received at his installation as well as the latest pallium style he adopted as of Sunday, June 29, 2014, the day of the Saints Peter and Paul Solemnity?

10)  On Boxing Day 1958, i.e., December 26th, his first as pope, John XXIII (#262), who the previous day had restored a much cherished papal custom by visiting a children’s hospital, reinstated another by visiting a local prison, viz. Rome’s Regina Coeli (Queen of Heaven) prison. While there, warmly greeted by the inmates, the irrepressibly personable pope, to the consternation of the Vatican staff, conspiratorially informed the prisoners that one of his brothers had once been incarcerated for poaching. The L’Osservatore Romano, despite the pope’s recent admonishment for it to be more ‘20th century’, opted to omit this revelation in its reporting of the pope’s visit to the prison. Pope Francis, who has professed to his admiration of the ‘Good Pope’ and authorized his canonization, seems to have taken to heart John’s propensity for candor. He has surprised, if not stunned, many during his first sixteen months as pope, by some of his unexpected remarks about gays, atheists and the mafia, which have included (albeit in paraphrased form): ‘who am I to judge them (i.e., gays)’, ‘there is a stream of corruption (within the curia) including a “gay lobby”’, ‘all people who do good works, including atheists, are going to heaven’ and ‘those who in their life have gone along the evil ways, as in the case of the mafia, they are not with God, they are excommunicated’. However, on March 6, 2014, a week ahead of his first year anniversary as pope, Pope Francis while talking informally with a group of Roman priests about the need to be merciful to their flocks came up with a revelation that might even have had John XXIII in a quandary as to how he should react. What was Pope Francis’ bewildering confession?

11)  During his short stay in Germany in 1986 to explore possible topics for a doctoral thesis, as was discussed in #97 above, the future pope saw something that had a profound impact on his psyche. His recounting of what he had seen in Germany has in time led to what some have called a ‘religious craze’ in Argentina and Brazil. What was it that he saw in Germany and what is he credited with inspiring in Latin America?

12)  Mahatma ‘Bapu’ Gandhi, the India’s ‘Father of the Nation’, was noted for his utmost reluctance to discard anything manufactured, irrespective of its intrinsic worth. A part of this, of course, had to do with his preferred lifestyle that revolved around simplicity, thrift and a constant identification with the poor. However, as he would also sometimes explain, he also had a tremendous appreciation of and respect for the human toil (especially in his time) that went into the manufacturing of goods. Gandhi could not use manufactured goods without thinking about the labor component that had to have been involved. Consequently he was known to use pencils, sharpening them by hand as needed, until the stubs were too small for him to hold between his fingers. Well, it appears that Jorge Mario Bergoglio, also known for his affinity with the poor and working classes, has Gandhi-like values when it comes to material ‘stuff’, whether they be large or small. So it is no surprise that he uses a donated, 1984 Renault 4L, with 190,000 miles on the clock, as his personal car in the Vatican rather than a newish, luxury sedan. Are you aware of a trait that he had, while Archbishop of Buenos Aires, that provided a wonderful clue as to his attitude towards materialistic goods?


All the answers to these 12 questions
can be found in Chapter VII of
Popes: 101 Facts & Trivia

by Anura Guruge


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by Anura Guruge

Pope Francis — A Brief Introduction On His 80th Birthday, December 16, 2016.

by Anura Guruge


From “Popes: 101 Facts & Trivia
by Anura Guruge


At the Vatican, March 27, 2014. From the ‘White House’/Wikipedia.

Argentinean Cardinal Priest Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J. [dob: December 17, 1936], Archbishop of Buenos Aires (and the Bishop of the Faithful of the Oriental Rites in Argentina) was elected pope in the early evening hours of Wednesday, March 13, 2013. He was chosen by 115 cardinal electors on the second day of the conclave on the fifth round of balloting. The white sfumata indicating his election was seen at 7:06 p.m. (Rome time). The Habemus Papam announcement of his appointment was made from the external Loggia of the Hall of Blessings of St. Peter’s Basilica at 8:12 p.m. by French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the protodeacon. [The then sixty-nine year old Cardinal Tauran suffers from Parkinson’s disease which made it difficult for him to enunciate the name of the electee and the regnal name by which he wished to be known. This left many around the world confused for a few minutes until clarification was provided by the Vatican to the TV crews and social media as to who was the new pope].

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the first Jesuit to be elected pope, chose to be Francis (#267) so as to pay homage to St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of Franciscans. The name was also meant to convey the new pope’s special concern for the well-being of the poor, with St. Francis having been noted for his devotion towards those suffering from poverty (Brazilian Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, O.F.M., during the conclave, having whispered in the papabili’s ear ‘don’t forget the poor’ when it was becoming clear that he would receive the necessary majority to become pope).

Cardinal Bergoglio, at 76 years, 2 months, 3 weeks and 3 days [27,845 days], was the ninth oldest pope to be elected since 1400. Both Benedict XVI (#266) at 78 years of age, and John XXIII (#262), at 76 years and 11 months, had been older when elected.

Francis was the 54th non-Italian to be elected pope, and the third non-Italian in a row – something that had not happened since the Avignon papacies in the 14th century, over 600 years and sixty-five popes previously. He, however, is from Italian descent. He was the first pope from the Americas.

He was the 31st pope from a religious order to become pope; the first since Gregory XVI (#255), who reigned from February 1831 to June 1846. [Gregory XVI was the last non-bishop to be elected pope.]

Pope Francis made his inaugural appearance on the St. Peter’s Basilica balcony at 8:24 p.m. [twelve minutes after Cardinal Tauran], wearing just a white cassock sans the red ermine-trimmed mozzetta. He also wore the same plain iron pectoral cross that he had worn as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, eschewing one made of gold as had been the preference of his predecessors.


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by Anura Guruge

Pope Francis Has No Events, Even A Mass, Scheduled For His 80th Birthday On December 17, 2016. (UPDATE)

by Anura Guruge


pope80

Click to ENLARGE and stare at here. From, of course, http://www.vatican.va — the official Website of the Vatican.


The calendar has since been updated.

francisupdate


Interesting, but maybe not surprising.

Pope Francis, per his sometime desire to remain modest, probably does not want to make a big deal about his 80th birthday. It is no longer that special. 7 of the last 8 popes also did so!

Yes, he holds at least one Mass, typically early in the morning, every day. So that will probably take place per the routine.

It makes sense for him to downplay this milestone. IF he was still a cardinal, as opposed to pope, he would, on that day, cease to be a papal elector.

Let’s wait and see.


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by Anura Guruge

Pope Francis On Turning 80 Will Join 25 Other Popes Known To Have Also Done So.

by Anura Guruge


Click the images below to ENLARGE
and study.

Extracted from my ‘magic’
Pope Excel Spreadsheet.


Though we have a fairly accurate record of nearly all of the papacies in terms of start and end dates, this is definitely NOT the case when it comes to knowing the birthdates of the popes.

Nearly all of the birthdates of the popes elected prior to 1400 are either NOT known or reliable. Hence, we really can’t be definitive when it comes to talking about the real ages of popes prior to the 15th century. I have, however, made 4 exceptions BUT highlighted them with an orange background. In the case of these 4 popes we think we have a good handle as to how old they were when they died — but, it is true, that it is still supposition. I could have included Celestine III (#176) into this list too, but the ages that we have for him, i.e., that he was elected when he was about 85 years old and died 7 years later are even more sketchy. So I left him out. So, again, IF you want to be pedantic, exclude the 4 popes marked in orange and focus on the other 21.


francis80chrono

In Chronological Order as to when they were pope.


francis80oldest

In terms of oldest to youngest, i.e., Pope Francis.


francis80yearsaspope

How long they had been pope before they turned 80.


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by Anura Guruge

With Pope Francis Turning 80 On December 17, 2016, 7 Of The Last 8 Popes Have Reigned Beyond 80!

by Anura Guruge


francis80

Click to ENLARGE.


This is sobering.

Wow!

7 out of the last 8 popes, the ONE exception, the much beloved, smiling pope, John Paul I. What a shame.

So we are going back to February 1922. 93 years.

Is this the NEW normal?


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by Anura Guruge

Pope Francis, For The First Time, Did NOT Exceed The 120 Elector Limit — Is This A Clue To Timing Of Next Pope Electing Conclave?

by Anura Guruge


consistorysfdsf

Click to ENLARGE. From my ‘magic’ Cardinals Excel spreadsheet. Dates when existing cardinals turn 80.


On the day of Pope Francis‘ cardinal creating consistory, viz., November 19, 2016, there will be 108 cardinal electors (barring any deaths prior to that).

Nine (9) days later another cardinal, viz., ‘Sarr’, turns 80 and ceases to be an elector.

Pope Francis will be creating 13 new cardinal electors on November 19, 2016.

So, yes … for 9 days we will have 121 electos — ONE (1) more than the currently allowed 120 elector max. BUT this gets normalized on November 28, 2016.

So come December, when the pope turns 80, the number of electors will be at 120. PERFECT.

This pope has only held 2 other cardinal creating consistories, one in February 2014 and the other in February 2015.

After his first one there were 122 electors. It was to be 3 weeks before, barring a death (which did occur), two cardinals were due to age out.

In 2015 he had 125 electors after his consistory.

But this time he is being very careful.

This could be a CLUE. A December conclave ahead of Christmas? 


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by Anura Guruge

The Chances Of Pope Francis RESIGNING Just Went Up — With November 19, 2016 Consistory.

by Anura Guruge


I was anticipating this 4 months ago!

Remember I was the ONLY person who identified ‘Pope Francis’ as a possible pope,
IN PRINT, ahead of his election.

I even got the November 19, 2016 date right.

consistory1111

Click to access my seminal June 26, 2016 post on this very same topic.


popereutersasas

Click to access “Reuters” coverage of the forthcoming November 19, 2016, cardinal creating consistory.


consistory222

I also discussed, in this post, the SIGNIFICANCE of a November cardinal-creating consistory. Click image to access August 22, 2016 post.


Not a given, BUT Pope Francis opting for this November 19, 2016 cardinal creating consistory CERTAINLY increases the likelihood that Pope Francis may consider resigning/retiring/abdicating once he turns turns 80 on December 17, 2016.

He has openly talked about this possibility.

That he is TOPPING up the cardinal electors to the MAXIMUM 120 (legally) permitted is significant.

Let the “NEXT POPE“, papabili, speculation commence.


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by Anura Guruge

Pope Francis Reorganizes The Vatican Curia To Better Deal With The Migrant Crisis Facing The World.

by Anura Guruge


Click here to read the Vatican original.

Francisdicas

Click to ENLARGE and read here.


‘Cor Unum’ mentioned above essentially dealt with charity work. So Pope Francis is taking 4 dicasteries (i.e., curial departments) that in one way or another dealt with humanitarian issues and merging them into a new dicastery with an emphasis on the new migrant crisis.

This new dicastery will be headed by the Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson — once considered, imporbably, to be a papabile.

My collaborator on these matters papal, Louis Epstein, tells me that he takes this news as an indication that Francis is unlikely to retire soon.


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by Anura Guruge

Pope Benedict XVI Created Cardinal Electors Are Once Again The Majority.

by Anura Guruge


The columns denote: Cardinal Electors, Cardinal Non-Electors (i.e., over 80) & TOTAL.

cardinals

Click to ENLARGE.


Got this from an e-mail from Louis Epstein, College of Cardinals watcher and my collaborator on many papal topics: “I note that with Cardinal Rouco Varela’s age-out last week Benedict XVI cardinals are again a majority of the electors (56-55) and will stay so through a possible February consistory date(no Benedict cardinal ages out before February and two JP II cardinals age out in October alone)”. [Louis and I differ on when the next cardinal creating consistory might be — as I discussed in this post. Louis is holding out for February 2017 while I think that there is a chance (a small one possibly) that we could get one in November 2016.

I personally do not think the Benedict ’56’ majority is significant in any way. The John Paul II and Benedict XVI cardinals are all from the SAME CLOTH and as such mindset and ideology. Between them we have 80 electors, i.e., 72% — 6% over the two-thirds majority required to elect a new pope. Plus I am sure MOST of the Francis electors will vote with the old guard to elect a new pope who is far different in temperament and mentality to the current pope.


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by Anura Guruge

November 2016 Cardinal Creating Consistory Or Will Pope Francis Hold Out Till February 2017?

by Anura Guruge


From “CRUX“, August 21, 2016.

consistoryasda


In this post in June 2016 I had opined that November 19, 2016 would be a logical date for the next cardinal creating consistoryPope Francis‘ third.

However, after what had been a long hiatus, I was talking, this weekend, with cardinalabili expert Louis Epstein. He believes that Pope Francis will wait till February 2017 given that both his prior cardinal creating consistories were in February.

He definitely has the option of waiting till February or even later.

We have 111 cardinal electors right now. Three will age-out (i.e., reach 80) by November 19, 2016. Three more would have aged out by February 16, 2017.

So, barring deaths, there will be 108 electors in November 2016 and 105 in February 2017. This is plenty enough to elect a pope.

So this again begs the question as to whether Pope Francis, who turns 80 on December 17, 2016, plans to retire anytime soon as he has been intimating for ‘years’. Louis thinks that Francis is having too much fun right now to retire. He could be right. If he doesn’t plan to retire before February 2017 he could very well wait till then for the next consistory.


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by Anura Guruge