Tag Archives: Benedict XVI

I Pull The Plug On My Once High-Flying “Popes and Papacy” Website/Blog.

by Anura Guruge



Click to ENLARGE and marvel. These the stats for February 10, 2013 to March 30, 2013 — viz. Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation and Pope Francis’ election. 168,000 hits during those 6-weeks. 14,702 hits on the day of the resignation. Those were the glory days.


I gave up and pulled the trigger way earlier than I had planned.

I had been trying to migrate all of the important content, for posterity, to this blog. But, tonight, I gave up. I just don’t have the time. So much to do and this was just another distraction.

Yes, I do realize that I just destroyed quite a bit of valuable, cannot be found anywhere else data! C’est la vie. I guess if we get desperate some bits of it might still be available on the Internet archive. But, as of now it is ALREADY gone.


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by Anura Guruge

Finally End-Gaming My Once Highly Popular “Popes and Papacy” Website/Blog.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access the “Popes and Papacy” Website while it is still up.


Click to ENLARGE and marvel. These the stats for February 10, 2013 to March 30, 2013 — viz. Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation and Pope Francis’ election. 168,000 hits during those 6-weeks. 14,702 hits on the day of the resignation. Those were the glory days.


This during 2012 — 2013 was my PRIMARY blog — as opposed to this one. I put in a TON of work into it, working on it 4 – 6 hours a day. It had nearly 1,500 posts — and over 760,000 hits.

But it was really my “Next Pope (after Benedict XVI)” blog — to go with my “Next Pope 2011” book.

Once Francis was elected — and I did correctly identify him as a potential next pope — I kind of lost enthusiasm. My job was done. I wanted to move onto other greener pastures, e.g., orgasms, meditation and chronic pain. Plus, this blog was ‘taking off‘ — with around the same number of hits per day.

So, as I have done with so many other blogs I basically abandoned it. So for the last 4 years it has been ticking along because of the wealth of posts that were already in there.

But, keeping it going is becoming an issue — and cost is NOT one of them, though bloody GoDaddy charges me two arms and two legs for it. A lot has to do with security and I just am not willing to expend the efforts needed to button down all the hatches that I am supposed to.

So I am in the process of closing it down.

Hence the flood of ‘papal’ posts you have seen in the last week. {Smile}

I am transitioning over all the valuable, in many instances unique posts. I have also already deleted nearly 200 posts. Hopefully I will be done by October 2017.

So, now you know what all the new papal posts are about.

Enjoy.


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by Anura Guruge

Fascinating Story About How Prior Pope Benedict XVI’s Parents Met In The 1920s.

by Anura Guruge


It is a cute, but true, story from 2006 which needs to be preserved. It is from my favorite daily paper, the U.K. “Daily Mail“, which I used to read everyday when I lived in the UK — and now read online everyday.

Wonder how many people know of this story. Real nice. The pope’s father appears to have waited a long time; 43-years prior to this marriage! Was he previously married?

Click to access UK Daily Mail 2006 story.


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by Anura Guruge

Cardinal Creating Consistory Habits Of The Last 16 Popes, Francis To Pius VII; Multiple Per Year Was The Norm.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


I updated this Excel spreadsheet to now include Pope Francis.

The data should be fairly self-explanatory. I, as ever, highlighted the significant fields.

The ‘cardinals created per month in office‘ column (highlighted at top in purple) is fascinating. It is an easy but telling metric to grasp. Benedict XVI was pope for 94 months and during that time he created 90 popes. So ‘cardinals created per month in office‘ = 90/94 = 1 (when rounded up). Francis’ 1.2 will go down the longer he stays in office — but he will also continue to create more cardinals — we hope.

Interesting chart to study. Enjoy.


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by Anura Guruge

Cardinal Bishops Elected Pope (as of 769).

by Anura Guruge


The 897 ‘cadaver synod’ involving Formosus (#112), the first cardinal bishop to be elected pope.


There have been 29 cardinal bishops elected pope since 769.

The last pope, Benedict XVI (#266), is the latest of those 29. Prior to him it was Pius VIII (#254) in 1829 — a 176 year gap with 12 intervening popes.

I was surprised that there had been 29. I thought, before I started compiling the list, that the number would be in the low 20s — comparable to the 22 cardinal deacons elected pope.

EXISTING BISHOPS BECOMING THE BISHOP OF ROME (i.e., the Pope)

Please refer to the cardinal deacons post, (earlier today), for why I use 769 as the start date when it comes to ‘cardinals.’ Coincidentally, probably providentially, 769 also happens to be the year that the term ‘cardinal bishop’ (episcopi cardinals), was introduced into ‘Rome speak,’ in the context of a weekly roster of hebdomadarii bishops who would conduct Mass on Sundays at St. Peter’s, in rotation. [Pages 85 & 105 of ‘The Next Pope‘ book.]

Please study the ‘edibility to be pope’ table in the cardinal deacons post.

Note that the seminal 769 synod pointedly excluded cardinal bishops from being elected pope.

This was NOT a mistake or oversight. There was a very sound rationale for this exclusion — the prohibition against clerical, and in particular bishopric, transfers, codified way back in 325 at the pivotal First Council of Nicaea [Turkey], convened and presided over by no other than Emperor Constantine the Great [who legitimized Christianity].

In December of 882, John VIII (#108), a pope with a penchant for dabbling in secular politics, was murdered — poisoned and then clubbed until he was dead, supposedly by members of his retinue, possibly even relatives. Two days after John VIII’s murder, Marinus I (#109), the Bishop of Caere [~30 miles NNW of Rome], was elected pope. He was the first bishop to be elected pope. He was not, however, a cardinal bishop. [Page 45, ‘The Next Pope.‘]

Formosus (#112), the unfortunate subject of the despicable 897 ‘cadaver synod,’ was the first cardinal bishop to be elected pope — in 891. One of the ‘crimes’ he was accused of, albeit when he was a cadaver, was the ‘translation of bishops,’ i.e., the bishop of one see becoming the bishop of another, even if it was the see of Rome.

WHY THERE HAVEN”T BEEN MORE CARDINAL BISHOPS ELECTED POPE

Prior to 1059, the prevailing laws and traditions precluded cardinal bishops from being elected pope, though as is always the case in papal history, three cardinal bishops, starting with Formosus, were elected pope between 769 and 1059.

There can only be 6 (and at one time 7) cardinal bishops, at any one time — so they are not as numerous as cardinal priests or even cardinal deacons.

At least of late (i.e., the last few centuries), the cardinal bishops may have been older than the norm.

Cardinal bishops, given their seniority, may have had closer links to prior popes, especially the most recently deceased, which made them less attractive. [However, in the case of the current pope, Benedict XVI, it was indeed this close relationship with the prior pope that made him attractive to the cardinal electors.]

THE LIST OF CARDINAL BISHOPS ELECTED POPE (AS OF 769)

Click to ENLARGE.

Notes and explanations follow.

In the ‘Seq #’ field a YELLOW background denotes successive pope, while the GREEN background denotes papacy that occurred close together.

In the ‘created’ field, the [O] for ‘order,’ indicates B=bishop, P=priest & D=deacon.

‘Xs’ field portrays transfers within the College. Please refer to this post about jus optionis preferment rules within the College. In the ‘x+y’ notation, the first number refers to transfers prior to becoming a cardinal bishop while the second number refers to the number of moves between suburbicarian sees while a cardinal bishop — though this number does NOT include getting Ostia upon becoming the Dean of the College of Cardinals. The YELLOW background indicates noteworthy exceptions. Leo XI requested five separate transfers while a cardinal priest. On February 14, 1592, he opted for one title then changed his mind and opted for another! A ‘P’ indicates elevation from cardinal deacon to cardinal priest, while ‘C’ denotes a title awarded ‘in commendam,’ please refer to <this post>.

As of 1150, when the College was formed, the Dean of the College was supposed to get Ostia. But this did not come to be, in a consistent manner, till much, much later. The BLUE background highlight scenarios when Ostia was not properly assigned, or assigned prior to the cardinal bishop becoming the Dean.

NOTES 1 & 2: Formosus and Silvester III held these sees, viz. Porto and Sabina, in two very distinct periods of time. In the case of the latter, he went back to be the Cardinal Bishop of Sabina when he was ousted as being pope! Formosus was excommunicated in 876 and eventually exiled. Marinus, the first bishop to transfer into Rome, reinstated him!


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by Anura Guruge

The Youngest Popes Ever; John XII Probably Having Been A Teenager!

by Anura Guruge


Youngest Since 1400

ten youngest popes since 1400 Anura Guruge

The ten youngest popes since 1400 by Anura Guruge. Click to ENLARGE.


John Paul II (#265) was 58 years, 3 months & 4 weeks old when elected pope on October 16, 1978. He was the youngest pope to be elected during the twentieth century, Benedict XV (#259), elected in September 1914 having been 531 days older.

John Paul II was, however, the twentieth youngest pope to be elected as of 1400 [dates pertaining to the popes prior to 1400 are either unreliable or unavailable and as such are impractical for meaningful analysis].

Benedict XV was the 22nd oldest [again as of 1400].

In June 1846, Pius IX (#256) was elected at the age of 54. Two popes separated Pius IX from Benedict XV. Pius IX was the 12th youngest since 1400.

Average age at election of the 62 popes elected since 1400 is 62.4 years.

Per my research it would appear that the minimum theoretical age at which one could become pope, in the future, is 25 – that being the minimum age to be a Catholic priest or deacon.

Pope John XII — when older.

THE YOUNGEST EVER
One of the youngest popes ever was probably John (‘Octavian’) XII (#131), the illegitimate son of Alberic II who ruled Rome from 932 to 954. Alberic, on his deathbed, coerced influential Romans to promise that they would make sure his son, Octavian, would succeed him as the ruler of Rome and also be appointed the next pope. Octavian became John XII [his step-uncle having been John XI (#126)] in December 955 when Agapetus II (#130) died.  John was supposed to have been around 18 years of age at that point.

The infamous Benedict IX (#146, #148 & 151), who served an unprecedented three terms as pope, was also quite young when  first elected in October 1032. He was the last layman to be elected pope. Though there are those that claim that he was but a teenager when elected in reality he was probably in his twenties.

THE TEN YOUNGEST POPES SINCE 1400

Leo X (right) youngest pope since 1400, with his cousin, who one pope later would be the second youngest, as Clement VII. Painting by Raphael

The youngest pope elected since 1400 was Leo X (#218) at the age of 37, in 1513. He the second son of the famous Lorenzo ‘il Magnifico’ Medici of Florence was created a cardinal, albeit without it being publicized (though this was prior to the in pectore practice that came to be in 1536) when he was but thirteen. Leo X, a cardinal deacon when elected, also happens to be the last non-priest/monk to be elected pope. It is said that on being elected he told his retinue ‘God has given us the papacy. Now let us enjoy it.’ Alak, this was not to be the case. His papacy was majorly buffeted by the rise of Martin Luther’s Reformation. He would die of malaria close to his 46th birthday.

The second youngest, since 1400, happens to be Leo X’s cousin Clement VII (#220), one pope later, at the age of 45. [So there is a 8 year difference between the youngest and the second youngest.] Clement VII’s parents were not married making him the last known pope of illegitimate birth.

The ten youngest popes, since 1400, to be elected are:

Note that three of these popes, #207 to #209, were consecutive; i.e., three popes in succession elected prior to their fiftieth birthday.

It is interesting that the six popes who were elected before they turned 50 did not enjoy particularly long pontificates. Eugene IV, who died at 62, was to be the oldest from this group. During the last 150 years the cardinals have hesitated about electing young, i.e., those in their fifties, given the possibility of a pontificate that might last three decades.


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by Anura Guruge

Tale of Two Papacies: Benedict XVI vs John XXIII.

by Anura Guruge


Pope Benedict XVI versus Pope John XXIII two papacies Anura Guruge


Originally Posted on my ‘Popes-and-Papacy‘ blog on August 19, 2010 (i.e., 7-years ago).


Pope Benedict XVI (#266) turned 83 on April 16, 2010.

Three days later, i.e., April 19, was his fifth anniversary as pope.

He was the fifth oldest of the popes, since 1400, when elected. He is already the tenth oldest pope, albeit, as of 1400. There were three, post 1400 popes, who died shortly after turning 83. Thus, come mid-July 2010 he could be the seventh oldest. [Dates prior to 1400 are unavailable or unreliable.]

His mentor, John Paul II (#265), who died at 84, is currently the sixth oldest.

Bl. John XXIII (#262) became pope when he was 76. He was the sixth oldest to be elected since 1400.

John XXIII was pope for 1,679 days [4 years and 7 months].

Benedict XVI on his fifth anniversary had been pope for 1,826 days.

Bl. John XXIII, An Object Lesson In Vision, Drive & Efficacy
By all accounts Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli had no inclination that he may become pope until a few days prior to the start of the 1958 conclave. That he had bought a return railway ticket when he left Venice for Rome is well documented. It is also noted that he told some people in Rome to meet with him once he was back in Venice. He had left his walking shoes at the ‘Domus Mariae’ [the headquarters of the Women’s Catholic Action in Rome], his assigned quarters prior to the conclave, when he entered the Apostolic Palace for the conclave. It is documented that he sent his personal secretary Guido Gusso to pick up these shoes before he made his first public appearance on the central balcony of St. Peter’s.

However, once pope, John XXIII was driven.

John XXIII

  • 89 days into his papacy announced his intentions to convene Vatican II, the first ecumenical council since Vatican I, 90 years earlier. Vatican II changed the complexion of the modern Church.
  • 48 days into his papacy he held his first cardinal creating consistory. He created 23 cardinals so that the College was 74 strong. At a stroke he had overridden Sixtus V’s (#228) edict that had limited the size of the College to 70 – way back in 1586.
  • Increased the size of the College to 90 – a 29% increase above the limit set by Sixtus V.
  • Held 5 cardinal creating consistories, and created 52 cardinals – holding a consistory, on average every 298 days.
  • 1,444 days into his papacy he open Vatican II with at least 2,000 bishops in attendance.
  • Altered the jus optionis precedence rules as to whether the senior most cardinal could ask to be made a Cardinal Bishop. He also issued a motu proprio in 1962 confirming that the titles of the Cardinal Bishops were strictly titular.

The bottom line is that Bl. John XXIII’s pontificate was shorter than of the current pope. But, he didn’t waste any time. He had a vision and an agenda.

<< To be continued. You can draw your conclusions in the meantime. >>

Benedict XV (#259) was pope for 7 years and 4 months between 1914 and 1922. That is the next milestone for this pope. Other than for the unfortunately fleeting 33-day papacy of John Paul I (#264) ‘recent’ popes have enjoyed ‘long’ pontificates. Other than for that of John Paul I, John XXIII’s was the shortest in the twentieth century. After that it was that of Benedict XV. St. Pius X (#258) reigned for 11 years. That is the next longest.

One cannot equate popes to other mortals! Popes enjoy a unique standing on earth. I personally, and I could be wrong, don’t think popes worry too much about their legacy. That they were pope is all that matters. The same applies to credibility. They are only concerned about their credibility with the ONLY ONE, supposedly, that can judge them. So, it is futile to say that John XXIII’s achievements during his 1,679 day pontificate casts a shadow over that of Benedict XVI. But, it is something to think about.


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by Anura Guruge

Is Donald Trump Limping — And I Mean Physically.

by Anura Guruge


Donald Trump in Paris today, Thursday, July 13, 2017. 

At the welcoming ceremony with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Watch as he walks — especially the views from the back.

His left leg appears to be WEAK. He is limping.

Start around the 9 minute mark in the YouTube video below.

OK? See what YOU think.



As a papal watcher over the last decade or so I have got attuned to looking for and noticing limps — both popes of that period, Benedict XVI and Francis, having had limps.

You have to watch carefully, but I am sure he is having trouble with his left leg. Yes, he is packing on the pounds again. That never helps.


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by Anura Guruge

Pope Francis’ June 28, 2017 Cardinal Creating Consistory: What Makes It Unusual.

by Anura Guruge



There are a number of things that make this consistory stand-out from the last 17 spanning 38 years.

So let’s look at what makes this consistory somewhat unusual, and as such, special.

  1. It is the SMALLEST consistory, in terms of cardinals being created, since Paul VI’s last one in 1977 when only four cardinals were created — but Paul VI, who instituted both the 120 elector limit and the 80-year ‘cut-off’, never exceeded the 120 limit or created any cardinals who were over 80. Benedict XVI, in his last cardinal creating consistory in November 2012, three-months ahead of his resignation, created 6 cardinals — that being the maximum he could create if he were not to exceed the 120-limit.
  2. The first consistory since March 2006 NOT to be held on a Saturday — the last 7 consistories, four of Benedict XVI’s and three of Francis’ all being Saturday consistories with the celebratory Mass being held on Sunday.
    ….
  3. The first consistory, since John Paul II’s 8th consistory on February 21, 2001 to be held on a Wednesday.
    ….
  4. The first consistory since 1991 to be held on June 28. There is a significance to June 28th. The ‘Feast of Saints Peter and Paul‘, Rome’s two founding Apostles, falls, each year, on June 29. So, by having the consistory on June 28, the Vatican can have the celebratory Mass on this special Feast day. This, as such, is thus a ‘Feast of Saints Peter and Paul‘ consistory. John Paul II was found of such consistories. His 1988 cardinal creating consistory, the one before the 1991 one, was also a June 28 affair. His first ever was on June 30, the day after the feast. Paul VI held two consistories very close to this feast.
    ….
  5. Will create the first ever cardinals from first cardinals from El SalvadorLaosMali, and Sweden — as well as the from all of Scandinavia! That is pretty impressive.
    ….
  6. Bishop José Gregorio Rosa Chávez, auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, El Salvador will become the FIRST AUXILIARY BISHOP to be created a cardinal!His superior the Titular Bishop of San Salvador, El Salvador is NOT a cardinal.
    ….
  7. First of Francis’ consistories not to create a curial cardinal. (This was also true of Benedict XVI’s last consistory).
    ….
  8. First of Francis’ consistories not to create an over-80, non-elector cardinal. (This was also true of Benedict XVI’s last consistory). This is incongruous. There are no limits as to the non-electors and he could have created as many as he wanted.
    ….
  9. Barring deaths, there will be 121 cardinal electors following this consistory — and that number will not drop to the CONCLAVE-VALID 120 till February 2018. This would indicate, unless the Pope is aware of a very ill under-80 cardinal, that the Pope does not foresee a conclave ahead of February 2018.After Francis’ 1st cardinal creating consistory there were 122 electors; 125 after the 2nd and 121 after the 3rd. So he has always gone over the 120 limit.….

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by Anura Guruge

Ahead Of Pope Francis’ June 28, 2017 Cardinal Creating Consistory — A List Of All 61 Prior Consistories Since 1900.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.



I had let this very informative Cardinal Creating Consistory Excel spreadsheet lapse after Pope Benedict XVI’s last in November 2012. That it was out-of-date always bothered me. So, I rectified that over the last few days. I also rationalized and simplified it. There is more work required BUT this is good start for this version.

I wanted to share it with you. Shows some interesting trends.

I plan to do more posts specific to the upcoming June 28, 2017 consistory over the next few days. So, stay tuned.


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by Anura Guruge