by Anura Guruge
>> Schism post family synod.
>> Francis and his mortality.
>> Need to start working on ‘Next Pope’ again?
>> Pope Francis’ U.S. Visit — THE book.
++++ Search on ‘pope‘ for many, many other posts >>>>
Cardinal George Pell.
One way or another, just going on what Pope Francis himself has repeatedly said about his ‘2 to 3 year life span’ and the possibility of him retiring (à la Benedict XVI), I have a distinct feeling that we will have a new pope, post Francis, in the next 18 months.
So, it falls upon me, as “Mr. Next Pope“, to start working on this again, though I had hoped for a longer break.
Australian Cardinal George Pell (74 years in age), though controversial in his own right (for his handling of sex abuse in Australia and being outspoken about both Benedict & Francis), is now seen, increasingly, as the ‘Leader of the Opposition’ — though ironically, Francis has also given him significant power (over Vatican budgets and finances) as a ‘trusted’ member of his ‘inner cabinet’.
Cardinal Carlo Caffarra.
My initial druthers had been that AFTER the Francis experiment, which has NOT worked out that well, that the cardinals will become even more introspective, batten down the Vatican hatches and decide to go back to the ‘ways of the old’ — i.e., an European pope, if NOT an Italian pope. Basically avoid another EXOTIC. And Pell, from Oceania (as the Vatican characterizes that part of the Pacific), is definitely an EXOTIC. But he does seems to have a following as exemplified by this recent letter of ‘no-confidence’ to Francis signed by 13 other cardinals. 13 cardinals is 66 votes short of the 2/3 majority that Pell would need to be elected pope. That is a fair chunk of cardinals that have to get behind him. But what is fascinating about the list of 13 is that it includes INFLUENTIAL names from all continents, and some with real clout, e.g., New York’s Dolan, Canada’s Collins, South Africa’s Fox Napier, Europe’s Müller. These folks can definitely rustle up votes from their colleagues.
At 74 Pell is YOUNG. The trend is towards OLDER, i.e., past 75, popes in the hope they don’t rule for decades and decades now that life expectancies are long.
I see that , in their infamous ‘Next Pope’ betting, has my 2013 #1 papabile, Canada’s Marc Ouellet at #2. But Marc is even younger! Philippines’ Tagle is but a wet dream. Not for another 20 years.
Here is a name to think about, 77 year old Italian Carlo Caffarra. His conservative credentials are impeccable.