Tag Archives: Camerlengo

Camerlengo Who Have Become Pope. Extremely Rare & Kevin Farrell Will NOT Be The Next Pope.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and read here. From my “The Next Pope 2011” book, which contains a ton of useful information such as this. So, rather than rewrite it, I just grabbed this from page 42. Click on image at the end of this post to access this book.


Click to ENLARGE.


First & foremost the Next Pope will not be American. You can take it to the bank.

Anybody who thinks that an American cardinal is a papabile is smoking dope, legally or otherwise. Will NOT happen. Pipe dream.

The world does NOT want the Vatican becoming ‘White House East’. That has always been the issue.

Plus, now we have the Sex Abuse Crimes reaching a new crescendo. The U.S. Catholic hierarchy has been totally discredited. The last thing that the other cardinals want is drawing more attention to the the horrendous problems transpiring in the U.S.

Plus, there is also Trump.

Actually, Kevin Farrell strikes out on three counts (at present).

  1. He is American. That is the BIGGEST disqualifier.
    …..
  2. Camerlengos do not often get elected. They are considered the henchman of the previous pope and Francis is not that popular.
    …..
  3. Currently at 71-years of age he is WAY TOO young. The next pope, like the past two, needs to be at least 75.

P.S., I know that the PLURAL of Camerlengo is Camerlenghi. But, not too many other do. So, there was no point using Camerlenghi because it would just mess up those doing a Google on ‘Camerlengos’.

[I know my SEO.]


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by Anura Guruge

The New Camerlengo — U.S. Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell, The 1st Non-European Camerlengo.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Farrell


It has been 7-months. Click to access my post.


I did foresee the possibility of an American. Click to access my post.


What is MOST significant with Kevin Joseph Farrell’s appointment is that he is a non-European. A first, and as such, of course, the first American Camerlengo.

Do not read too much into this appointment. It does not indicate that a conclave is around the corner. Having a Camerlengo, on tap, is more normal than not having one. The 7-month gap, though possibly a tad long, is not exceptional. Popes like to wait awhile before they fill this post. Not having a Camerlengo, if the pope was to die, is not the end of the world. It happened when Pius XII died in 1958. The Dean of the College of Cardinals deputized on day 1 and then they elected a cardinal to act as the temporary Camerlengo.

We have had non-Italian Camerlenghi. The last Camerlengo, Jean-Louis Tauran, was French. So was Jean Villot, the iconic Camerlengo of the 1970s. We have also had a Spaniard, Eduardo Martínez Somalo, 1993 to 2007. So, these are the recent non-Italians. But, there was also a spate of French ones in the 14th century during the Avignon Papacy.

Choosing Farrell makes sense. At 71 he is of the right age, though one a few years younger would have made more sense. He is also a curialist; i.e., he works at the Vatican. That is a prerequisite. The Camerlengo has to reside in Rome.

So, this is all good.

Just don’t assume that a conclave is around the corner. Just revel in that he is non-European. A most welcome departure from what had been a 2,000-year custom.



Click to access post from Feb. 15, 2019.



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by Anura Guruge

U.S. Cardinal James Michael Harvey: An Inspired Choice As Next Camerlengo.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.

Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Michael_Harvey


There has never been a U.S. Camerlengo. That alone Cardinal Harvey, as a potential candidate, interesting and intriguing. The Vatican has some similarities to NATO — the U.S. is the biggest contributor to its working budget. And it is no secret that since the early 1900s the U.S. Catholics have invariably helped out with conclave costs. So, it would be only fair to appoint a U.S. Camerlengo — given that the next pope, or the one after that … or the one after that will not be American.

James Michael Harvey, had a distinguished career in Rome, as the Prefect of the Papal Household; a post he held for 14-years. But, then, extremely incongruously, he was removed from that position the DAY BEFORE he was created a cardinal. Yes, his replacement was Pope Benedict XVI’s special friend, the handsome and debonair, fellow-German, Archbishop Georg Gänswein (61). So, we might have been trying to read too much into this. Benedict just wanted his friend in charge of his household rather than an American that had been appointed by an ailing John Paul II.

It is also true that ‘Vatileaks‘ came to be during Harvey’s watch and THE BUTLER was arrested six-months prior to Harvey being pushed out. But, this was now 6 years ago.

Harvey has kept his copy book clean.

He has all the qualifications to be a good Camerlengo. He is young, knows the workings of the Vatican inside-out and has demonstrable executive experience.

So, it is a name to think about.


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by Anura Guruge

Next Camerlengo IF It Isn’t Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


I am still fairly confident that the new Camerlengo will be the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. That is the logical pick.

But, if Pope Francis decides against Parolin here are some other viable names.

There are only two criteria that a Camerlengo needs to meet. He needs to be a Cardinal Elector and he needs to be permanently resident in Rome, The latter being why the Camerlengo is invariably a curalist. Being a seasoned curialist also helps in that the Camerlengo must know how to get things done within the Vatican.

Other than the under-80 requirement to be a Cardinal Elector there is no other age constraints. So, the pope could pick a cardinal in his mid- or late-70s. But, I don’t think that is likely to happen. But, it also depends as to when the Pope thinks the next conclave is likely to be. His unexpected creation of the four irregular Cardinal Bishops is an indication that he thinks that we will have a conclave sooner than later; i.e., within the next 2.5 years.

So, the above 6 is my first cut. I could be dead wrong on these. Basically food for thought.

Let me know what you think. Again, please remember that I think that Cardinal Pietro Parolin is, indubitably, the first pick.


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by Anura Guruge

Cardinal Pietro Parolin Most Likely The Next Camerlengo Following The Death Of Cardinal Louis Tauran.

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

Death Of French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, The Camerlengo.

by Anura Guruge



The 2013 habermus Papam delivered by Cardinal Tauran.


Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Louis_Tauran


Cardinal Tauran’s coat of arms


Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, at the time the protodeacon [i.e., senior most cardinal deacon], came to worldwide prominence on March 13, 2013, when he appeared on the famous balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to announce who was to be the new pope, post Benedict XVI.

That was when most of us realized that he suffered, quite badly, from Parkinson’s — and that resonated with I since my adoptive mother (who also, coincidentally, lived in France for 18-years) had Parkinson’s for many years prior to dying in her sleep, aged 62, in 1992.

Cardinal Tauran from everything I have heard and read was much respected, liked and competent.

I was very surprised that Pope Francis, ’18-months’ into his pontificate, made Tauran his new Camerlengo (when ‘my man’) Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone turned 80 — and as such could no longer be the Camerlengo since he was now ineligible to attend a conclave. Being a Camerlengo is demanding THOUGH a Camerlengo’s real duties only start when there is a sede vacante (i.e, the absence of a pope).

I now SUSPECT that Francis may have been EXTREMELY CALCULATING in making this decision. He probably determined that Tauran may NOT be around by the time of the Next Conclave! That, obviously, was the case. So, why would be do that. Being appointed Camerlengo is a singular honor and Cardinal Tauran, though he never officiated at a Conclave, will always be listed and remembered as a Camerlengo. So, the Pope was being ultra nice to him. I am cool with that. Nothing wrong with that. No harm done.

Not having a Camerlengo is NOT a problem — though I suspect that Francis will appoint one soon. I have a feeling it is going to be Cardinal Pietro Parolin. (Though health again might be an issue!) Being Camerlengo is the perfect job for the Secretary of State. The two jobs have zero-overlap. The Secretary of State automatically loses his job at the start of the sede vacante which is when the Camerlengo steps to the fore. My man Bertone (and I truly liked him) held both titles — as has many others.

Just for the record there had not been a Camerlengo for YEARS when Pope Pius XII died in 1958. The Dean of the College of Cardinals had to appoint one after first certifying that the pope was indeed dead.


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by Anura Guruge

CNN Series: “Pope” Episode 2 — Riddled With Errors; Part I.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Click to ENLARGE. From my “Next Pope” books. See below.


Click to ENLARGE. From page 106 of my “The Next Pope — 2011” book. Click image of book below for details.



Errors & Omissions in Episode 1 of the CNN “Pope” Series.

  1. Fake News re. St. Peter being 1st pope — Click here for my post.
    ….
  2. Additional Errors and Omissions — Click here for my post.


Oh, dear, dear, dear! It was bad. Painful. Excruciating.

Error upon error. Not sure whether it was ignorance or a desire to just put out ALTERNATE FACTS.

This was very unbecoming. I like CNN. I expected better.

I don’t have the time to go through ALL the errors! At one point I thought I thought I spotted an error EVERY 4th SENTENCE!

I will try and do a series of posts as time permits. This, as such, is Part 1.


The electoral process for Popes prior to the “College of Cardinals” being Formed.

Contrary to what they said (and implied) multiple times, it wasn’t just the cardinals who were involved in the process. Priests, Roman laity and nobles had a say and hand. So, to continually talk about just the cardinals, vis-à-vis papal elections is WRONG.


Explicit statements that the Cardinals decided to form the “College of Cardinals“.

Wrong! The cardinals NEVER had the authority to do anything of this scale. In those days, or even now, the ONLY thing they could really organize, as a gathering, without explicit papal consent, would be an orgy. And I kid you NOT (and they did organize and participate in a lot of those (i.e., orgies)).

Yes, the cardinals, started CALLING themselves as a ‘College’ at a ‘synod’ — BUT that was JUST a name. There was no such College or ‘officials’ — i.e., Dean & a Camerlengo — until Pope Eugene III mandated its creation.


IF only they had bothered to leaf through any one of my 10 Pope books or just called me. Pity. Shame.

FAKE NEWS.


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by Anura Guruge

Errors In ‘Behind Locked Doors, A History of Papal Elections’ By Frederic J. Baumgartner.

<<  <<  Transferring over from my “Popes and Papacy” Website  >> >>


‘Behind Locked Doors, A History of Papal Elections’
by Frederic J. Baumgartner

ISBN: 1-4039-6962-0, 2003


This was one of my favorite papal books. I liked it so much I have 3 copies so that one is always at hand. I have also had the honor of exchanging a few emails with Prof. Baumgartner. Of late I have become quite perturbed by the number of errors I have found in this book — many of them quite serious.

Page 7: 12th line from bottom. ‘In 401 Innocent I succeeded his father Anastasius I, …’

Not so. A historic misconception but by the 20th century it was known to have been a reference to a spiritual ‘father-son’ relationship, as opposed to a blood connection. Professor Baumgartner should not have propagated this.

< Kind of ironic. Way back, c. 2005, when I first started researching papal history I saw this claim and e-mailed Professor Baumgartner if he had any concrete proof of this. He told me that he was sure that he had, but couldn’t find it right away and that if he found it he would let me know. SMILE. It is OK! >

Page 22: The first sentence of the last paragraph that talks about Stephen III’s 769 decree …

This is a garbled, confused sentence at best. In the end it really falls down flat. Contrary to the claim, there is nothing similar, whatsoever, between the 769 and 1059 edicts. The statement about limiting candidates to the cardinal bishops … is, alack, wrong. Not limited.

Page 34: About 2/3 down. “… senior cardinal-deacon gave him his name, …”

Professor Baumgartner might have been having an off-day when he wrote this page (and I know how that goes). This statement about the protodeacon appears to be a ‘mind-warp’ — but I could be wrong. As we all know, the protodeacon still has the HONOR of announcing to the world, for the first time, who the new pope is and the name by which he wishes to be known. But, other than that … the protodeacon, nor anybody else for that matter, ever had the prerogative to tell a new pope as to what name he could assume. So, I can’t figure out this statement.

Page 34: Towards the very bottom. “… delegated them to choose Pope Honorius III, …”

Lets get the easy part out of the way. No, the committee of two was NOT delegated to choose ‘Honorius III’ as is stated! The committee of two was delegated to choose the next pope and they chose Cardinal Cencio Savelli who opted to be Honorius III. There is a difference. The description of this whole election in Perugia is jumbled and badly portrayed. Yes, there were only two cardinals in Perugia when Innocent III died. The book implies that the other cardinals, NOT in Perugia, delegated those two to choose the next pope. That does not appear to be
what really happened. Fifteen other cardinals were in Perugia two days later to begin the election. That is not adequately portrayed, thus creating the wrong impression.

Page 37: Middle of the first paragraph. “… eleven had been identified as favoring the emperor, …”

There was no emperor at that time! The Viterbo election/conclave being discussed happened during the 62 year interregnum following Emperor Frederick II’s death in 1250. At this point there wasn’t even a presumptive emperor, the last of Frederick’s line, from the Hohenstauffens dynasty having been recently killed — as stated earlier in that paragraph.

Page 40: 9th line. “… and after five days …”

NO! After eight days (on the ninth day of the conclave). Read Ubi periculum. Three days of standard fare. Then five days of one dish per meal. THEN the bread, water and a little wine diet. Three and five = eight. This is careless.

Page 41: 2nd line, 2nd full paragraph. “… found themselves confined in conclave.”

Nope. There was no conclave at this election, Ubi periculum having been suspended — as spelled out in the previous paragraph! Oops.

Page 42: 9th line down. “… who met in the palace of Santa Sabina, …”

Oops. A mix up with two elections hence. This one was in Viterbo, again. It was held at the Papal Palace. Not in Santa Sabina. Santa Sabina was never the site for a papal election or conclave, though the the professor thinks otherwise — twice. See page 43 below.

Page 42: 7 lines up in main para. “A month after his election …”

The Sicilian uprising (a.k.a Sicilian Vespers) took place in March 28, 1282. Martin IV was elected Feb. 22, 1281. That is ONE YEAR, ONE MONTH … not one month. That is two bloopers in one paragraph. 

Page 43: 1st line in 1st full para. “… took place again in Santa Sabina.”

 Wrong! Two errors in one sentence. Previous one was not held in Santa Sabina, nor was this one. In reality NO papal election (or conclave) has ever been held in Santa Sabina. In this case, the election was held in the deceased pope’s new palace, Corte Savella, which was NEAR Santa Sabina. Near … doesn’t mean ‘in.’ Not sure what the professor was thinking or doing.

Page 43: 2nd line, last para. “… appointed only one cardinal, Benedetto Caetani, …”

Wrong! Another ‘twofer’ — two errors in one sentence. The second ‘twofer’ on the page. Benedetto Caetani was created by Martin IV in April 1281. He took part in the election of Nicholas IV. Nicholas IV created six cardinals. Three lines later he talks about the two Colonna cardinals. Nicholas created one of them.

Page 60: 3rd line from bottom. “… the day after Urban’s death.”

Urban VI died October 15, 1389. His successor Boniface IX was installed November 2, 1389. If the conclave started October 16, per the author, this would have been a 18 day conclave. Most agree that it was not that long. Others, going by Dr. Francis A. Burkle-Young’s “Passing the Keys,” put the start date for this conclave at October 25 … i.e., consistent with the ten day lead time mandated by Ubi periculum. That makes it a 8 day conclave. That makes more sense.

Page 71: Middle of page. “Ten days later, on April 4, 1454 …”

April 4, 1455. This is a typo. My heart bleeds. I do this all the time. But, nonetheless, it is wrong.

Page 71: Middle of page. “… serve as the site for all but six conclaves to the present.”

Talking as of ‘1454’ which is mentioned at the start of this sentence. But from ALL that I can see, there have only been FIVE (5) conclaves outside of the Vatican as of 1454 — not six, viz. 1799-1800 Venice and four at the Quirinal, 1823 to 1846. Note, that this is another TWOFER. There was no conclave in 1454. 1455.

Page 140: 13th line from bottom. “… took the name Leo XI to honor Leo X, his great-uncle.”

WRONG. Maternal uncle, not great-uncle. This error got carried over to MY “Pope Names” book!

Page 210: 6th line from bottom. “… became a priest under Pius X.”

NO he didn’t. He became a priest 20 years prior to Pius X! This erroneous statement screwed up some of my work. Now that I realize how inaccurate this book is, regret ever reading it — which is a shame because it was a good read.

Page 218: last sentence of the 2nd paragraph that starts: “They were an international group …”

The claim that this consistory [i.e., December 15, 1958] created the first cardinals from Mexico, the Philippines and Japan is WRONG. The first from Japan and the Philippines came two consistories later in March 1960. Same is true for the first native African cardinal. So three of the four claims made in that sentence are wrong.

Page 224: 5th line of the 1st paragraph that says: “… camerlengo, the first non-Italian to hold the office …”

From the book. Click to ENLARGE and read.

Not so! Way back, c. 1155, we had an English camerlengoBoso Breakspear who is believed to have been related to the pope of the same last name, Hadrian IV  (#170, 1154-1159).

Here is the entry in the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia for Boso that clearly states he was camerlengo. So this is another major faux pas.

There are others. They can wait. I just don’t have the time to document
them all in one go. SORRY.

Pius XII (#261) And The Camerlengo.

by Anura Guruge



That Pius XII (#261) was camerlengo when elected pope on Thursday, March 2, 1939, his 63rd birthday, is fairly well known. As far as we know he is the only one elected pope on his birthday, and but just one of three on-duty camerlenghi to be elected pope. Two 13th century popes had been camerlenghi earlier in their careers but had relinquished this office by the time they were elected.

Pius XII was also the Secretary of State (S.S.) when elected. Again, just one of three that were ‘S.S.’ when elected pope.

Pius XII was pope for 7,161 days — 19 years, 7 months, 1 week, the 14th longest papacy to date.

During this fairly lengthy papacy, spanning all of WW II, he only had a Secretary of State for 27.82% of the time — and that was his childhood buddy. That was it. One S.S., for 5 years 5 months, and even that a person he had known since his childhood. When this S.S. died, he never appointed a permanent S.S.


Pop Quiz

So we have the stats for the S.S. What about the Camerlengo?

For what percentage of his 19.58 year tenure did Pacelli have an official Camerlengo (and I stress ‘official’ here because saying that Lehnert was his Vice-Pope (VP) doesn’t count). Have a stab?

9.31%. Yes, 667 days — 1 year, 9 months, 3 weeks and 6 days. That was IT. For the remainder of the 6,494 days, 17.78 years, this office was left vacant.

Ill health was a hallmark of his life. He was quite ill for the last 4 years of his life, hiccuping uncontrollably for much of this time! During this time he had many blood transfusions. But, he still did not appoint a Camerlengo to administer his funeral.

When he died, at Castel Gandolfo, with his quack physician taking pictures of the dying pope (per a commission from the French Match magazine), there was no Camerlengo!


The Dean of the College of Cardinals, the ever impeccable, French, Eugène Tisserant, stepped into the breach and performed the death verification duties of the Camerlengo — though he was probably out-of-order for doing so. What he should have done was to have a Camerlengo elected then and there. In reality they did do that, within the day, giving us then 79.3 year old Benedetto Aloisi Masella who would hold that post until he died in September 1970 aged 91.3. [He would have had to have relinquished the post in 3 months as Paul VI’s (#263), 80-year rules were about to kick-in on January 1, 1971. But, he died before the cut-off was even announced in November of 1970.]

Not appointing a S.S. or a Camerlengo does speak to Pius XII’s weak personality — not to mention his conspicuous reluctance to create cardinals. He was obviously an extremely insecure man. Who he did appoint for short stints as S.S. and Camerlengo are also telling. One was a childhood friend, the other was the Major Penitentiary. The M.P. is one office that the pope has to keep filled. So he makes that the Camerlnego too. Very strange. Very sad.

I am always perplexed when people assert that he was a ‘good’ pope. So today I checked. Richard P. McBrien in HIS ratings of the popes totally omits Pius XII. That alone speaks volumes. He doesn’t even get a mention as a historically important pope. Well in this case I am with McBrien.


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by Anura Guruge