Tag Archives: Jean-Louis Tauran

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

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