Tag Archives: John Paul II

My Considered Take On The Next Conclave.

by Anura Guruge



It will be uncanny — for those that lived through the U.S. 2020 presidential election.

It will be deja vu, but this time in the context of the Church.

Yes, since 1870 (or thereabouts) most conclaves pivoted on ‘right’ (traditionalist/conservative) vs ‘left’ (‘modernist’/liberal) considerations.

But, as with the U.S. (& Trump), Pope Francis has brought this to ‘a head’.

There is polarization like never before — both in the U.S. & the Church.

The HUGE, insurmountable difference between the U.S. election & the conclave, however, being that unlike U.S. citizens, Catholics have NO SAY. Not even Catholic priests, bishops or archbishops. Just (at most) 120 cardinal electors hand-picked by Popes Francis, Benedict XVI & John Paul II. Papal elections are NOT democratic. Papal elections hark back to the fiefdoms of the 13th century.

But, the battle will be real & bitter.

It will hark back to Vatican II — ’80’-years ago. It will be a ding-donger.

Stay tuned. I will keep you posted.


 


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by Anura Guruge


 

The Next Pope: Cardinal Leonardo Sandri As A Papabile Has 2.75 Strikes Against Him.

by Anura Guruge



Guruge 2020 Papabili Series — #I 


Argentinian Cardinal Leonardo Sandri (b. Nov. 1943) is definitely papabile. He was papabile in 2013 and got some early votes.

His standing has gone up since. In July 2018, his good friend, Pope Francis, made him one of the four ‘irregular’ cardinal bishops. That was noteworthy, an indubitable vote of confidence by the pope.

Then in December 2019 his fellow cardinal bishops elected him Vice Dean. They elected Cardinal Battista Re (b. Jan. 1934) as Dean. So, Re is already past 80 and as such will not be able to participate in the next conclave. Thus, it would be Sandri who will be the acting ‘Dean’ (the role that Re had in 2013). Being acting ‘Dean’ is certainly not a negative vis-à-vis being a papabile. Benedict XVI (i.e., Cardinal Ratzinger) was the Dean in 2005 when he was elected pope. As ‘Dean’ the electors can never lose sight of you. You are always there in the conclave — center stage, orchestrating proceedings.

But, Sandri has two definite strikes against him:

  1. He is another Latin American — with Francis having been the first. The electors may feel that two Latin American popes, with very similar outlooks and temperament, back-to-back might be a tad too much, particularly so in that Francis was the first from across the Atlantic. So that is Strike #1.
    .
  2. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the famous Vatican whistleblower, has explicitly implicated Sandri in the sex abuse mire by stating that he was actively involved in the coverup of the egregious sexual misconducts of the Legionary of Christ founder, Marciel Maciel. That should be Strike #2.

His age could start to become a factor. He is currently 76 and getting older.

Francis & John XXIII were elected at 76 and Benedict XVI at 78. So, he is still ‘good’ but his age could be half-a-strike against him.

Then, there is his friendship with Francis. Francis is not as popular among the electors as had been Benedict XVI or John Paul II. So, this could be a negative, quarter-of-a-strike against him.

He, despite these strikes, remains papabile.

So, do not rule him out as yet.


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by Anura Guruge

Filipino Cardinal Tagle, Curial Or Not, Will NOT Be The Next Pope UNLESS Francis Stays As Pope For ANOTHER 14-Years!

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. From Wikipedia.


Way, way too YOUNG. John Allen is smoking something that isn’t good for him, Click image to access the ‘Crux’ original.


There were some, foolishly, who touted Tagle as a papabile in 2013! He was 56-years old. These folks have to be smoking strong dope.

Even at 62 Tagle is way, way too young. Despite his Filipino ancestry he, these days, will have a life expectancy well into his 80s. The cardinals are NOT going to elect a kid who could easily be pope for 20-years without even breaking a sweat.

Forget Benedict XVI’s atypical resignation. There is no guarantee that popes will retire after a ‘suitable time’ in office.

John Paul II was elected young, i.e., 58, and he went onto rule for 26.5-years — the last six of that not that satisfactorily in that he was quite ill.

Since then the trend has been towards older, i.e., 75, popes. This makes sense.

Furthermore, post Francis the next pope will NOT be another exotic. Francis was enough for 20 to 30 years. The next pope will be European or at worst a Canadian who has lived in Rome for the last couple of decades.

So, PLEASE, don’t get ga-ga that Tagle is papabile. He is NOT.

Trust me on this. I did get it right in 2013 didn’t I? John Allen didn’t. I did. SMILE.


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by Anura Guruge

Pope Francis In Creating New Cardinals On October 5, 2019, Will AGAIN Disregard Conclave Requirements.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Click image to access post.


The issue here is, per Vatican Law, enacted in 1973, the MAXIMUM number of cardinal electors that can participate in a conclave is 120.

None of the 4 popes since that law was passed, viz., John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI & Francis, have changed that Law — though three of them (i.e., the latter 3) have at one time or another created too many electors such that there numbers exceeded 120.

If there were to be a conclave when the elector count is above 120 there could be problems.

There are no guidelines nor precedents for sorting it out. It would be ‘unruly’ and ‘unbecoming’.

As the top figure shows Francis, at each of his six consistories, has exceeded that 120 limit.

John Paul II nor Benedict XVI were never so egregious — i.e., violate the 120 limit at each of their cardinal-creating consistories.

But, no so Francis. He really thinks he is special. A maverick. That it makes him look cool to disregard the Laws!

Yes, I will concede that 4 current electors will AGE-OUT (i.e., reach 80 and thus become non-electors) within 10-days of this consistory. But, that still leaves 4 OVER the count. Barring deaths there will NOT be another aging-out until February 25, 2020, and the next after that is on April 17, 2020. Even after that, barring deaths, we will still be 2 over the 120. That is over 7 months.

This is not good.

Francis can fix this with a simple memo. Yep. He is all powerful when it comes to Church Laws. He can remove the 120 limit all together or increase it. But, he hasn’t.

Not good. Unbecoming.

Also, worth remembering. On Sunday, on his way to announce this consistory, Francis got stuck in an elevator for 25-minutes. Not a good omen.


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by Anura Guruge

U.S. Theodore McCarrick — First Cardinal To Truly Resign In 90-Years!

by Anura Guruge


From “NPR”. Click image to access “NPR” original. Google “McCarrick” for more.


Click image to access my post from 2017.


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


This is HUGE!

First real resignation of a Catholic Cardinal in 90-years.

The FIRST Cardinal to resign in the now 20-year(+) Sex Abuse scandal.

A major turning point for the Catholic Church.  A coming of age so to speak. The Church and a pope finally taking some meaningful action against pedophile priests.


For a cardinal to resign (from the ‘College of Cardinals’) a pope must accept the resignation.

Popes are reluctant to do so because it makes Cardinals appear human! Popes want to convey the image that Cardinals, like Popes, are beyond reproach and cannot be judged on Earth. Well, this has, AT LAST (at last) broken the pattern. For that we need to thank Pope Francis. For once he has played the ‘White Man’ after he looked a fool in the way he handled O’Brien.

Pope John Paul II, Benedict XVI & Francis allowed two prior scumbags Bernard (bloody) Law (the Outlaw) and Keith “I Lied” O’Brien to remain as cardinals despite their blatant abuse — O’Brien, like McCarrick accused of having his own way with young men. Disgusting.

This is good. A real turning point.

McCarrick will never stand trial. He is 89 and they will let him die … That is their way.

But, this is a good day. Rejoice.


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by Anura Guruge

Cardinals Filoni & Ouellet Are Now The Leading Contenders To Be The Next Pope, i.e., Papabile.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Do NOT forget that I got the ‘Next Pope’ RIGHT in 2013.

Click image to access the original 2013 post on THIS bog.


Click to ENLARGE. From my ‘The Next Pope 2011’ book. Click on image at the bottom to get a copy.


Timing is everything, because age is of paramount concern, as to who will be the Next Pope post Francis. So, it all depends on when the next Conclave is likely to occur. Pope Francis is 81 and appears to be in reasonable health. But, he has hinted, more than once, that he too, like Benedict XVI before him, might retire — when the time is right. The question is such a retirement on the cards over the next 24 – 36 months?

Two CONFLICTING ‘data points’ on this. Following his cardinal-creating consistory last week he had 125 cardinal electors. Per current law only 120 cardinal electors can participate in a conclave. Bar deaths of electors, this 125 number will not drop to 120 till July 2019. That would mean that the pope does not plan to retire prior to July 2019 — though he can increase that 120 limit in a matter of seconds (even during/after his resignation speech). But, then, he also created the four new IRREGULAR Cardinal Bishops. The ONLY need for this was the possibility of an imminent conclave. So, that is confusing — and I did address that in this post.

OK? So, I refuse to look much more than 3-years ahead.

So, now let me explain the AGE criteria. As of hurried election of John Paul II (following the unexpected death of 33-day pope, John Paul I) when he was 58-years of age, the cardinals, understandably, have opted for older popes. Bluntly put, in the absence of any term limits (and any requirement for a pope to retire), the cardinals do not want another pope who will reign for for 20 – 30 years (despite the success of John Paul II’s pontificate). So, the last two popes have been 76 and 78 years of age. I had said that age would be a factor the last time around — and I was right. I now content, emphatically, that age again will be a primary factor. It is unlikely that the next pope will be much younger than 75.


Other Given Caveats Per My Recokening (and these are NOT negotiable). {Smile}

The Next Pope per Anura Guruge will be:

  • White.
  • A non-American (as in say Seán Patrick O’Malley).
  • A non-Jesuit.
  • A proven institutionalist, i.e., one who has a firm track record of upholding Vatican (rather than Catholic per se) values and protocols.

‘European’, or at least, as in the case of Marc Ouellet one who has spent much of their priestly life in Rome working for the Curia.


Marc Ouellet, despite being considerably younger, was my #1 papabile last time around. And I acknowledged that age was an issue.

Over the next 3-years his age would be GOLDEN.

Marc, simply put, is BELOVED and respected to a level that is uncanny. That he is Canadian will not be a factor. Canada is a ‘neutral’ (unthreatening) country and moreover Marc has spent so much time in Rome that he is a honorary Italian.

So, why do I have him as #2 rather than my first pick again.

He, alas, is RELIGIOUS, though, thankfully, not a Jesuit (Francis, the first). Cardinals tend to shy away from Religious Order candidates and Francis, with his supplication to the Jesuits, did not help matters. I will go as far as saying that the ONLY religious that is papabil is Marc!


Some of you will correctly contend that their unprecedented promotion to (irregular) Cardinal Bishops make them very much Francis’ stooges and that will cause them to be blackballed because Francis is not that popular among the College. NOT so in the case of these two. They were both created cardinals ahead of Francis — and have been untainted by Francis.

But, right now Filoni is a tad too young. His star will truly be in the ascend around 2021 when he is 75.

Enough for now. Digest what I have said.

Thank you.


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by Anura Guruge

Pope Paul VI Was A Very Decent Human Being, But He Was NO Saint!

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. Google for all the coverage you seek.


Pope Paul VI (1897 – 1978), pope from 1963 to 1978, was a GOOD pope, he was also an outstanding human being and had a heart of gold. I like Paul VI. He was a likeable person.

But he is NO Saint. That is not a sin. We can’t all be saints.

The Vatican’s preference of late to try and canonize all recent popes, within just decades of their demise, is DEVALUING the sanctity of sainthood.

The rush to make John Paul II to a saint was unbecoming and it does not sit well with many.

Pope John XXIII earned his and his took longer.

I am sure that Paul VI will be the first to agree that he is NOT a saint.

He had issues and made some serious miscalculations that are still impacting the WORLD when it comes to birth control (his infamous Humanae vitae) and sexuality. And despite his moralistic views on the later, even today there are questions as to HIS sexuality. He was NO saint.

I will, time permitting, elaborate on this in the coming weeks, BUT I want to go on record that I, for one, feel very strongly that canonizing Paul VI, this early and this quickly, is plain wrong and crazy.


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by Anura Guruge

Pope Francis In Myanmar Comes Across As A Partisan, Gutless Wimp!

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. From the “Washington Post” coverage.



Access to the transcript of the entire SHORT speech from the Vatican. Click image to access.


The KEY passage from the speech above. He even skirts mentioning RELIGION. How poor.


There are times to be diplomatic and then there are times when one has to stand up against egregious crimes against humanity. In that Pope Francis failed miserably and demonstrated why he will always be an ineffective, pedestrian pope — and never reach the GREATNESS shown by the likes of John XXIII, Pius X, John Paul II or even Benedict XV (15, not 16).

The pope has — and had — absolutely nothing to lose. He only answers to God, and one hopes God would not have minded him talking out against genocide — BUT then again you would think God should be able to do something about it directly. C’est la vie.

Less than 1% of Myanmar’s population, if that, is Catholic — though they have a newly minted cardinal and about 22 bishops.

The pope could have been more forceful and emphatic. What they are doing to the Rohingya is dead wrong. The pope lost some of his credibility and moral authority by delivering this flaccid speech — and he didn’t have much of either to begin with.

Ahh! To have again have a good pope. Maybe the next one after this rather pale imitation of a pope.


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by Anura Guruge

“Pro Hac Vice” Titles: History and Trivia.

by Anura Guruge


The plain exterior of San Cesareo in Palatio, the FUTURE “John Paul II’s” deaconry when he was created a Cardinal Priest in June 1967 — 11-years ahead of becoming Pope.


Pro hac vice, in the context of the Catholic Church, is when a Roman deaconry (normally to be assigned to a cardinal deacon) is elevated by the pope, for the time being, to the status of a titular church so that it can be assigned to a newly created Cardinal Priest. So, it means that the Cardinal Priest is getting a deaconry that has been ‘elevated for the duration’ to be a titular church. The Latin pro hac vice meaning “for this occasion only” — designating that it is a temporary elevation. In theory you can also have a pro hac vice situation if the pope decides to assign a titular church to a new created Cardinal Deacon.


Which pope held a pro hac vice title when elected?

John Paul II (#265), when elected pope on October 16, 1978.

From what I can see (and I confess I have not done exhaustive research into this topic) John Paul II was the only pope who has had a pro hac vice title.

Again, from what I can see, there is an easy explanation as to why other popes did not hold pro hac vice titles. I really haven’t had a chance to research the history of pro hac vice (and doubt whether I will get a chance to do so in my lifetime). I had assumed that pro hac vice usage came to be with  Paul VI (#263) given that I could not recall seeing any pro hac vice prior to Paul VI (and my memory isn’t that great when it comes to the histories of individual cardinals). I also thought that the reason why Paul may have come with the idea was rather straightforward. I have now been informed that pro hac vice pre-dates Paul VI — though I don’t have a detailed analysis of its prior usage; i.e., was it mainly in the case of jus optionis promotions. If somebody could do this research, I will be extremely grateful.

Sixtus ‘iron pope’ V (#228), the Franciscan, ex-inquisitor general, on December 3, 1586 in his landmark Postquam verus constitution that set the parameters and tone for the College and curia for the next 350 years did as follows. Four months later, in his Religiosa constitution, he clearly articulated that that there should not be any inter-mingling of titles [i.e., churches] and deaconries.

Between 1586 and 1963, the College was maintained at or below, 70 and there was never a shortage of titles and deaconries. So there was no need for pro hac vice — which is mainly used when a pope runs short of cardinal priest titles (though there is nothing to stop a pope creating a cardinal deacon with a pro hac vice title ‘demoted’ to a deaconry).

The came John XXIII (#262). He was a pope in a hurry, with a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve. Without ever putting down anything in writing that he was overriding Sixtus V, he just waived aside Sixtus V’s time-tested edicts re. the College creating titles and deaconries, in a rush, to accommodate his desire to enlarge and diversify the College. Succeeding popes (other than poor John Paul I (#264) who, alas, didn’t get a chance) have followed John’s example with gusto — with none having, at a minimum, the moral fortitude (if not the necessary anatomical appendages) to set a maximum size for the College (and the orders within it) as did the iron pope — given that setting a ceiling would be seen by prelates as an impediment to their progress up the Church ladder.

So, Paul VI resorted to pro hac vice, when he was short on titles.

At this stage it is worth clarifying that the distinction between Pro hac vice, which means for this occasion, and pro illa vice for that occasion. Given this subtle difference in tense, pro hac vice is said to apply to currently living cardinals, while pro illa vice applies to deceased cardinals. But, this convention isn’t strictly maintained and one can think of both terms as being equivalent.


This now brings us to Cardinal Priest Andrzej Maria Deskur’s death on September 3, 2011 — he having been a cardinal with a pro hac vice title. The next day, our frequent contributor, Louis Epstein left a comment that started: ‘Cardinal Deskur (the Pole to whom JP II gave his own old cardinalitial title after a seven-year vacancy) died yesterday.‘ But, there was an interesting twist here not fully reflected in Louis’ comment. Cardinal Deskur died a cardinal priest, but had been created, by his friend, as a cardinal deacon. Karol Józef Wojtyla (John Paul II) could not have been a cardinal deacon since he was mainly a pastoral cleric with only ‘visiting’ roles in the curia. And that was the rub. Karol Wojtyla was created with a pro hac vice title. At the age of 47 years and one month, Wojtyla, the Archbishop of Kraków since 1964, was the 3rd but last cardinal priest named by Paul VI in his June 26, 1967 consistory at which he created 27 new cardinals. This was Paul’s 2nd cardinal creating consistory, he also having created 27 in his first one in February 1965. Quite a few others at this consistory also got pro hav vice titles.


The deaconry assigned to the future pope was San Cesareo in Palatio (in the palace). The Italians (who should know) claim that this is the wrong name! They say, in the Italian version of Wikipedia: ‘The church of San Cesareo de Appia, commonly and erroneously known as San Cesareo in Palatio , is a church of Rome, in the Celio district , near the port of San Sebastian.’ Hhmmm. You would think that the Vatican (though not in Italy per se) would get this right.

The church, whose current structure is from the 17th century, is not very prepossessing from the outside, does, however, have a rather striking mosaic on the altar wall of God the Father among the angels.

As deaconry, it was left unassigned to a cardinal from April 1939 to December 1958 (those being the good ol’ days when there was no mad scramble for titles to accommodate the never ending Red Tide). Then it was assigned to an Italian cardinal, Francesco Bracci. He held it until until his death on March 24, 1967.

Three months later it was assigned to the Archbishop from Poland. He had it for 11 years. When he became pope, he left it unassigned until May 25, 1985 when it was given to Deskur. In January 1996, Deskur chose to be a cardinal priest per jus optionis given that he had completed the requisite 10 years. He then got San Cesareo pro hac vice.

Will be interesting to see who gets it next. I bet it will be a Pole.


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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