Tag Archives: STL

Thoughts On The “Next Conclave” By U.K. Catholic Canon Anthony Churchill, STL — Latest Consistory, November 2020.

by Canon Anthony Churchill, STL.


November 6, 2020

Implication of forthcoming consistory on conclave.

The decision of the Pope to create 13 new Cardinals will add to the unpredictability of the next Conclave. Nine of these will be electors while 4 are in effect ‘honorary’ Cardinals, being over the age of 80 (i.e., non-electors).

It seems unlikely that the Consistory set for November 28th can take place in the normal way. The COVID 19 pandemic and the restrictions on public events and on travel must make it inappropriate to ask elderly gentlemen to travel from all over the world at this time. Neither can it be wise to encourage the normal crowds of supporters to do the same.

I would hope that that the Pope will hold a brief ceremony in Rome with  the Curial Cardinals in order to officially “create” the new Cardinals, and postpone the ceremonies until a later date.

Pope John Paul II started the custom of inviting the entire College of Cardinals to come to Rome for these consistories. It was the custom to hold a day-long meeting of the College to which the new men were invited. These meetings gave the Cardinals a chance to meet each other and to some extent at least to get to know each other. This practice continued under Pope Benedict XVI, but has been stopped by the present Pope. It is not clear why Pope Francis should have done this, but in my view,, it does not help the new Cardinals to integrate and become more aware of the wider Church.

To my mind it can only be a disadvantage if the Cardinals arrive for the eventual Conclave not knowing each other. Francis has chosen men from all over the world, many from remote parts. They may well be outstanding pastors and men of wide pastoral experience, but they will often be strangers to Rome, and unfamiliar with its ways and the Italian language.

On the one hand this very diverse College could allow for an original and perhaps surprising result. It might lead to a Pope from “the peripheries” with a very different perspective on the future of the Church. Such a Pope might reflect more closely the concerns of Catholics in a very diverse world.

On the other hand , it seems to me that a large number of recently created Cardinals who are strangers to the Vatican and to each other could be at risk of being manipulated by those who are sometimes known  as the “grand electors”. Groups who are well known to each other and are well versed in Vatican affairs could exercise undue influence in these circumstances.

It remains to be seen how this will all “play out”, but it certainly does not make it any easier to predict what might happen at the Conclave when it comes.


Related posts:
Search ‘Next Pope.


Thoughts On The “Next Conclave” By U.K. Catholic Canon Anthony Churchill, STL.

by Canon Anthony Churchill, STL.


August 25th 2020

Conclave

I can see the obvious similarities between “Trump versus Biden” and “Francis versus whoever” . I think there is a lot truth in that, but the conclave will be rather more complex than that. As in U.S. politics, so in the Church, there is a deep division between those who are enthusiastic supporters of Francis and those who, for a variety of reasons, oppose him.

In my view that only describes part of the story. Many Catholics do not so easily fit into one camp or the other. Right wing American Catholics are inclined to see their Republican Party  ideals and values as part and parcel of their Catholic Faith.

They look at the Gospel through Republican filters,

For them Francis seems to be a dangerous socialist and radical after the style of Bernie Sanders. Whereas in Europe many take a much more nuanced view.

Certainly there are many Catholics in Europe and Australia who more or less share the American “Right’s” analysis and hostility, but as I see it, these people tend to communicate only with those of a like mind.  They do not represent as many ordinary Catholics as they might think.

Francis’ concern for the poor is shared by very large numbers of Catholics who cannot so easily be classified as liberals or conservatives. Quite a number of Cardinals share that concern. It will become apparent that a good number of Cardinals from the “Global South” have very different priorities, which will govern their attitudes going into the Conclave.

Edward Pentin’s book is a very useful analysis of the views of his 19 candidates, but the analysis clearly reflects his own views.  It can be very helpful toto read what he has discovered of their views on a range of subjects. It does not follow that what he sees as a negative will be seen in that light by the Cardinals who will certainly study it with interest.

I think that it might take a little time for a consensus to emerge as it has to for a Cardinal to achieve the necessary two thirds of the votes, but I suspect that unlike the American November election the Conclave will be altogether more subtle.

If I can risk a prediction, I cannot see the “Anti-Francis” Cardinals having enough support to elect Cardinal Sarah, or even Raymond Burke ( utterly impossible surely).

Equally I cannot see the strongly “Pro Francis” crowd being sufficiently numerous to elect Cardinal Tagle.

The group of Cardinals who don’t really belong in either camp will be crucial in obtaining the requisite two thirds.  I suspect we need to know much more about their concerns.

I certainly see parallels with Trump versus Biden, but that will only be part of the story.

These are my initial thoughts bearing in mind that, as always, so much will depend on when the Conclave happens. We could yet see one or two more consistories with new candidates, and many of the ones mentioned in Pentin’s book will soon reach 80 years old. I cannot see the election of an octogenarian Pope.


Related posts:
Search ‘Next Pope.


Pope Francis Dropping The ‘VICAR OF CHRIST’ Title — Canon Anthony Churchill, STL, From The U.K. Has This To Say.

by Anura Guruge


Father Anthony Churchill, STL, of Sussex, U.K. is one of my closest collaborators when it comes to my papal work. Do a search on this blog for ‘Fr. Churchill’.

He, as the STL, denotes (see below) is extremely knowledgeable on theology. He has spent much time in Rome and has has concelebrated Mass with Paul VI in Rome and Pope Benedict XVI in London.


Click to ENLARGE and read here. From 2018.


Click to ENLARGE and read. From Wikipedia.


The Vicar of Christ

The interesting fact about this new layout of the Vatican Year Book is political rather than theological. Such a change could hardly have been made without the knowledge and approval of the Pope himself. It is at once strange and, to my mind, most inappropriate.

Theology 

This kind of decision does not in any way alter Catholic theology.

In Catholic teaching the Bishop of Rome is in virtue of that office the successor of St Peter, and as such he is the visible sign and instrument of the unity of the Church worldwide.

Various titles have been acquired over the centuries, which reflect historical realities. Thus the Pope is considered as the Primate of Italy and Archbishop of the Roman Province. Neither title is essential to his office, but have developed over the centuries.

The most important titles are “Servant of the servants of God” invented by Pope St Gregory the Great in the sixth century. It describes what Pope ought to be.

The other is “Vicar of Christ”.

This expresses the Pope’s function as Peter’s successor. I believe that it came into use in the late Middle Ages. Before that it had been more common to speak of the Pope as “Vicar of Peter”.  Either way these titles describe what the Pope is called to be and to do.

Whether or not we use these titles does not take away from what we see as the God given function of the Pope as Peter’s successor,  all that goes with that.

Politics 

That said, I think this is a most odd decision. It seems to elevate the importance of the particular individual who happens to be the Pope at any one time.

In my view these ancient titles are part of our Catholic tradition and reflect the historical development of the Papacy over the centuries.

This decision, whoever was responsible, was ill judged.

The Pope is not to impose his own will on the Church without regard to the Faith and practice handed down. He is called to “preside in love” over the whole Church and to serve the unity of the Church as shepherd and teacher.

I fear that the present Pope does not always act wisely in this regard.


Related posts:
Search ‘Pope’ & ‘Francis’.


by Anura Guruge

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Of Britain, With My Friend, Father Anthony Churchill.

by Anura Guruge



This was taken in October 2012, the Cardinal (standing tall) on left.


Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cormac_Murphy-O%27Connor


The Cardinal, aged 84, is ailing.

Two Facebook posts by Fr. Churchill
in the last ’24’ hours.

Click to ENLARGE and read here.


….


I was fortunate to meet Fr. Churchill, online, c. 2010, when I was working on my Pope books.

Fr. Churchill, STL, extremely gracious, patient and KNOWLEDGABLE, helped me tremendously — always taking time to answer my questions, translate Latin for I (he is both a Latin and theological scholar) and providing me with amazing photographs from his frequent trips to Rome. Two of his pictures grace the covers of my ‘Next Pope‘ books.

Fr. Churchill currently is Episcopal Vicar for Ecumenical Affairs, and Parish Priest of St Michael’s Ashtead, Surrey (U.K.)


Cover picture by Fr. Churchill.

Related Posts:
++++ Search ‘Anthony’ for other related posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge

6 images Of Rome (Italy), In Mid-March 2016, by Father Anthony Churchill.

by Anura Guruge


This books is 100% valid. Read it.

Cover photo by Fr. Churchill.

Father Anthony Churchill, STL, of Sussex, U.K. is one of my closest collaborators when it comes to my papal work. There are umpteen posts related to him on my ‘Popes and Papacy’ blog. Just do a search on ‘Anthony’. In addition to being a gifted (and very qualified) theologian, a beloved parish priest he is also an accomplished photographer. The front cover photo of my (once quite popular) “Next Pope 2011” was a picture taken by Father Churchill (who is not related to ‘Winston‘).

Father Churchill is currently on a well earned sabbatical and spending 5 months in Rome, a city that he has spent much time in — including time he spent studying for his ‘doctorate’ in theology. He has concelebrated Mass with Paul VI in Rome and Pope Benedict XVI in London.

I told him about my ‘6 Images a Day‘ project and asked him if he would supply me with some images from Rome. He had not taken his camera so these pictures are ones he takes with his iPad or iPhone. These pictures are also published on his Facebook page.


Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Pictures belong to Fr. Churchill.







FrChurchillby Father Anthony Churchill