Cunctando regitur mundus! Cardinals and the ticking clock.

Elsewhere I mentioned that the clock is ticking. 

Time is passing for our Holy Father, for the SSPX bishops, for the Cardinal President of the Pont. Comm. Ecclesia Dei, and also for their enemies.

tick tick tick tick…

It is time to get something done.

Think about this point, which someone raised in the combox under another entry:

Presently there are 115 Cardinal Electors i.e. only 5 vacancies.

Between now and the end of 2009 only 3 Electors will reach the age of 80.

Therefore there is unlikely to be a Consistory until Spring 2010.

But then look what happens.

The vacancies for the succeeding years will be:

2010 #11
2011 #9
2012 #13
2013 #10
2014 #9

a total of 52 plus 8 from 2008 and 2009 makes 60. Half the College of Electors will change within 5 years!

Holy Father. Ad multos annos.

I haven’t checked those numbers, but they are very interesting to consider.

The Holy Father must choose the cardinals who will choose the new Pope after him… who will guide the Church after his own efforts during this pontificate.

Remember: Pope Benedict’s enemies understand the long game, they understand cunctando regitur mundus.

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59 Responses to Cunctando regitur mundus! Cardinals and the ticking clock.

  1. Petrus says:

    I realize the liturgies may change with a new Pope(hopefully for not a long time), but would the new Pope be able to roll back what Pope Benedict has done during his pontificate? IE, the Motu Propio, SSPX, etc.

    I’m sure, unless we get a Pope in the mold of Pope Benedict there will be no more kneeling for communion at Papal masses and all the beautiful vestments will go back into storage.

  2. Ronald Webber says:

    It says a great deal about you, Petrus, [That was a cheap, personal shot. Do anything like that again, and you are gone from here.] (and indeed about this site and the trad mentality) that the things you care about the most are kneeling at communion and the state of vestments.

    Personally I couldn’t give a damn about those things. Not as long as people have a great love for what they receive in communion and are equipped to take that love out of the Churches to change the world.

    Do you know what vestments Jesus wore at the Last Supper? No, me neither. Because it wasn’t recorded. And why wasn’t it recorded? Because nobody back then could give a toss!

  3. YoungCatholicSTL says:

    Raymond Cardinal Burke!

  4. Mitch_WA says:

    This is actually great news. If Pope Benedict lives another 5 years he will be able to shape the College of Cardinals in a hugely beneficial way. Now if only Archbishop Malcom Ranjinth can forge a peace deal in Sri Lanka then he would be a great papal canadate in 5 years. As would Bishop Athanasius Schneider. And Archbishop Raymond Burke! Or Cardinal Llovera(if only he spoke more languages…)

  5. chironomo says:

    An interesting notion brought up by Petrus in the above comment. I would think that turning back the Motu Proprio would be a more radical move than the Motu Proprio was to begin with! [good point] For a Pope to actually overturn the actions of a previous Pope (remember how careful B16 was to argue that the TLM was never abrogated) would be a very radical action, at least in the immediately succeeding Papacy. I don’t think that the issue of the Cardinal-electors is at all “conspiratorial”… certainly Benedict understands the numbers, and the implications of the outcome…this is part of the “end game” IMHO.

  6. FT says:

    A wise man appoints, and listens to, not only those who agree with his views, but those who do not. This Spirit will decide which views become future policies. This is not merely earthly politics.
    A college with no diversity of viewpoints stagnates.

  7. chironomo says:

    Gee Ronald…

    I have a really good Axe sharpener that you could use rather than grinding it on fellow posters…

    Have you read any of the writings of the Holy Father? He seems to think liturgical posture is pretty important, and he seems to believe that the Ars Celebrandi is also of central importance, from vestments to music to language used at Mass. The things you mention are certainly important, but the question is how we do that as Catholics. The details, even those that you may not “give a toss” about do matter.

  8. DarkKnight says:

    Why do I detect another Dan Brown plot line. At least it would be more plausible than his prior tripe.

    Given the affect that the Holy Father had on our more liberal American cardinals through his visit, I remain an optimist. My signal accomplishment for the day, after watching President Obiminator’s speach lastnight.

  9. Brian2 says:

    But the Cardinal Electors we have now… elected Benedict XVI. He was a known quantity, they knew what they were getting. Why would they do a 180? If he has enemies, I think they are lower down in the Curia, monseignori and beaurocrats. WHile the cardinals have not been out in front defending BXVI (except for Cardinal O’Malley) that is not the same as actively undermining him.

  10. Luigi says:

    Funny, Ronald Webber, you have somehow figured out what Petrus cares about most. He didn’t declare his post a manifesto of his greatest concerns.

    Myopic progressives like yourself [Knock off the name calling. Stick to issues, not personal remarks.] would do well to realize that great love for Christ in the Eucharist and taking the love of Chirst into the world are not undermined by kneeling at Communion, or beautiful vestments, or other such things valued by the “trad mentality.” The latter only serve to enhance – not diminsh – the former for which you claim such deep affection.

  11. DarkKnight says:

    Not openly oposing while gently sabotaging is a Roman artform that predates the church.

  12. Luigi says:

    …the Cardinal Electors we have now… elected Benedict XVI. He was a known quantity…

    True, Brian, but since we don’t have any assurance that his elevation was unanimous, with every new appointment there is a possiility that one of his opposers will be replaced.

  13. Paul Stokell says:

    Father Z., could you do a similar “timetable” for the present number of American (arch)bishops? Changes of attitude, language and practice coming from Rome can only have greatest impact when friendly ordinaries pass them on to the faithful.

  14. Maureen says:

    So far, our little pope has shown a great deal of understanding of the long game, at least as far as the curia is concerned. I don’t think we have any reason to fear.

    But it’s a very good idea to think about possibilities, and to pray always. That way, you’re less likely to have unpreparedness bite you in the butt.

  15. Curmudgeon says:

    Raymond Cardinal Burke?

    OK. I could take that.

    But let’s add

    John Cardinal Berg

    Gilles Cardinal Wach

    Bernard Cardinal Fellay

    IF we only get one, we’ll take Fr. Berg over Bp. Fellay or Msgr(?) Wach, simply because Berg is something like 19 years old…by far the youngest of the group.

  16. Magdalene says:

    It would be good for the poster who does not give a d*** about posture, reverence and beauty to read SPIRIT OF THE LITURGY by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

    It seemed to matter to God throughout the whole old testament and it seemed to matter throughout the history of the new covenant. Yes, there were iconoclasts in an earlier century just as there are now. How many ugly churches have been built at huge expense so as to NOT lift the heart and soul to a beauty that reflects God but rather some ugly ediface so we can worship ourselves in the community?

    So many–who do bother to come to Mass at all–come in casual dress that would not be acceptable even on a golf course. They come with dirty hands and chewing gum into the very presence of GOD. But it means almost less than nothing to them. That rainbow stole is only part of the ‘welcoming community’, right?

    As we pray so we believe and as our sacred things and actions were stolen from our churches and liturgies, it has caused a devastating loss of faith, particularly in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. In my town there is a parish that uses bread chunks and there are crumbs. The bishop apparently made sure these chunks are only now wheat flour and water whereas before they were not, but I know of someone who had a moldy piece. Is that love for the Body of Christ? Or the parish with no kneelers in a space more suitable for use as a gym? I suppose it could be argued that it only matters if there is ‘reverence in the heart’. Baloney! Not the way of the saints at all. We live our faith and reverence outwardly.

    I am tired of the iconoclastic attitude. My soul loves a beautiful prayer and liturgy and music (I do not even know my own heritage when it comes to music for all we get are modernist songs about ourselves and no sacred hymns or melodies) and atmosphere. How I love to go into a beautiful church and think, Oh, Lord, we used to know how to honor You.

  17. brendon says:

    Bernard Cardinal Fellay

    The fact that this was also one of my immediate thoughts says something about the way the Holy Father and the SSPX have handled the current situation. If someone would have said this only a month ago, I would have thought they were crazy. Now it springs unbidden from my lips. I think good things are happening.

  18. GOR says:

    Yes, interesting to speculate on the future make-up of the College of Cardinals and its impact on the next conclave – which I pray is a long way off! But, as in the past, we may be surprised.

    Just as when John Paul I was elected and then died soon afterwards, many asked:”What happened?” Did the Conclave make a mistake? Did the Holy Spirit…?

    But God doesn’t ‘make mistakes’. We just don’t always understand His ways…

    “Quis enim cognovit sensum Domini…?”

  19. ALL: I will quickly BOOT you from reading this blog if you engage in personal attacks rather than sticking to the issues. Keep the knuckle-head stuff out of this discussion.

  20. Tyler says:

    Ya know Ronald,

    I had the chance to think about the same thing around Christmas time, when my brother’s fiancee, upon hearing that the translation of the Mass was going to change, asked something to the effect of “why do they spend their time translating the Mass, and not explaining key beliefs like Mary and the Eucharist to the people”. It made me think for a while, until I realized, the Church is over a Billion members strong. Surely we can do both.

    Yes, understanding of the Eucharist is important, but so are Vestments, and in fact one will influence the other.

    It is kind of how the Church couldn’t stand with out Scripture, Tradition, and Magesterium. Take away one, the whole thing collapses

  21. paul says:

    Fr. Z wrote in an earlier post:
    The Pope’s enemies understand the clock.
    There is an old phrase… cunctando regitur mundus.
    They will try to block him,… just slow him down.
    They must wait him out and try to get their man in next time. Watch whom they groom

    Does he have someone in mind? Or perhaps a group of candidates?
    Maybe I’m naive, but barring a tragic early passing of our dear Pope Benny, I just don’t see those who oppose the “hermeneutic of continuity” and the extraordinary form (that is, after all, what we’re really talking about, is it not?) being able to outlast the Holy Father (as the numbers would indicate).
    But, in the end, it’s in God’s hands, isn’t it. Therefore, let us pray.

  22. RichR says:

    What’s to stop the Pope from adding (young) Cardinals to the College right now? Is there a customary maximum? IOW, why not stack the deck while he’s alive?

  23. Irish says:

    Curmudgeon: Can we add Michael Cardinal Schmitz to you list? If I remember correctly, he was ordained by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

  24. Prof. Basto says:

    Yes Father, that’s an important point.

    BUT the Holy Father could also follow the lead of bl. John XXIII (who reppealed the limit set by Pope Xystus V, who had established that the College of Cardinals would have no more than 70 members), and reppeal the current limit of 120 Cardinal-electors (the rule of Xystus V, established in 1586 by the Apostolic Constitution Postquam verus was reppealed in the Consistory of December 15, 1958).

    OR the Holy Father could follow the example of Pope John Paul II, who, while not reppealing the limit of 120 Cardinal-electors that he himself had previously set, made a derrogation to the rule (i.e., waived it, dispensed from it), when he at one point created so many Cardinals so as to surpass the maximum number of 120 Cardinal-electors, explicitly stating that his action was an exception to the general rule that established the limit (this derrogation was made on January 21, 2001; John Paul II would again derrogate from the limit of 120 Cardinal-electors in the consistory of October, 21, 2003). Immediately after the 2003 Consistory for the creations of new Cardinals, the Church had 135 Cardinal-electors.

  25. mwa says:

    “…One had to be patient to thrive in Rome, where time is measured not in centuries but in millennia, where patience and the long view have always distinguished political life. The city gave its name to the power of patience–Romanità. Romanità excludes emotion, hurry, doubt. Romanità waits, sees the moment and moves ruthlessly when the time is right. Romanità rests on an absolute conviction of ultimate success and arises from a single principle, Cunctando regitur mundus: Waiting, one conquers all.”
    -from “The Sparrow” a novel by Mary Doria Russell

  26. TJM says:

    This is an extremely important issue. I am fairly certain His Holiness will select as Cardinals holy men who are committed to healing the breach
    following the Council in favor of a heurmeneutic of continuity. One thing we can all take heart from, as much as many of us grouse from time to
    time about certain appointments to the cardinalate made by John Paul II, is that he must have on balance done a great job because we have Benedict
    XVI. My assumption is that the next conclave (may it be a very, very long time from now) will elect another Pontiff very much committed to healing the
    breach in the hopes of ending the “us versus them” wars which erupted in full view in the 1960s. Tom

  27. Prof. Basto says:

    We must consider that Pope Benedict was elected under the original provisions of Universi Dominici Gregis . This meant that, after about 33 rounds of voting, an absolute majority (half the Cardinal electors plus one), could elect the Pope.

    Now, Pope Benedict was elected in the second day of voting, which means that, when he was elected, the 2/3 qualified majority was still required.

    HOWEVER, from the moment it was known that Card. Ratzinger had the support of more than half of the electors, his supporters had no reason to back down from his name, because they knew that after about 11 days his they would get their candidate elected by the “half+1″ majority. And the opposers of Card. Ratzinger also knew that his supporters had no reason to back down and that he would end up elected anyway. So the opposers may have just yealded to the inevitable, to end the conclave soon, given that they couldn’t stop his election anyway.

    It just happens that Pope Benedict himself decided to terminate the possibility of a Pope being elected with less than 2/3 of the votes. So now any future election will happen under the Amended Rules established by the Motu Proprio Constitutio Apostolica Universi , that restablished the absolute necessity of the 2/3 vote for a valid election.

    Ergo, unless a candidate clearly commands the support not only of a majority of “half+1″, but of 2/3 of the voters, the Cardinal electors will be under pressure to find a compromise candidate, because, unlike what happened in the 2005 conclave, there will be no rule assuring that sooner or later the man supported by the “half+1″ majority will get elected.

    So its an entirely different game, the next election, which only increases the necessity of good and orthodox appointments to the College of Cardinals.

  28. Matt of South Kent says:

    Seems like a great opportunity.

    Out with the old (sandalistas goodbye) and in with the new (Cardinal Burke hellow).

    I hope and pray that we will continue to be bessed.

    I reallt think the tide has turned and the 100 year test & its effects are ebbing.

  29. vox borealis says:

    Of course, it would be interesting to consider just who is going to retire. Will it be the case that Benedict, should he live so long, will be “packing” the electorate and creating a like-minded super-majority? Or will he only be replacing like with like, as traditionalists (for lack of a better term) retire?

  30. Edward Martin says:

    Being the pratical minded man I am, I checked the life expectancy tables for an (nearly)82 year-old non-smoking male. Although they are Canadian statistics I would expect they are no worse, if not better, in the Holy See. Statistically the Holy Father has 10 more years!

  31. Prof. Basto says:

    Vox Borealis,

    Here is a list of the cardinals who will be over 80 years old in the the next few years (2009-2014):

    Francesco Marchisano, June 25, 2009
    Darío Castrillón Hoyos, July 4, 2009
    Józef Glemp (1983), December 28, 2009

    Aloysius Matthew Ambrozic, January 27, 2010
    Adam Joseph Maida, March 18, 2010
    Thomas Stafford Williams, March 20, 2010
    Julián Herranz Casado, Opus Dei, March 31, 2010
    Theodore Edgar McCarrick, July 7, 2010
    Paul Poupard, August 30, 2010
    Salvatore De Giorgi, September 6, 2010
    Ignace Moussa I Daoud, September 18, 2010
    Michele Giordano, September 26, 2010
    Christian Wyghan Tumi, October 15, 2010
    J?nis Pujats, November 14, 2010

    Bernard Panafieu, January 26, 2011
    Ricardo Vidal, February 6, 2011
    Agustín García-Gasco Vicente, February 12, 2011
    Camillo Ruini, February 19, 2011
    William Henry Keeler, March 4, 2011
    Sergio Sebastiani, April 11, 2011
    Bernard Francis Law, November 4, 2011
    Adrianus Johannes Simonis, November 26, 2011
    Nicholas Cheong Jin-Suk, December 7, 2011

    José Saraiva Martins, C.M.F., January 6, 2012
    Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun, S.D.B., January 13, 2012
    Rodolfo Quezada Toruño, March 8, 2012
    Edward Michael Egan, April 2, 2012
    Miloslav Vlk, May 17, 2012
    Henri Schwery, June 14, 2012
    James Francis Stafford, July 26, 2012
    Gaudencio Borbon Rosales, August 10, 2012
    Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, August 24, 2012
    Pedro Rubiano Sáenz, September 13, 2012
    Francis Arinze, November 1, 2012
    Renato Raffaele Martino, November 23, 2012
    Eusébio Oscar Scheid, S.C.I., December 8, 2012

    Javier Lozano Barragán, January 26, 2013
    Lubomyr Husar, M.S.U., February 26, 2013
    Walter Kasper, March 5, 2013
    Severino Poletto, March 18, 2013
    Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, March 28, 2013
    Godfried Danneels, June 5, 2013
    Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, Institute of the Fathers of Schöntatt, September 5, 2013
    Raffaele Farina, S.D.B., September 24, 2013
    Geraldo Majella Agnelo, October 19, 2013
    Joachim Meisner, December 25, 2013

    Giovanni Battista Re, January 30, 2014
    Dionigi Tettamanzi, March 14, 2014
    Cláudio Hummes, O.F.M., August 8, 2014
    Carlos Amigo Vallejo, O.F.M., August 23, 2014
    Paul Josef Cordes, September 5, 2014
    Franc Rodé, C.M., September 23, 2014
    Tarcisio Bertone, December 2, 2014
    Julius Riyadi Darmaatmadja, S.J.. December 20, 2014
    Jean Baptiste Pham Minh Mân, 2014 (date and month unknown).

    Source: http://www.fiu.edu/~mirandas/electors-age.htm

  32. kate says:

    Well Fr., I am praying for two intentions:
    1) that the Holy Father will have a long and fruitful pontificate, and that his enemies may be confounded,

    2) that when the Cardinals meet to vote for the successor of His Holiness,Pope Benedict XV1, the names ‘Zuhlsdorf’ and ‘Finigan’ will be among them.

  33. RC says:

    So there are eight hats to give out this year.

    Besides Abp. Burke as an obvious cardinalitial candidate in the curia, there’s also Abp. Vigneron among the diocesans.

  34. vox borealis says:

    Prof. Basto,

    Thanks for the info. Unfortunately for me, I am not much of a vaticanista, so I am not sure which of these names represent “conservatives” or “liberals”, outside of a few. I certainly don’t see anyone as like as Mahoney, though again, I am not well-versed in these matters.

  35. Peter M says:

    What do Cardinals Garcia-Gasco y Valente, Cheong Jin-Suk (Seoul) , Zen Ze-Kiun (HongKong), Farina (Vat Archives), Cordes (Cor Unum), Rodé (Consecrated Life), Lajolo (Gov VCS), Foley (Eq Order), Levada (CDF), Sarr (Dakar), Martinez-Sistach (Barcelona), Caffarra (Bologna), Dziwisz (Krakow), Brady (Armagh), Vallini (VG Rome), Urosa Savino (Caracas), Vingt-Trois (Paris), Bagnasco (Genova), Comastri (Fabric SPeter), Sandri (Orientals), Njue (Nairobi), O’Malley (Boston), Ricard (Bordeaux), Gracias (Bombay), Rylko (Laity), Canizares Llovera (Divine Worship), Robles Ortega (Monterrey), DiNardo (Houston), Scherer (Sao Paolo) in common?

    They were all (29 of them) elevated by His Holiness!

  36. Prof. Basto says:

    Peter M,

    Yes, but His Holiness chose not to elevate any new cardinals in 2008.

    And some of the names you cite are on the list of Cardinals that will retire in the next few years.

  37. Boniface says:

    Dark Knight said:

    Not openly opposing while gently sabotaging is a Roman artform that
    predates the church.

    Wonderfully said and very true.

  38. Maynardus says:

    Ad multos annos indeed. We need to pray unceasingly for Pope Benedict, that he may continue to resist the wolves! Given the undue influence of some of the Cardinals who aren’t exactly on the same page as the Holy Father there can’t be enough Burkes, Ranjiths, et all in the Sacred College.

  39. Peter M says:

    Dear Prof Basto,

    Indeed there was no concistory in 2008, but already by the end of next year, our beloved Pope may elevate around 20 new cardinals! Many of those he has designated so far are young “porporatamente parlando”, 17 are below 70 and here to stay another decade.

  40. “It says a great deal about you, Petrus, [That was a cheap, personal shot. Do anything like that again, and you are gone from here.] (and indeed about this site and the trad mentality) that the things you care about the most are kneeling at communion and the state of vestments.”

    Being the good knight I try to be, and defender of the Holy Catholic Church, allow me to point out that it is fitting, proper, and reasonable to kneel in front of our Lord and God, which communion is. Anyone that thinks you shouldnt kneel before communion, in my opinion, doesnt believe in the real presence. Its not a “traditionalist” thing, it simply is the “Catholic”, “Creature (as opposed to thinking we are on par with “Creator”) thing to do.

    Vestments, show a priest shedding off the bonds of the secular world, setting himself apart, to truly act in person of Christ, and to act on our behlf (thus why we call him “Priest” and not “Minister” (though both titles share the same person)

    Wouldnt it be something, if after all is said and done with the SSPX coming home (it will happen wether people like it or not), that Holy Father names whatever superior of the society at that time as a Cardinal? Oh and dont forget the Superior of FSSP , and ICK!!! If anyone could insure another benedict, it would be those three sharing in the college!

    Of course, lets not forget our former Archbishop , his Excellency Raymond Burke. I am quite surprised he HASNT recieve the hat yet.

  41. Prof. Basto says:

    By the way…

    Unless a dispensation is made (very unusual stuff, I can’t remember the last one for Cardinals in the Curia), Cardinals must stand down from all their curial offices (athough not from the offices in the Sacred College, such as Dean and protodeacon) when they complete 80 years of age. So good Card. Castrillón will probably tender his resignation by July 4th, 2009, when he achieves that milestone.

    Perhaps that’s a reason behind the rush in providing for a quick reconciliation of the SSPX. I hope that the process succeeds.

    But I think we can assume that after July 4th, unless a dispensation is made to allow Card. Castrillón to remain in office, the process is likely to loose momentum. Either because the new President won’t be as committed as Castrillón, or because he will have to start a new relationship with the SSPX anyway, involving mutual trust building, etc.

    So, let us pray for the process to continue to move forward in an accelerated fashion, so that the final reconciliation takes place before Cardinal Castrillón’s retirement, likely to coincide with his 80th birthday in July. Here again, the clock is ticking.

  42. Prof. Basto says:

    So, let us pray for the process to continue to move forward in an accelerated fashion, so that the final reconciliation takes place before Cardinal Castrillón’s retirement, likely to coincide with his 80th birthday in July. Here again, the clock is ticking.

    And of course, in this situation, too, the liberal side knows that the clock is ticking. Given that we are only a few months away from July, any delays, any crisis, can be fatal for the good progress of the process. Ergo the giant frenzy that the liberals are making, in an attempt to destabilize the process and stall it.

    One more reason for the Pope to move in bold steps. And to back the initiatives of Cardinal Castrillón, his trusted man. I suspect that today’s statements by Father Lombardi to Zenit are a direct result of the Pope backing and defending his PCED President.

  43. RBrown says:

    Prof Basto,

    Although the 33 round limit was in force during the last conclave, I doubt that it made any difference. Although there were some liberal Western European Cardinals opposed to Cardinal Ratzinger, the truth is that he was highly regarded by the others. Most of the Eastern European, Asian, South American, and African cardinals came to Rome with only one purpose–to elect Joseph Ratzinger to the papacy.

    The Western media, with their liberal sources, never realized before the conclave that there was really only one candidate.

    There is another consideration, which I consider intriguing. JPII was known to have quizzed Cardinals individually about whom they wanted to be his successor. He had to have known of the Ratzinger preference, yet he designated no successor. I wonder it was because of their differences on liturgy, including its importance in Catholic life.

  44. irishgirl says:

    I like Curmugeon’s choices!

    Forgot to add:

    Charles Cardinal Chaput.

  45. Prof. Basto says:

    RBrown,

    I don’t know. If the 2/3 majority were already formed when the conclave started, Card. Ratzinger would’ve been elected in the first ballot.

    He wasn’t. Electors changed their vote, and the number of electors who voted for Card. Ratzinger increased, so that by the third ballot he achieved the 2/3 majority. That’s normal. But in changing their votes, they might have given consideration to the likely scenario that Card. Ratzinger, while still short of the 2/3 majority, had already secured the “half+1″ majority, and so, per the rules then in force, would sooner or later be elected Pope.

    I’m just saying: we cannot anymore benefit fron that same scenario, in which a conservative ally of the previous pope secures the “half+1″ majority and then the opposition fades and he is elected with the 2/3 majority. And we cannot benefit from that scenario because under the new rules that restored the old tradition, a half + 1 majority became meaningless.

    So, either a Cardinal will command 2/3 support from the start, as was the case with Pius XII, or some form of conciliation will have to take place to achieve the 2/3 majority, by the selection of a compromise candidate, as was John Paul II.

  46. David Cheney says:

    I can confirm the numbers in the original post (based on the assumption that no Cardinal under 80 dies in the next several years.)

    FYI, you can find a constantly updated list of voting cardinals by age here.

    It should be noted that in Pope Benedict XVI’s 2nd consistory to create cardinals he intended to abrogate the limit and have 121 Cardinal electors – however fate intervened and one of the Cardinal electors (Stephen Fumio Cardinal Hamao) passed away between the announcement of the consistory and its actually occurance.

  47. Daniel Latinus says:

    While I do not doubt that God can work through human machinations, I still hold that human decisions and human politics are what determine events on this earth. After all, human beings have free will. One hopes and prays the decision makers in Papal elections follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, but we have no way of knowing, this side of eternity, whether this was the case.

    Around 1998-1999, I was involved in a message board, where the topic of John Paul II’s successor was being discussed. I opined that Cardinal Ratzinger would not be elected because:

    1. He was identified with a specific point of view, which would have alienated those who didn’t share it.
    2. As head of CDF, Cardinal Ratzinger had made enemies.
    3. There would be pressure to select an Italian Pope after having a non-Italian for so long.

    Fast forward to 2005. Pope John Paul II had died, and I still believed that Cardinal Ratzinger was (sadly) unelectable.

    And the Sacred College proved me wrong. (Thank God!)

    I was unaware of the following factors:

    1. Until I heard Cardinal Ratzinger speak at JPII’s funeral, I had no idea how warm or outgoing his personality was.
    2. The number of Cardinal electors was the largest, and most diverse in history. Although all but three were appointed by JPII, few knew much about many of the others.
    3. All bishops meet with the head of CDF when they make their ad limina visits.

    So Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was the one Cardinal who most of the electors knew reasonably well, and he had made the kind of impression that inspired them to elect him!

    On final note: while I hope and pray we will not have another conclave soon, I do hope that the Holy Father will revisit JPII’s rules for than conclave, and go back to requiring a 2/3 majority for election. I see a real danger in allowing a Pope to be elected on a simple majority if the conclave lasts too long. (I come from Chicago: it’s essential to examine all the angles, in the worst possible light, when considering electoral procedures.)

    On the bright side, Pope Benedict is a musician, and a friend once told me musicians tend to live long lives…

    Papa Benedictus XVI: ad multos annos!

  48. Franzjosf says:

    So what does cunctando mean?

    Regitur looks passive (be ruled)

    mundus = world (nominative)

    Does -ando indicate a present participle? with a dative or ablative ending? I can’t remember. I guess I should get a Latin grammar book.

  49. Tim Ferguson says:

    Three words: Georg Cardinal Ratzinger.

    because the world has gone too long without a Cardinal Ratzinger in it.

  50. John Womack says:

    Fellay, Finigan, Zuhlsdorf, and DUFNER!

  51. John Womack says:

    I forgot to include Father RUTLER!

  52. RBrown says:

    I don’t know. If the 2/3 majority were already formed when the conclave started, Card. Ratzinger would’ve been elected in the first ballot.

    I never said that. Where did you get that idea?

    He wasn’t. Electors changed their vote, and the number of electors who voted for Card. Ratzinger increased, so that by the third ballot he achieved the 2/3 majority. That’s normal. But in changing their votes, they might have given consideration to the likely scenario that Card. Ratzinger, while still short of the 2/3 majority, had already secured the “half+1” majority, and so, per the rules then in force, would sooner or later be elected Pope.

    You elevated your “might” too high. The conclave began with Ratzinger already having a solid electoral foundation. And there was really no candidate for liberal Cardinals like Mahoney, McKarrick, Murphy-O’Connor, or Daneels to support.

    I’m just saying: we cannot anymore benefit fron that same scenario, in which a conservative ally of the previous pope secures the “half+1” majority and then the opposition fades and he is elected with the 2/3 majority. And we cannot benefit from that scenario because under the new rules that restored the old tradition, a half + 1 majority became meaningless.

    So, either a Cardinal will command 2/3 support from the start, as was the case with Pius XII, or some form of conciliation will have to take place to achieve the 2/3 majority, by the selection of a compromise candidate, as was John Paul II.
    Comment by Prof. Basto

    I would not call JPII a compromise candidate. What happens is that factions back candidates for various reasons (sometimes geographic), then drift away when they realize election is not possible. After no one was elected (although some think that a majority was growing for Colombo, who said he wasn’t interested), Wotyla was proposed because he was an anti-communist and a known moralist.

    One other point: During my last few years in Rome I began to discover that a lot of Cardinals were not happy with JPII. After the fall of the Soviet Union, they expected him to begin the reform of the Church. Instead, he turned to Ecumenism and continued to emphasize geo-politics, esp. Euro Unity.

    I didn’t think Cardinal Ratzinger could be elected because I thought they would elect someone with a more indirect, diplomatic approach. But I thought the Ratzinger stamp of approval was necessary for anyone to be elected (I thought it would be Bertone) and that the conclave would be looking for someone who would turn his attention to the internal matters of the Church–un papa religioso instead of un papa politico.

    Various circumstances brought the situation to a head. Two are notable. First, since the election of JPII the vocation problem had hit Italy. The Roman Province of Dominicans–St Thomas’ province–had one vocation in (I think) 1996.

    Second, the US scandals–when they broke, someone in Germany wrote that day was the first day of the next conclave.

  53. RBrown says:

    Personally I couldn’t give a damn about those things. Not as long as people have a great love for what they receive in communion and are equipped to take that love out of the Churches to change the world.

    Do you know what vestments Jesus wore at the Last Supper? No, me neither. Because it wasn’t recorded. And why wasn’t it recorded? Because nobody back then could give a toss!
    Comment by Ronald Webber

    You seem not to understand the importance of beauty in the worship of God. I suggest you read JRatzinger’s The Spirit of the Liturgy.

    You also seem not to understand that Charity primarily refers to the Love of God. I suggest you read BXVI’s encyclical Deus est Caritas.

  54. Joseph says:

    While not one of you Latins myself, I heartily agree that the current Roman pope needs many more years at the wheel to steady the ship, so to speak. The cultural crisis that has erupted since the 1960′s has far too long infected the Roman Church, and Benedict XVI, as a good physician, seems to understand the ailment. That is good news. Let’s hope that he has the time and the resources to come up with a treatment.

  55. Francis McWilliams says:

    I researched this too. It’s interesting to note that in 5 years, only about 20 John Paul II cardinals will be able to vote.

    Most of the rad liberals who are enemies of the Holy Father Benedict XVI are in this group, and they are already old men.

    One of the priests who is a member of the SSPX made an interesting point. The present Pope has been too trusting of his enemies in the Curia, and in Archepiscopal sees around the world, and has kept them in office past retirement age.

    Time to clean house I think, both in the Vatican, and around the world.

  56. David Cheney says:

    Francis:

    Your numbers are a bit off. Assuming no deaths, 5 years from now there will still be 41 Cardinals named by JP2 that are of voting age. It does not drop to 20 until 2017.

  57. Geri says:

    “Do you know what vestments Jesus wore at the Last Supper? No, me neither. Because it wasn’t recorded. And why wasn’t it recorded? Because nobody back then could give a toss!”

    Dear Mr Webber –
    Unless He went home to change before going to the garden of Gethsemane to pray a while, a coat without seam, woven from the top throughout.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  58. Clinton says:

    Good point Geri — and we should note that such a garment was rare, special, and expensive.

  59. Adam says:

    This is really a non-issue as regards the exit from the body of cardinal-electors. After all, every year a numnber of the College reach the 80 year watershed. And the average over the next five years is around 10,as the table shows. The critical issue is not the age of the electors but rather the composition of the College when a reigning Pontifff dies. This could be tomorrow, next week, next year or in 5 years tim. The Lord knows and he will always provide the person who is necessary at that time to be the successor of Peter. It has always been the case. It was in 1959, 1965 after only 5 years of John XXIII and after one month of JP I in 1978. The Lord is always with his Church and the numbers of non-electors versus electors is not critical at all.
    But what is critical in a way is the fact that we have Cardinal-archbishops in their Sees having to retire at 75 – then should they depart their Sees at that time or a year or so later (as seems to be the case with so many, even up to 3 years: look now at New York and Westminster) we see the situation of a new archishop take his See in what is a cardinal-appointed position. BUT the NEW archbishop may not be appointed as a cardinal for some years more, until his predecessor has reached 80 (cf. Paris and the new arch. Vingt-Trois). The Pontiff does not like to have two men with the red hat who are/have been archbishops of the same See. Thus this is a real problem and so we have many cardinal-archbishops staying on past 75 and to 77 etc simply so that the gap of cardinal-appointments is not too long. Thus if Westminster gets a new arch in the next few weeks, the diocese will have to wait at a minimum of 3 years before he can be created a cardinal. This gap is disconcerting. We will have the case of ‘retired cardinal-archbishops’ with no See and yet able to vote and new archbishops with a See but NOT able to vote. This could happen in loads of Sees with a vacant See of Rome.

    Thus my point is that the age for non-electors (80) creates real problems. It would be highly unusual (and has not been the case ever) for a cardinal without a See (extra Curia) to be elected Pontiff by the College. Perhaps Cardinals retiring at 75 could lose the title of cardinal if they no longer have a See or a Curial appointment. This I think is a dilemma.

    But, back to the start. The next conclave, and it can’t be that far off, will see most of the present College in the Sistine Chapel. The Holy Spirit will guide them to choose the priest who is best suited to be the successor of Peter at that moment – for us all.