Wherein Fr. Z makes a suggestion to Cardinal Electors

Here is a point that is so obvious that I am surprised no one has made it yet.

Some people are talking – as they did in 2005 – about the election of a cardinal from the “emerging” Church.  Several names have been mentioned as “papábili”.

Cardinal Electors who may be thinking along these lines might want also to consider that, once one of their brothers is elected, investigative journalists will start looking for clerical sexual abuse in dioceses in which he has ever breathed air.

They will bring divining rods, Geiger counters, scalpels and microscopes.

The shoes have not yet dropped in lot of places.

Remember how the newsies found a thin story about something that happened in Munich when Pope Benedict was still Cardinal Archbishop there?  They beat him with that story for months.  They are still beating him with it.

I propose to Their Eminences that it could be better to elect someone whose record on clerical sexual abuse we know a lot about.

Otherwise, in this media age, the next Pope’s pontificate could be hobbled from the starting gate.

In some countries, such as these USA, Ireland, Canada, a little bit in some European countries, the press has been crawling all over diocesan bishops for years and a great deal has been exposed to the light of day.

This has not yet occurred in the “emerging” Churches, such as in The Philippines or Brazil.

In fact, has it happened yet even in Italy?

It will.

If a cardinal from one of these places is elected, it will happen a lot faster wherever they have served.

Do any of us want to discover that the next Pope screwed up something about the abuse of kids in his diocese?

I just want you to consider what you are calling forth.  Know what you are getting into.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Cri de Coeur, The Drill, The future and our choices and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Legisperitus says:

    From your keyboard to the Cardinals’ eyes, Father.

  2. Father Z: “I propose to Their Eminences that it could be better to elect someone whose record on clerical sexual abuse we know a lot about.

    Surely you’re not thinking of Card. Mahony? [I assure you, Henry, I think about Card. Mahony all the time, though I don’t think we have to worry he will be elected.]

  3. jhayes says:

    John Allen mentioned some discussion already of electing a Pope with a strong record of dealing with sexual abuse.

    ““While the U.S. media has focused on Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York as the most plausible, if still remote, American prospect, another name has generated a surprising degree of buzz in the Italian press: Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, partly on the strength of his profile as a reformer on the church’s sexual abuse scandals, and partly because of his Capuchin simplicity as a perceived antidote to the Vatican’s reputation for intrigue and power games.”


  4. First the eminent Card Mahony ought to stay home on his own accord.
    Card. Sean certainly would bring the appropriate dignity to the office along with fine liturgical presence.

  5. I am praying for Raymond Cardinal Burke. Is anything known about His Eminence in this particular regard?

  6. Phil_NL says:

    In fact, I hope that in all the customary exhortations to be given during the conclave, it would be emphasised that the new pope will be investigated from conception to the present, and that anything, anything at all that could by the remotest action be seen as potentially indicating some tendency to be resort to actions or inactions that may be constructed as not being in favor of the uttermost upright way of dealing with any potential problem that has arisen or may arise in a millenium surrounding the moment at hand, will be dug up by the press.

    And then used to beat the pope with, all days and every day, till he dies or abdicates.

    This magnifying glass does not limit titself to the abuse scandals. It’s obviously the biggest and dangerous aspect, but any issues there might be regarding finances, staffing disputes, political opinions and so on, will be used just as readily.

    It will be a hard job, for whoever is elected.

  7. SimonDodd says:

    Either that he screwed up something about the abuse of kids in his diocese, or, in a pinch, the media will take “did something that can be portrayed as screwing up on abuse.” We should also keep in mind, however, that even if we find someone whose record is completely unimpeachable—no screw-ups, nothing that can be portrayed as a screw-up—then the story will read “as bishop of such-and-such, Pope Pius XIII has been accused of not having done enough to reconcile/promote justice/whatever.” The purpose of the story isn’t to bring facts to light but to smear and detract from the moral authority of the Church, and for that reason, the media will write the story using whatever they can and, if necessary, whatever they must. What is not variable is that the story will be written and the purposes to which it is directed.

  8. Phil_NL says:

    meh, that ‘be’ in the 4th line should not have been there. I expanded it for additional effect, and in fact, it should have more effect still.

    Any time spent by the pope and his officials on dispelling erroneous notions and repelling vile attacks is time we cannot afford to waste. And if there would be any truth in such allegations, that would be infitily worse. May the Holy Spirit save us from that.

  9. fvhale says:

    I think that Pope Benedict XVI will be seen in history as the first pope that had to suffer under the intense, microscopic scrutiny of the 24/7, global, relentless information age that we now live in with the internet, twitter, Web, online libraries and archives, online video and still cameras and microphones in so many pockets, etc. We are in an age where someone can snap a picture of something and send it around the world instantly on FB.

    No previous Pope had to endure such scrutiny: Bl. John Paul II’s past was rather difficult to find under layers of Nazi and Russian oppression in Poland. Bl. John XXIII lived most of his life well before the modern information age, when things were kept on paper in files and archives, or not at all. John Paul I was not Pope long enough to suffer much scrutiny. Ven. Pope Paul VI became a global target of the media in the 1960’s and 1970’s, but still the global information network and massive move to digital records did not exist.

    The next Pope, however, will spend his entire papacy under the relentless microscope of our digital, connected, information-image soaked world. How many Cardinals have blogs already (I know several do)? How many, many images, audio files, video files, texts, PDF’s etc. are already available to the world online from each Cardinal elector? How many tweet? How many have digital records of every cellphone call they every made locked away in a data vault some where? We all live under this information microscope today. And you can be sure that everything will come out regarding the next Pope.

  10. Dr. K says:

    First the eminent Card Mahony ought to stay home on his own accord.

    Oh, he’ll be there. The Cardinal intends to give us a Twitter play-by-play:

    “Historical news with the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. Am planning to be in Rome and vote for the next Pope. Will be tweeing [sic] daily.”

  11. Ignatius says:

    Spot on.

  12. Legisperitus says:

    Perhaps Cardinal Mahony’s… spectacular self-regard will win him a paucity of allies at the conclave. Looking forward to his daily “twee.”

  13. BLB Oregon says:

    I think there will be cardinal-electors who will rightly resist the idea that catering to the unfair knee-jerk opinions of a largely hostile world press ought to have anything to do with choosing the next successor to Peter, but prudence is prudence. Any Pope who continues to tell the secular world–and even the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics with our wide body of opinions–things they do not want to hear is going to suffer some ad hominem attacks as a result. It is better not to provide them with someone who will give them ammunition. It is very wise to consider that past handling of sexual abuse cases is the first place the critics of the Vatican will look.

    And speaking of election of the Pope, has anyone seen E.J. Dionne’s opinion piece indicating that the cardinals ought to elect _a nun?_ He admitted it was a “long shot”, but apparently wrote this with a straight face! Obviously there is a degree to which the press is going to be impossible to appease, even the journalists (or maybe especially the journalists) who consider themselves Catholic, because their defiance includes a willful and stubbornly-held ignorance of the Catholic faith. He and all the other progressives know election of a woman is impossible, but when they hear what they don’t want to hear, they simply refuse to hear it!

  14. kelleyb says:

    Is the Novena to Holy Spirit appropriate prior to the Conclave or is it reserved to be said after the Ascension? If it is, will our Bishops and pastors recommend this to the people? If not, what is the recommended prayer for parishes?

  15. disco says:

    Cardinal Burke has been hammered in the newspapers for being tough with alleged victims seeking settlements particularly from his time as bishop of la crosse because Wisconsin has case law that specifically prevents claimants from suing the diocese for the behavior of individual priests. I am not aware of any accusations against him for mishandling any one single case of abuse like moving abusers around or covering anything up, but it’s a safe bet that SNAP et al would throw a fit if he were elected.

  16. sw85 says:

    In other words, it would perhaps be prudent for the Cardinal-electors to select the next Pope based on his actual merits, rather than as a public relations stunt or nod to identity politics.

  17. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Sadly I’m sure there are some electors who have not considered this. Too often churchmen act as if our Lord when He said “Be ye as wise as serpents” paused and turned to a different group before saying “and [be ye] as innocent as doves”, and consider themselves to be members only of the second group.

    Of course I’m prone to failing at the requisite innocence and dovishness.

  18. Athelstan says:

    Outstanding suggestion, Fr. Z.

    Of course, carrying it through will be more difficult…I am trying to figure out what this would look like in practice. In reality, it’s going to be hard to know everything about every papabile.

    I suppose…if the Vatican truly had an investigative body….it could mount a fast, independent investigation into every papabile cardinal, and assemble a file on each to be distributed to the cardinal electors. But that has its own difficulties. The media would try desperately to obtain any of those files. Prosecutors might demand them.

    So I don’t know how this would work – how much can you really know about whether the cardinal you are voting for really has a clean background? Ask them to take an oath? At some point, you trust that they’re clean, and vote.

  19. Athelstan says:

    And speaking of election of the Pope, has anyone seen E.J. Dionne’s opinion piece indicating that the cardinals ought to elect _a nun?_ He admitted it was a “long shot”, but apparently wrote this with a straight face!

    Presumably, he must mean one of the nuns *not* from an LCWR religious order under scrutiny from SNAP for sexual abuse allegations…

  20. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    As a parishioner in the archdiocese of Boston, I hope Cardinal Sean O’Malley will not be considered for the papacy. I fear many people have forgotten O’Malley’s near canonization of Ted Kennedy, complete with President Obama’s eulogy during the Boston funeral. The archdiocese is well over $100 million in the red. Salaries paid to lay employees at the chancery are among the highest in the country. The clergy are greatly demoralized. A round-up of issues in Boston, with documentation, can be found at: http://bostoncatholicinsider.wordpress.com/

  21. pmullane says:

    Being aware of a particular bishops’ records on recorded abuse cases is one thing, but what I suspect Fr is driving at is electing a Pope whose record is not known because no light has been shone on his diocese. Imagine the disaster that revelations day after day about the Pope’s mishandling of abuse cases etc etc would be. A bishop who has been comprehensively investigated by the media, and about whom all information is ‘in the open’ is much preferable

  22. Giuseppe says:

    I agree with jhayes and John Allen that Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston is a likely possibility. I think he will emerge as the most likely American, given a stellar record on coming to resolutions in the sexual abuse scandals.

  23. NBW says:

    According to an article on Catholic Culture’s site: “A prominent Italian cardinal has suggested that Cardinal Roger Mahony, the retired Archbishop of Los Angeles, should voluntarily relinquish his right to participate in the election of the next Pope.”

    I hope Cardinal Mahoney listens to Cardinal Velasio De Paolis


    [Sigh… can we all agree not to talk about this guy?]

  24. jhayes says:

    “A round-up of issues in Boston, with documentation, can be found at: http://boston catholicinsider.wordpress.com/

    As another parishoner in the Archdiocese of Boston, i would like to pass on that that newsletter is hardly an objective commentator on the archdiocese. It’s as if someone mentioned Bishop Finn and you sent them to SNAP.

  25. jhayes says:

    “A round-up of issues in Boston, with documentation, can be found at:
    http://boston catholicinsider.wordpress.com/

    As another parishoner in the Archdiocese of Boston, i would like to pass on that that newsletter is hardly an objective commentator on the archdiocese. It’s as if someone mentioned Bishop Finn and you sent them to SNAP.

  26. jhayes says:

    Sorry for the double post. Please feel free to remove the duplicate

  27. mamajen says:

    Some of the stuff we already know about “emerging” churches is bad enough. I’m all for evangelization, but not if people are being lured in with rock masses, superstition and liberal nonsense. Any cardinal who allows that stuff to fly isn’t worthy of the papacy, IMO. We need a good pope, not a token one.

  28. BLB Oregon says:

    The chances that the next Pope will be elected from the US, the most overly-influential country on the planet, not to mention one of those most packed with anti-Catholic and even anti-religious baptized Catholics? Well, it is not zero, but having said that it is just slightly higher than the chances that the next successor of Peter will be not a Pope but a “Mome” from the LCWR!

    What I find mortifying is not the idea that this could happen–the cardinals are more likely to simply self-detonate an atomic bomb while deliberating inside the Sistine Chapel, and with similar results–but that so many Catholics think wistfully that this would _automatically_ be an improvement! Sexism is not dead, let’s just say that.

  29. THREEHEARTS says:

    again I say by FrZ’s defintions or standards Cardinal Harvey is the prime candidate for the papacies he has been front and center in Rome knows just about every bishop, archbishop and cardinal more or less personally, knows all the politics of the curia and probably many many journalists. He would be a good choice for whom to pray. He has a very intimate first hand knowledge of the abuse scandal. He has a first hand knowledge of the Ordinariates. He has as head of the papal household has weathered evet storm, political and secular, in the company of three popes

  30. Phil_NL says:


    And you’d think such files therefore not exist? I’m pretty sure the would be someone in the vatican keeping tabs on potential liabilities. As with anything Vatican, it will be inefficient and has dropped the ball a couple of times, but it would be insane to suppose that there are no ‘staff files’ somewhere. If they will be brought to the conclave is an altogether different matter, of course, but some cardinals will be prepared, one would assume.

    As for those files being subpoenaed, well, officially they wouldnt exist, and the Vatican is a soverign state anyway. that one wont fly.

    By the way, again it’s not only abuse scandals one needs to be on the lookout for. Nor financial mismanagement: it could be academics too – Germany has already lost two federal cabinet members of plagiarised doctoral dissertations. In case of a theologian of the caliber of BXVI, that would never be an issue, but who’s to guarantee germany was the only country where such things happened?

  31. Lynne says:

    As another parishoner in the Archdiocese of Boston, I would like to pass on that that blog, http://bostoncatholicinsider.wordpress.com/ , is very factual regarding the issues it posts on, i.e. financial matters. Cardinal O’Malley (why would a cardinal think that calling him by his first name would be a good idea?) is a train-wreck administratively.

  32. Stumbler but trying says:

    “Some of the stuff we already know about “emerging” churches is bad enough. I’m all for evangelization, but not if people are being lured in with rock masses, superstition and liberal nonsense. Any cardinal who allows that stuff to fly isn’t worthy of the papacy, IMO. We need a good pope, not a token one.”

    Amen! A good pope with a strong back and an even stronger heart. If it should arise that he came from a diocese where there was scandal and he saw to it that it was taken care of, fine but if he is found to come from a diocese that glossed it over and he was at the center of it all, how can that have escaped the media’s attention beforehand? It boggles the mind. I mean if the latter be true, would there not be a victim of said abuse coming forth? Would it not be impossible nowadays to remain silent on such matters given the number of abuse victims who have come forth?

    I can clearly understand now more than before why the Holy Spirit has inspired everyone to be called to pray at this momentous time in our beloved Church’s history. So much is to be considered and so much is also at stake.
    Let us keep praying that the Holy Spirit will enlighten the Cardinals to ponder in wisdom and in humility, what is truly important for the sake of all concerned. I will continue to hope and to pray in unity with the Church for a pope who has sought to model himself after our Lord Jesus Christ as well as Pope JP II and especially Pope Benedict XVI.

    Til then…let’s keep praying!

  33. Tybourne says:

    Good point, Father.

    Sed contra, surely a tough cardinal from the global majority world could sort out those meddlesome curial officials and bring a clean sweep to the Vatican? [Not if there is anything in his past service like to what I wrote above.]

    Lessons from how to survive in a hostile climate from the Coptic Church:

    * Elect a young(ish) patriarch/ pope so that he can have the time and energy to battle as needed, pace JPII
    * Emphasise a strong monastic/ religious foundation for the Church so that the spiritual will tend to take precedence over the political
    * Have a widely-extended, well-formed permanent diaconate to act as salt and leaven for the laity
    * Ensure a rich, warm and traditional/ symbolic liturgy that nourishes souls, that is not tampered with- the liturgy will save the Church and the world! (where have I heard that before?)

  34. DFWShook says:

    Any reason for not electing Archbishop Chaput? [A big one.]

  35. Cecily says:

    The idea that praying a certain man will be elected Pope seems inadvisable. I would rather pray that God guides the electors. Who am I to know which man would be best?

  36. Stumbler but trying says:

    “First the eminent Card Mahony ought to stay home on his own accord.
    Oh, he’ll be there. The Cardinal intends to give us a Twitter play-by-play:
    “Historical news with the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. Am planning to be in Rome and vote for the next Pope. Will be tweeing [sic] daily.”

    Gee…I, for one, do not want a “tweet day by day play.” If he has such a self regard for himself then I think restrain and some self respect and some dignity will go along way (being that he may want to look good in the eyes of his brother Cardinals, who knows…).
    If he so chooses to attend and vote, let him make himself small and unseen and wide open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

    If the above article be true, we will not see any “day by day tweet play.”

    I want to add one more thing to my list for the new yet to be elected Holy Father,
    A true devotion to our Queen…the Blessed Virgin Mary. With her, one can never go wrong!

  37. Muv says:

    I’m just hoping for a wolf-proof Catholic who will have his predecessor round for dinner as often as possible.

  38. marajoy says:

    um…isn’t it *forbidden* for Card. Mahoney to do something like “tweet day by day” while in the conclave? Isn’t there that whole “secrecy” thing? I HOPE they take the cell phones and gadgets from them when they begin the conclave!

    [Can we please ignore this fellow?]

  39. kat says:

    Isn’t the purpose of isolating the Cardinals during the conclave so that they do not have access to the outside world? I hope Mahony AND everyone else is forbidden to have any type of electronics during the conclave, so that their thoughts are on God and on the new Pope to pick, and on NOTHING else…!
    It will be awful if we are hearing daily what goes on in there from people who should not be sharing.

  40. ljc says:


  41. Gus Barbarigo says:

    Abp. Chaput has the evangelical (small “e”), administrative, intellectual, and media chops to be pababile! Respectfully, Chaput seems to have much more on the ball than Dolan! Chaput is open to tradition (the EF is said in his archdicoese), writes brilliant sermons and lectures, is plugged into conservative intellectual scholarship, and is rapidly rescuing both the parish-structure and the school system from the abyss, as well as bravely handling the abuse crisis, which has been sending priests to civil trial.

    If the Holy Father is “radical” enough to abdicate, then certainly he would not mind handing a second red hat to the same archdiocese (Card. Rigali, and hopefully, Chaput).

    I pray someone in Rome will whipser in the Pope’s ear to get Chaput into the College of Cardinals (I agree with you, DFWShook).

  42. Phil_NL says:

    marajov / kat

    I hope they dont take the cellphones away, but upon card Mahoneys first tweet, throw him out of the conclave. It is questionable however, if they have the right to do so. On the one hand, Universi Dominici Gregis stipulates there there is no reason to impede a cardinal to vote, unless he voluntarily left the conclave; on the other hand, signalling from the conclave carries with it the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae reserved to the Apostolic See.

    Would a cardinal that has clearly excommunicated himself still be allowed to vote?

  43. Shamrock says:

    Perhaps since we are breaking precedent with over 600 yrs of history with Pope Benedict’a
    abdication we could break another precedent set long ago….a Pope-elect that is not a member
    of the hierarchy! Canon law does not state the Pope even has to be a priest. Since we are looking
    here for someone totally untouched or involved in the clergy scandal now might be the time to
    consider such a person. i.e. an emminent lay theologian like…..(fill in the blank)

  44. ttucker says:

    Excellent observation from Fr. Z.
    Regarding Cardinal O’Malley, I have to add that he is one of the least dynamic speakers I have ever heard. All other things being equal, I think we need a strong dynamic presence now.
    But who am I to say, of course?

  45. Maynardus says:

    Wow – I do agree that it’s important for serious candidates to be vetted in this fashion, but like several other readers (and John Allen, and the Boston media…) when I read your post he first thing I thought of was: “Yikes, that kind of thinking would put O’Malley near the top of the list!” Not sure what Hieromonk Gregory means by “liturgical presence” but in my personal experience (including having discussed matters liturgical with him) he seems to be about as far as one can be from most readers of this blog. His tastes seem to run to polyester/burlap, guitars (acoustic, not electric) and minimalism in general. And he once told me he couldn’t imagine why anyone under 70 would want to attend the T.L.M.(!) This was well before his public comments undermining Summorum Pontificum (in early July ’07), and he his acceptance of S.P. has been quite grudging despite having a T.L.M. in the basement “lower church” of his Cathedral.

    Further to Massachusetts Catholic’s comments, and considering a bishop’s charge to teach, govern, and sanctify: Cardinal O’Malley is a fine teacher – when he bothers to rouse himself and utilize his “pulpit” that is – but I believe he is far too reticent. I have no doubts about his personal piety or sanctity, but doesn’t “sanctify” mean more than ordaining and administering Confirmation? What about “confirming the brethren”, i.e. leading (and sustaining) his priests and people toward holiness? This also ties into the governance issue – he seems to be just plain lousy at governing and appears to have delegated most of these responsibilties to a few individuals – clerics, religious, and (extremely well-compensated) laics – some of doubtful loyalty/fidelity/orthodoxy. Lots of bureacuracy and programs but very little sense of mission i.e. salvation of souls! Frankly, by comparison to O’Malley, Benedict looks like “CEO of the Year”!

    In sum, he is light-years from Benedict as a theologian, he appears to act timidly, he doesn’t have a good record of governance, and he would seem very unlikely to continue the Benedictine reforms of the liturgy. Alas, I’d like to see him leave Boston but not aboard the sede gestatoria “Popemobile”. Lest anyone think that I am being unduly critical of His Eminence I will readily admit that he seems to have been very effective in dealing with the “Boston Problem” (that’s what we call it, no matter where it occurs) and my own preference (as if it matters to the Holy Spirit!!!) would be for Cardinal Sean to be the first cardinal prefect of the new Vatican entity which the next Holy Father creates specifically to deal with these problems worldwide!

    Chances are that the media will find something – no matter how trivial – on any cardinal who has been an ordinary, and whip it up into a scandal par excellance… be prepared for it!

  46. Phil_NL says:

    hmm, I should have read a bit more carefully (not my best skill, these days…), the excommunication applies, strictly speaking, only to those assisting the cardinals in the conclave.

    I would still wonder what the other cardinals would do though. It’s a case where, if the future pope agrees, the justification may come after the fact. They might risk it and send his twee(t)iness packing anyway.

  47. Legisperitus says:

    Phil_NL: Interesting. If Cardinal Mahony were excommunicated latae sententiae and it were known, surely he would be thrown out of the conclave? One would hope. And if it’s reserved to the Apostolic See, that would leave his fate in the hands of Cardinal Monteiro de Castro of Portugal, the Major Penitentiary.

  48. Legisperitus says:

    Please ignore previous post, as it is now irrelevant.

  49. Gus Barbarigo says:

    Chaput has also been chosen by Pope Benedict to host the next World Meeting of Families (which recently drew thousands of people when held in Milan). If Papa Benedict thinks enough of Chaput to entrust him with this honor (which could have been bestowed on any bishop ordinary in the world), then why deprive Chaput of a red hat, at this hour of all hours! Please pray the red hat will be sent out this week, before it’s too late!

  50. Gus Barbarigo says:

    If Philadelphia can have two saints (St. John Neumann and St. Katherine Drexel), then why can’t it have two cardinals, especially when one (Rigali) is Emeritus! Forgive my multiple posts, but this is a major issue. Allowing Mahoney into the Conclave but simultaneously keeping Chaput out seems outrageous! Hello, Rome, are you listening!

  51. Giuseppe says:

    Arbp. Chaput can be voted pope without a red hat. In fact, I think he’s more likely to be pope without a red hat than having one magically appear in the next few days. Cardinal Rigali can make his case.

  52. Folks: Chaput won’t be elected Pope. Neither will Mahony. Let’s get real.

  53. Giuseppe says:

    (pushed post too soon)….Cardinal Rigali can make Chaput’s case in Conclave.

  54. Giuseppe says:


  55. fvhale says:

    Most online betting sites list four cardinals with odds better than 10-to-1 as the next pope.

    In alphabetical order: Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (Italy); Cardinal Marc Ouellet (Quebec); Archbishop Angelo Scola (Italy); ; Cardinal Peter Turkson (Ghana)

    http://www.oddschecker.com/politics-and-election/next-pope/winner [WHAT does this have to do with the topic?]

  56. robtbrown says:

    With all the names being tossed around, my guess is still it will be among Ouellet, Scola, and Bagnasco–opting for a manager over two intellectuals, un Genovese is elected.

  57. MBeauregard says:

    I think it would be interesting to see which languages each cardinal elector knows. I would think that fluency in both Latin and Italian are prerequisites for the papacy.

  58. wmeyer says:

    Most online betting sites list four cardinals with odds better than 10-to-1 as the next pope.

    One must doubt, however, that these betting sites have the benefit of the Holy Spirit guiding them.

  59. Imrahil says:

    Dear @jhayes,

    frankly, while of course the Pope should not be one who partook in sinful forms of pushing his career… I don’t think at this moment Capuchin simplicity would be good as opposed to Vatican intrigues and power games.

    I’d rather wish for a Pope who knows these games and, while integer, can play them and, maybe, finally overcome them.

  60. robtbrown says:

    meyer says:

    ‘Most online betting sites list four cardinals with odds better than 10-to-1 as the next pope.’

    One must doubt, however, that these betting sites have the benefit of the Holy Spirit guiding them.

    What’s guiding them is the desire to attract bets. That notwithstanding, it will be interesting to see the odds when the conclave begins.

  61. Stumbler but trying says:

    “One must doubt, however, that these betting sites have the benefit of the Holy Spirit guiding them.”

    I highly doubt these betting sites do. ^^ Chaput would be a wonderful addition to the Papal household in whatever position the new pope will see fit to give him. I am not gonna bother with poor Mahoney as his reputation is already tainted and he will have to live with that.

    “In alphabetical order: Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (Italy); Cardinal Marc Ouellet (Quebec); Archbishop Angelo Scola (Italy); ; Cardinal Peter Turkson (Ghana)”

    Hum…Bertone does not inspire me, nor does Turkson for that matter. I seem to recall his being interviewed somewhere last week and he answered a few questions with, “were I pope.” A turn off.
    Scola, I do not know (will read up on him). I do like Ouellet though as I heard Fr. Robert Barron speak highly of him and that intrigued me.

    In the end, my money is with the Holy Spirit as he will oversee the entire process. I am going to ask him to make me a loan though…more clarity of mind and more prayer time. ^^

    Blessings to all!

  62. I’m putting the combox on moderation to help people exercise some self-editing skills.

  63. Bill Foley says:

    Father Z,

    I hope you and your blogites enjoy the following.

    Unique Papal Election

    As the cardinals were heading to Rome for a papal conclave, the media had declared the Italian bishop Giuseppe Sicola as the frontrunner. Cardinal Patrick Murphy of Ireland was considered the second choice. After the cardinals had selected Patrick Murphy as the new pope, Cardinal Giuseppe Sicola asked the cardinals why they had not chosen him. One highly respected cardinal told him that he was the first choice, but they could not accept the fact that the Vicar of Christ would be referred to as Pope Sicola.

  64. boxerpaws1952 says:

    Been feeling so down in the dumps this month and reeling from it hadn’t given it much thought. Know Fr Z is right though. Speak of the devil-the media-they’ve already started:
    “LIGNET: Power Struggle Marked Pope’s Last Days; One Cardinal Is Front-Runner for Succession

    Recent news of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation has sparked speculation that more may be involved than the publicly cited reason that the Holy Father’s health no longer enabled him to continue.

    Sources close to both the Pope and the Vatican have informed LIGNET that Benedict’s decision was brought on by his declining health in the context of a major power struggle within the Holy See.

    Two major appointments made by Benedict in the closing days of his papacy, including one to install a new head of the Vatican Bank, are signs of this struggle.

    Vatican insiders, including a close friend of Benedict’s, reveal to LIGNET details of the intrigue swirling around this historic power struggle that has marked the last days of his papacy.

    A key source suggests that four cardinals, including two from Latin America, are the leading contenders. LIGNET identifies the front-runner to become the next pope, a cardinal who was close to John Paul II, trusted by Benedict, skilled in Vatican maneuvering, and who has been in the front lines dealing with the rise of radical Islam.”
    They make it sound like Pope Benedict was just short of shoved out the door. I doubt there isn’t going to be a whirlwind no matter who is elected but Father is certainly right; the one who is furthest from the scandal comes in stronger. Yes, of course,i will accept the next Pope-as much as i hate to give up Benedict-and have one in the back of my mind(like everyone)boy we have to keep praying.
    BTW. gave Fr Z’s blog a vote. Be sure to vote for the blog if you haven’t already. If we keep going think he will win!! We know it’s deserved.

  65. MrTipsNZ says:

    A case for Cardinal Pell

    previously falsely accused of abuse and engaged heavily at the moment with trying to sort out the abuse with the governmental inquiry in Australia. Intelligent, steadfast and used to media scrutiny. Accordingly, has a psychology that is able to cope with harassment.

    Sometimes slips up with media comments. May not be endearing to Asian or Arabic nations. Perhaps too far from the psychology of European and American thinking, but that, one suspects, could be an unexpected asset.

  66. Will Elliott says:

    Cardinal O’Malley (why would a cardinal think that calling him by his first name would be a good idea?) is a train-wreck administratively.

    [forgive me, Fr. Z, if this is too far off topic] The reason H.E. Sean Patrick Cardinal O’Malley thinks it is a good idea to be called by his first name is simple. He’s a Capuchin Franciscan friar and was Friar Sean long before becoming a bishop or cardinal. I recommend reading a Catholic Answers Forums post on the topic of first names vs. last names by Brother JR, FFV, a member of the Franciscans Of Life: http://forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=10119641&postcount=79 (this post also addresses the differences in name preferences between Cardinal Sean, OFM Cap, and Archbishop Chaput, OFM Cap.)

  67. SKAY says:

    The media is trying to manipulate the election of the Pope like their manipulation of our recent
    disastrous presidential election. If the new Pope fits their templet and were to agree with all of their wish lists about “modernizing” the Church–we would never hear a word about his past no matter what it included.
    I am praying that they will be VERY unhappy with the choice making Father Z’s suggestion very wise.

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  69. ocleirbj says:

    “Card. Dolan Deposed over Sex Abuse Cases” – thus reads the headline running along the bottom of the TV screen, here in Connecticut where I am visiting. What does this mean?? Clearly he is still in office, and “deposed” is not a word one would normally use to describe a bishop being removed from office. Speakers of U.S. English – please help this baffled Canadian? [I am not a lawyer, nor do I a play one on TV, but it seems to me that “deposed” in this context means that some court or other interested person or group with adequate standing is seeking to know what Card. Dolan knows about case “X”. They are seeking information. “Deposed”, here, doesn’t mean “removed from office”.]

  70. ocleirbj says:

    Thanks Fr. Z. I admit that I was looking in the Unnamed Nasty News Source for a blaring headline and was surprised not to see anything :-)

  71. rhhenry says:

    Given: Reports from previous conclaves suggest that the first round of balloting is sometimes used to “honor” fellow cardinals, especially if they have no chance of being elected.

    Given: Pope Benedict XVI has a strong record (alas, often unreported in the American media, at least) of dealing strongly with the sexual abuse crisis, which should be a concern, selon Fr. Z.

    Given: Several posters are apparently interested in oddsmaking. *grin*

    Question: How many votes will Benedict / Ratzinger receive on the first ballot?

  72. robtbrown says:

    Will Elliott,

    Abp Chaput is also a Capuchin. Does anyone refer to him as Bishop Charles? Will he be known as Cardinal Charles? I think not.

    It is fairly common among Irish priests to be called by their Christian names.

  73. BLB Oregon says:

    I know that any cat can have an opinion about who the next Pope will be. I have heard, however, that it is forbidden for the cardinals to discuss the topic of the papal succession among themselves during the pope’s lifetime, but that the Pope himself may raise the subject with them, if he chooses to. Was the Pope’s announcement that he would abdicate permission for the discussions about his successor to begin among those actually having the office to make the decision, or are they supposed to wait until his abdication becomes actual?

    IOW, is everyone on the planet having discussions about this except those whose opinion actually matters?

  74. jhayes says:

    Regarding Cardinal Mahony

    “Rome, 22.02.13 (Kipa) The Vatican has defended the controversial participation of U.S. Cardinal Roger Mahony (76) in the Conclave. Church law explicitly protects the freedom of the Papal voters against “all kinds of interference, resistance and requests by secular authorities” as well as groups or individuals, said the secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, on Friday, to journalists in Rome.”


  75. jhayes says:

    robtbrown, the link posted by Will Elliott explains the dfifference in names:

    When Cardinal Seán took his vows the Capuchins did not use last names. Patrick O’Malley became Friar Seán Patrick and, later, Father Seán and Cardinal Seán or, for formal occasions, Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley.

    When Bishop Chaput took his vows some years later, the Capuchins had changed to use last names so so Charles Joseph Chaput became Friar Charles Joseph Chaput and, later, Father Charles Joseph Chaput and Bishop Charles Patrick Chaput.

    Seems reasonable for both of them.

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