Hey Cardinal Electors! An expression of hope from Russia about a new Pope.

Benedict XVI was the Pope of Christian Unity.

He changed the course of ecumenical dialogue.

His efforts to bring our liturgical worship back onto the rails impressed many among the Orthodox, including the Patriarch of Moscow.

Now I read on ANSA (the Italian news service – my trans.):

“It is very probable that the new Pope will be Italian, as before John Paul II”: that is the prediction confided to the Russian state TV Vesti 24 by Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the Department for Foreign Ecclesiastical Relations and Patriarch of Moscow, according to whom there are about 10 “papabili” Cardinals.  Among them are Gianfranco Ravasi, Angelo Scola and Angelo Bagnasco, in addition to the cardinals of Budapest, Austria, USA, Canada, and Argentina.  “I hope the new Pope is a traditionalist”, he concluded.

So do I!

None of the men mentioned above would fit Hilarion’s description of “traditionalist”, in the sense I think the Russian means.  However, I think Card. Scola – who had an Eastern ecumenical initiative in Venice – could be close.   Closer would be Card. Burke or Card. Ranjith.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. In line with His Eminence’s musings, have any of you read the letter that Patriarch Kiril of Moscow sent to His Holiness Benedict the day after his retirement to the Castel? It can be found at a blog called ad orientem. Very loving letter indeed!

  2. My money is (or would be, if I were betting on the conclave) still on Cardinal Burke. The fact that the experts are all against me has no effect on me whatsoever.

  3. jbas says:

    God bless Cardinals Burke and Ranjith.
    I thought the Russian Orthodox held a more hostile attitude towards Catholics, so this is a pleasant surprise.

  4. Agathon says:

    Drastic improvement in East-West relations would be a godsend. We need communion with our Eastern brothers and sisters so very much.

  5. James Joseph says:

    It is a pity that there are many virtuous unseen bishops and unknown priests who are likely overlooked.

  6. Tom in NY says:

    May I call to the readers’ attention a speech given by Hilarion at Villanova (PA) last fall. It was featured on http://www.virtueonline.org. I believe it can also be found on http://www.interfax-religion.com.

    Salutationes omnibus.

  7. mgalexander says:

    Cardinal Bagnasco was ordained by Cardinal Siri. That doesn’t necessarily make Bagnasco a traditionalist, but it does suggest that he was well formed.

  8. Didacus says:

    What about Cardinal Sean O’malley?

  9. Animadversor says:

    Here is the link to the post at the blog Ad Orientem mentioned by Hieromonk Gregory: ad-orientem.blogspot.com/2013/03/letter-from-patriarch-kirill-to-pope.html.

  10. Supertradmum says:

    I have predicted Scola since “day one” because of the backward pallium, but I want Burke. Nice article on the Russians, however….

  11. Stumbler but trying says:

    I am always made glad when I see Cardinal Angelo Scola’s name brought up. Of course, Father Barron spoke highly of him when he was interviewed with regards to beloved Benedict’s resignation. There is something about him that gives me hope but I leave the discernment of who the next Holy Father will be to the Cardinals and to prayer.

  12. Geoffrey says:

    In 2005, I actually prayed that Cardinal Ratzinger would succeed Blessed John Paul the Great… and he did. None of the members of the sacred college seem to “jump out” at me like he did in 2005…

  13. James Joseph says:

    Regarding Archbishop John ‘Sean’ Cardinal Patrick O’Malley…

    …we locals to the Diocese of Braintree, with her nine bishops and 135 parishes, (a wealthy suburb in the Irish-Riviera where the headquarters have been removed to)… err… I mean Archdiocese of Boston, are a little annoyed that his beareaucrats do everything in their power to keep priests, who led parishes that did not remove altar rails and declared innocent after ruinous allegations, from returning to public priestly life, even going so far as to restrict when they are allowed to say holy Mass or confect any other Sacrament, even in private or with immediate family, without prior written request and subsequent approval for each instance.

    I often happen to think of a priest I who it is my understanding a cardinal in Rome flew into a tiffy upon discovering curial letters clearing priests of misconduct had not been delivered within the alotted timeframe… something like 5-years late. Even after this the particular priest was personally threatened with having his pension stopped should the chancery desk-sitters discover he even breathe without their permission. I suppose it is not enough the attorney general of the commonwealth clears someone and declares felony mischief has taken place by the false-accuser. I am told that they trying to clear out of the classically trained, old guard who were not swishy back in 1950 or in 1960 or in 1970…

    Regarding the cardinal, I am the most tolerant and affible toward him of nearly anyone I know. I find myself constantly apologising for his politicking and catchword officebuilding-speak. I really want to like the guy. In the end he is either out of the know of what’s going-on under his nose or there is a subtle and calculated mistrust of the decisions handed down from his superiors. I suspect the latter. Things are not much better in the very lavender Worcester chancery where the GIRM hasn’t been observes since my friend Msgr. Maroney was exiled for stating he wanted to learn the Ancient Rite and implement it at the cathedral parish. The faithful Catholics and the old rosary sayers harbour a bitter distaste of for him that borders on First Commandment lines.

  14. HighMass says:

    the election of a “Cardinal Siri” would be too good to be true….If Card. Bagnasco is Elected, Praise Be Jesus Christ…..Still and Always Love Pope Benedict XVI… Let Us PRay!

  15. Joe in Canada says:

    Glad to see someone else mention Cardinal Ranjith!
    I think Cardinal Arrinze’s age is in his favor – it is a sort of “escape valve” for those who would consider a non-European, but are hesitant and would like to “try one out”.

  16. Giuseppe says:

    Cardinal Burke has as much chance being elected Pope as his polar opposite Cardinal Danneels: Close to none. I predict fewer than 3 votes (and we’ll know the play-by-play from Cardinal Mahoney, I am sure.).

    Cardinal O’Malley is the leading American, although I do not think an American will be elected. I do think that the traditional Latin Mass is probably a relatively low priority for the cardinal electors.

    My dark horse candidate is Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who preached the 2013 Lenten Retreat at the Vatican. He is a scholar of Greek and Latin, and he sounds like a total winner.

  17. Ignatius says:

    The sad fact is, in my view, that save for Cards. Ranjith or Burke, no one of the electors is “liturgicallly oriented” as was Card. Ratzinger back in 2005. Am I wrong?

  18. chantgirl says:

    I saw this today and had to smile. http://www.taylormarshall.com/2013/03/pope-prediction-10-reasons-cardinal.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+taylormarshall+%28Dr.+Taylor+Marshall+%7C+Canterbury+Tales%29&utm_content=FaceBook

    In the meantime, I have been offering the rosary that the children and I say at night for the College of Cardinals. Lord, give us what we need and better than we deserve!

  19. abasham says:

    I’m very interested in Cardinal Bagnasco… he seems to be a great Cardinal, but I can’t find much about him in English. Could you perhaps give us a run-down on some of the more obscure (to Americans) Italian cardinals based on your knowledge of the Vatican and Italy?

  20. Oleg-Michael says:

    “Traditionalist” and “Ecumenist” don’t coincide. Should a real Traditional(ist) be elected, Hilarion won’t be too happy. Imagine: no more Catholic churches in Italy and elsewhere in the world given to the Photian schismatics?.. No more Holy Relics delivered to them in exchange for a couple of sour smiles?.. No more Catholic priests telling would-be converts “why don’t you go back to the church of your grandfathers – you can be saved there just as well?” No more trying to avoid or downplay everything that could hurt the ecumenical relations – such as the infallible dogmas of the Immaculate Conception, of the the procession of the Holy Spirit, or the nature of Papacy itself?.. Maybe even consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady the way it should be done?..

  21. Nice words from the patriarch, however I hope and pray that he is wrong. An Italian – any Italian – would be a disaster. In fact I dare say any European would be a disaster. We need strength, toughness, and clarity – not nuance. The old saying “kick ass and take names” comes to mind, but in this case the names have already been taken, and it time for the ass-kicking stage. That ability has pretty much been bred out of the Italian hierarchy.

  22. In regards to the thaw in relations between Moscow and Rome, one has to remember that the present Patriarch Kiril held the same office as does Met. Hilarion. That means that Cardinal Ratzinger and Kiril were well acquainted. The personality and theology of Pope Benedict has softened many hearts and enabled a new day of love in Christ to open up. May God give the world another Pope Benedict, in the sense of the same type of loving pastorate.

  23. JonPatrick says:

    Concerning Cardinal O’Malley and James Joseph’s post above, I too have mixed feelings about him especially if what I have read on Boston catholic Insider and other sites concerning the archdiocesan bureaucracy being in dire need of a housecleaning, would not bode well for a similar housecleaning needed with eh curia.

    Regarding the “lavender” Diocese of Worcester where I reside , I am not aware of currently any such issues here, perhaps there were in the past before I moved here. While this is not exactly the Diocese of Madison, Bishop McMannus does seem to be fairly orthodox and lately there have been some good young priests at several parishes. Although there is currently only one parochial TLM there was another in the past which he was supportive of but unfortunately foundered due to losing our priest and other reasons. We also have the St. Benedict Center and St. Ann’s House, the religious orders founded by Fr. Feeney who seem to have good relations with the diocese (he has gone there for confirmations for example).

  24. Jean Marie says:

    Miss Anita, Dr. Marshall agrees with you (and I hope he’s right!!)


  25. backtothefuture says:

    If the cardinals wish to continue pope Benedict’s work, cardinal Burke is the obvious choice.

  26. acardnal says:

    Have you noticed that Cdl. Raymond Burke (my favorite and also a curial Prefect) has been curiously absent from the MSM and EWTN video reports? I’ve seen Cdls. Donald Wuerl, Sean O’Malley, Francis George, Timothy Dolan many times but no Burke. Hmmm. . . I wonder why.

  27. acardnal says:

    My two cents.

    I don’t particularly think that Cdl. Sean O’Malley of Boston is a good candidate for the Papacy. There are several reasons but here are two: 1) I am unaware of his overt support for and fostering of BOTH Forms of the Roman Rite or any efforts by him to renew, restore and “save the liturgy”. 2) He does not hold any doctorate in theology, scripture or canon law.

    If it’s an American, I hope it’s Burke.

  28. Mark R says:

    The lack of hostitlity is on the patriarch’s part is due to some maturity in knowing that the Catholic Church is a huge force for the good to contend with which Russia would ignore to her own peril.
    I am also sure the Russian Orthodox saw this pope as very “patristic” as well, and liked that a lot.

  29. sciencemom says:

    Hieromonk Gregory – thank you for sharing that lovely letter from Patriarch Kiril of Moscow to Pope Emeritus Benedict!

    Based on comments of my friend who lives in the Boston Archdiocese, I would agree with JonPatrick’s comment that the archdiocesan bureaucracy is in dire need of housecleaning, and that the Cardinal Archbishop (O’Malley) has not done it.

    I, too, would love to see Cardinal Burke be the first American pope! Praying for the electors, especially Cards. Ranjith and Dias, whom I have spiritually adopted. http://www.adoptacardinal.org/

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