BOOK: The Next Pope: The Leading Cardinal Candidates by Edward Pentin

I’m having a look right now at two books which speculate about the next Pope.  One is by George Weigel.  HERE  I’ll get to him.

First, there is an offering by the best working vaticanista today, Edward Pentin.

This is a good summary of the accomplishments and positions of really interesting men who will choose (or be chosen to be) the next Pope.   The next conclave, like the next presidential/senatorial election in these USA, are going to be definitive turning points.  “You can’t know the players without a program”, so the saying goes.

The Next Pope: The Leading Cardinal Candidates

US HERE – UK HERE

It is not yet released.  I have a review copy.   Right now, as of this writing, you can pre-order a paperback for a reduced price of $24.95 (£23.77) and a KINDLE e-book for $9.99, which will be delivered automatically on the day of release.

Get a Kindle!   Soooo useful, especially for portability, internal searching, and for avoiding the dust build up on more ephemeral reading.  HERE

The other day there was an online book presentation (with a couple of video glitches) from Rome involving Pentin, Roberto de Mattei, and the formerly ubiquitous John L. Allen, late of the Fishwrap and now of Crux.  Also joining via video was Ross Douthat of Hell’s Bible.   Ross contributed an interesting point.   When the panelists got onto the idea that the Holy Spirit chooses the Pope, they brought out Ratzinger’s thesis (to which I subscribe) that the Holy Spirit’s role is not so much to choose the next Vicar of Christ, but rather to ensure that the man the Cardinals choose is not a total disaster.  Obviously there are some men that the Holy Spirit would not have choosen who were nevertheless elected.  Ross opined that perhaps the Holy Spirit did, in fact, choose those really bad Popes precisely to chastise the Church.

In that panel discussion there was some speculation about who might succeed Francis.

Ed’s book has an introduction and then individual chapters on 19 different – quite different – cardinals, ranging on a spectrum from the admirable, but in reality probably not papabile (pronounced pa-PA-bee-lay and not pa-pa-BEE-lay… please, have mercy) Raymond Leo Card. Burke, or the impressive Robert Sarah, to Peter Erdo, to Christoph Schönborn, to the nightmare prospect of Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle and the risible Cardinals Turkson on the far left edge of the ecclesial solar system.  There are a few old favorites, such as Scola and Ouellet.  Parolin, now SecState is included.

An important point was mentioned in the panel and in the intro, and I have heard this same point made by cardinals with whom I have spoken.   They don’t know each other.    As Pentin observes, “information is always a central concern for cardinals entering a conclave”.  Francis does not hold consistories, wherein they get to know each other.  This is a horrific disservice to the universal Church and, in my opinion lacking in charity, if not in slyness.  My view is, by atomizing the College of Cardinals, so that the men don’t know each other, a future conclave is more likely rapidly to break into factions around a few highly visible power-players who are in the know, such as the ongoing nightmare Tagle, once head of Caritas International, with hands on the purse strings, and now head of Propaganda Fidei, with hands on the purse strings.  Outliers in the College, such as the guy from Tonga, is more than likely, out of ignorance of the other Cardinals, going to ally himself with someone on the inside.  It seems to me that this is the conscious design of Francis: atomize the College, provide for key players who will coalesce the fragmented members, and marginalize a certain wing of the electors.

Pentin intends his book to be useful for the Cardinal Electors for the next conclave.

Ed also has informative sections in the introduction on the history of the cardinalate, as well as the qualities a Pope ought to possess.  He leans on Benedict XIV, a favorite of mine, and St. Robert Bellarmine, ditto.

The individual chapters on the individual Cardinals are less like narrative biography than they are like encyclopedia articles, with a rapid summary in bullet points in each. I paid special attention whenever the Extraordinary Form was mentioned, as it was for Cardinals Bagnasco, Burke, Erdo, Napier (booo!), O’Malley (meh), Ouellet, Parolin (meh), Piacenza, Ravasi (booo!), Sarah, Schönborn, Scola, Zuppi.

The review copy I received indicates in the Table of Contents that there should be an index.  My review copy did not have an index.  That’s a fault.  This is probably what is holding up ultimate publication and release.  However, I have been looking at it in a PDF format, so I can do searches.

It was published by Sophia Press, which does excellent work.

US HERE – UK HERE

 

Please share this post!
Share

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Conclave, The Coming Storm, The Drill and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to BOOK: The Next Pope: The Leading Cardinal Candidates by Edward Pentin

  1. Sigh. Sounds like his Eminence of my Archdiocese, Thomas Cardinal Collins isn’t even being considered at all. Always in popularity contest environments the more apt candidates are never named or considered unless they vouch for themselves.

  2. BCinAZ says:

    Curious that everyone in this post is identified by name except for “the guy from Tonga”. Are you and Cardinal Mafi on such familiar terms?

  3. Ariseyedead says:

    Regarding the pronunciation of papabile, I always thought that for the bad candidates it was pronounced pa-pa-BILE.

  4. tho says:

    Whoever he is I pray that he is a conservative. Similar to our election in November, a liberal would be ruinous. Don’t people in the Church, or in our country realize. what a disaster has come about by electing these pie in the sky morons.

  5. Michael Warren Davies wrote an interesting commentary on this book at Crisis in which he suggests that Cardinal Sarah may be a leading candidate. While that makes me feel good, the reality is that the office is not currently known to be vacant despite many suggestions to the contrary; at least, no conclave is being held now. By the time a vacancy is declared, the book may be somewhat dated. Cardinal Sarah, for example, is 75 now; I fear his window is slowly closing simply on account of age.

    As for the cardinals knowing one another, I hope that a good cardinal-elector would do his homework and use the many resources that are available to him particularly on Internet to learn about the other cardinals. I know that isn’t the same as knowing someone personally, but it would be a good start. Also, there’s nothing preventing individual cardinals from holding their meetings with other cardinals even if the Pope doesn’t do anything to encourage or require it.

    Finally, to address tho’s concern, while I also hope that the next Pope will be more obviously orthodox and traditional, like with our secular election, I fear that may not be enough. The next Pope will have to take decisive action to reverse the leftist ratchet, and he may not be able to do the job himself unless he’s willing to make major personnel changes even if some of them are a bit embarrassing at first. If we can have Cardinal Burke as a roaming conservative “cardinal at large,” there is certainly room for some leftist “cardinals without portfolio.” The next Pope will need to do more than just sit still while the leftists just ignore him and continue to make things worse, just as a President Trump with a divided or all-Democratic Congress and a leftist judicial junta simply won’t be able to make much difference by himself. Remember that we had 27 years of St. John Paul II, and another eight years of Benedict XVI and we still wound up here, and we had two years of President Trump leading a Republican Congress and we still wound up here.

  6. TonyO says:

    Parolin (meh),

    From the few things I have heard of Parolin, he certainly would belong more in the “boo” column than in the “meh” column. Everything I know about him (admittedly very few) indicates that he is solidly in the leftist camp, though perhaps not as outspoken about it as some.

    Schönborn did some really good things back in the 90’s and 00’s, under JPII and Benedict. More recently, under Francis, he seems to be making far more effort to appear loyal to the pope than true loyalty demands. At least, that’s the way it seems from a few of his comments / actions. I fear that this may mean he is too willing to “go along to get along” than is good, though possibly in the top seat he might take off the gloves and be a rip-snorting policy-maker. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

    Anyone looking out for the signs can see that the world (and the US of A) is heading for a major turning point. As we get closer, each election of the top man gets more and more critical. I shudder to think how grave it could be if a truly bad pope were chosen.

  7. robtbrown says:

    Tony O,

    What really good things did Schönborn do?

  8. PostCatholic says:

    What prevents these men from getting to know each other without the Pope’s impetus? Sincere question.

  9. Suzanne says:

    Cardinal Parolin, who defends the secret agreement with China?

    Cardinal Schönborn, whose cathedral hosted this event, as reported by Lifesite News? “This is the third time Vienna’s Archbishop has allowed the “LIFE+” association to use the cathedral as a venue for the World AIDS Day charity concert that will take place on Saturday, Nov. 30 (2019). The event last year, which the Cardinal attended, featured a shirtless actor known for playing homosexual roles standing on the altar rail, loud rock and electronic music, and actors dressed as demons.”

    Thankfully, we’re powerless to guess who the next pope will be. It was easy enough to predict that Cardinal Ratzinger was likely to follow JPII, but no one predicted JPII or Francis. May the Holy Ghost have a hidden saint prepared for election at the next conclave. We may not deserve a saint, but we desperately need one.

  10. Pingback: SATVRDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

  11. Joe in Canada says:

    St Robert Bellarmine, SJ

  12. Simon_GNR says:

    First – thank you, Fr Z, for putting me right on the pronunciation of “papabile”. I don’t often use the word in conversation with my family, friends and acquaintances, nearly all of whom are either agnostics or Anglicans [come to think of it, is that a tautology?!], but if I do ever need to say the word I shall now be able to say it correctly. I’ve been sub-vocalising it with the wrong pronunciation for years!

    Second – it sounds like an interesting book and it looks as though the next pope will not be someone traditionalists will be able to get very enthusiastic about. I’d like the conclave to do something completely out of left field and chose someone who isn’t even a cardinal, maybe not even a bishop – perhaps an abbot of an obscure monastery somewhere, whose holiness and kindness are exceptional and who is a truly humble pastor of souls, a complete outsider who has no history of Vatican politics and has never tried to climb the greasy pole of career advancement.

  13. crkeen23 says:

    Thank you for your article, Fr. Z!

    Fr. Z, can you please write an (in-depth) piece about Card. Tagle? Or perhaps there are good articles already written to which you can refer us? I’m much more acquainted with the patriotic pride of Filipino family and friends who hope to see a Filipino pope in their lifetime, one who, I thought, represented a flavor of the Faith that was ratified by BXVI (who made him a cardinal).

    I guess I wasn’t paying attention. A brief glance at at the Cardinal’s Wikipedia profile reveals his reputation as a “representative of the progressive wing of the church” as well as his push for more “friendly” treatment of those living in sin. It would be great to hear your take on this “nightmare” papabile. Thank you, Fr. Z!

  14. Kathleen10 says:

    Oh dear, I don’t know them all well but not a one elicits any of my enthusiasm and some of them nausea, Parolin, Tagle, Turkson, Shonborn!, my goodness, now I’ll have nightmares. At best we have neo-cons. This is the best we can hope for. If one of the neo-cons was selected it would be astonishing, coming out of Rome today. I cannot imagine it happening.
    Tagle looms large, after all, he’s been promoted and put in the starting gate. I can see why they’d want him, he seems a natural follow-up to Francis. He’ll finish things up to their liking I’m sure.
    The world seems on a trajectory that is tough to talk about, it’s very gloomy. One needs to remind oneself often that no matter how bad it gets, and it’s bad, God’s will, will be done. With the church where it is, plagues, nations falling apart, it’s important to remember that, or we could go kookoo.
    Hey BCinAZ, don’t look for problems, okay? We come here to get away from that nonsense.

  15. kurtmasur says:

    Simon_GNR wrote “ I’d like the conclave to do something completely out of left field and chose someone who isn’t even a cardinal, maybe not even a bishop – perhaps an abbot of an obscure monastery somewhere, whose holiness and kindness are exceptional and who is a truly humble pastor of souls, a complete outsider who has no history of Vatican politics and has never tried to climb the greasy pole of career advancement.”

    I also thought the same, and the concept is not unprecedented, so why not, and I hope the cardinal-electors consider such possibility.

    If the next pope does happen to be a true Catholic (as opposed to catholic with lower case “c”), then I hope it’s somebody who is not afraid to exercise his papal powers to the fullest extent possible to weed out all of the bad stuff in the Church and in the Vatican. Somebody who will exorcize the Vatican. If the end result is that the Church will become small, but with only true Catholics, so be it, but out with all of the non-believing fake catholic clergy.

  16. TonyO says:

    What really good things did Schönborn do?

    @ robtbrown: Well, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, for one. It’s may not be perfect, but it’s pretty good.

  17. Grant M says:

    Simon_GNR wrote “ I’d like the conclave to do something completely out of left field and chose someone who isn’t even a cardinal, maybe not even a bishop – perhaps an abbot of an obscure monastery somewhere, whose holiness and kindness are exceptional and who is a truly humble pastor of souls, a complete outsider who has no history of Vatican politics and has never tried to climb the greasy pole of career advancement.”

    As long as we don’t overdo it and end up with a Celestine V who is very holy but quite out of his depth in Vatican politics. Cardinal Lambertini told the conclave “if you want a saint, choose ….., if you want an honest man, choose me.” The cardinals wisely opted for the honest man.

  18. AlanLins says:

    Has anything come of the Red Hat Report?

    https://betterchurchgovernance.org/leadership

  19. robtbrown says:

    TonyO says:

    What really good things did Schönborn do?

    @ robtbrown: Well, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, for one. It’s may not be perfect, but it’s pretty good.

    He did not write one word of the catechism.