Skip to comments.What have the cardinals been doing? One of them explains.
Posted on 03/09/2013 6:37:32 AM PST by NYer
From New York’s blogging cardinal archbishop, Timothy Dolan:
Every day we each begin with the most effective prayer of all, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. In our sessions we pray from the Divine Office, begin each meeting with the ancient prayer to the third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, the Veni Sancte Spiritus, and we break at lunch with the beautiful words of the Angelus. Wednesday, we cardinals made a Holy Hour of adoration before Jesus, really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, at the Altar of the Chair in Saint Peters Basilica.
Were praying a lot; and, from what I hear, so are you. Thanks!
Actually, we are back in that Upper Room with Our Lady and the apostles, and the challenges we and the new Saint Peter will face are, surprisingly, similar to those the first Pope, Saint Peter, confronted that first Pentecost: how most effectively to present the Person, message, and invitation of Jesus to a world that, while searching for salvation and eternal truth, are also at times doubting, skeptical, too busy, or frustrated.
So, you may be astonished to hear, we spend most of our times discussing issues such as preaching; teaching the faith; celebrating the seven sacraments; inviting back those believers who have left; serving the sick and poor, the least of these; sustaining our splendid schools, hospitals, and agencies of charity; encouraging our brother priests, bishops, deacons, and consecrated women and men religious; supporting our pastors and getting more of them! and our parishes; forming future priests well; loving our married couples and our families, and defending the dignity of marriage; protecting life where it is most in danger because of war, poverty, or abortion; and reinforcing the universal call to holiness given all in the Church.
Those are the big issues. You may find that hard to believe, since the word on the street is that all we talk about is corruption in the Vatican, sexual abuse, money. Do these topics come up? Yes! Do they dominate? No!
A journalist and, by the way, the reporters from home have been mostly amazingly patient, attentive, and thoughtfully curious asked if the new Pope would bring radical change to the Church. She seemed surprised when I replied, yes! At least I had her full attention! I then went on to clarify that the Church was big-time into change; namely, a change in the human heart, which Jesus called repentance or conversion. The job description of the Bishop of Rome is to conserve the faith, the truths of which have been revealed to us by God, especially through His Son, Jesus, faithfully passed on by His Church these past 2000 years, and to renew the invitation of Jesus to a change of heart.
So these days in Rome are hardly about the board of governors meeting to discuss changes to Church policy, but about how to present timeless beliefs more effectively.
Do names come up? Sure. But the name most spoken about is the Most Holy Name of Jesus!
Would you say His Holy Name and ask Him to send us His grace and mercy? Thanks!
Not said in a judgmental way about the Roman Catholic Church. Just years of experience at the parish, diocesan, and national level dealing with and experiencing the hierarchy & politics of organized religion. Worn out by it and am on hiatus, attempting to reconnect with my faith at a more personal, one-to-one level, which is what I think Christianity, in large measure, is meant to be. I miss the camaraderie and fellowship of a congregation, but not the behind-the-scenes pettiness, back-stabbing, and power struggles. And the Vatican is the center of uber-political infighting; there’s not much disagreement about that.
Sounds like you’d make a good Baptist!!
Parish politics can be terrible. My wife converted to Catholicism and the pettiness she deals with is very difficult. And there is a terrible history of sausage-making throughout church history, as everyone knows. But the loss of temporal power, followed by the infiltration and exorcism of demonic forces has yielded an amazing purification, which is the hope of those of us who have been too stubborn to let the devil win.
I’m not one who’s going to tell you that some minority has made the rest of the priests look bad. The fact is that the bad bishops have been such a sizeable majority that it made a frontal, legalistic assault by the good guys impossible. In 1962, Pope John XXIII ruled that homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed into the priesthood, and the disobedience was so rampant that scarcely a handful of American bishops heeded his warning. In 1965, Pope Paul VI discovered a black mass in the Vatican. In 1968, he reasserted Catholic sexual morality in the age of birth control, and most bishops dissented and all but formally entered schism. That year, the guy who probably presided over the black mass became, unknown to Paul VI, the unofficial pope of the American de-facto schism.
But there is good news. In 1978, an exorcist, one of the very, very few bishops who were exorcists became pope. In 1982, he placed another exorcist bishop at the helm of the papal inquisition, which by then had been renamed the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. By 1990, according to the 2005 John Jay study of the Johns Hopkins University, they had reduced the abuse rate by 97%, before anyone in the press knew of the problem. In 2005, that exorcist became pope. He is now resigning, but he will continue to live and conduct spiritual warfare from within the Vatican.
Whatever the latest homosexual scandal to rock the Vatican, it is a big one. We’ll never know what it is, but the gay-media-lobby-led speculation that Benedict is gay doesn’t fit the facts: why would he appoint an investigation to discover and tell him he’s gay? And he’s the very guy who’s asserting that gays can’t make good priests; does anyone really think he thinks he should never have become a priest? But the last two elections have shown that the institution can rise above venial nature of the people who fill the offices.
There have been brilliant reforms. The cardinals shun anyone who campaigns for being pope as corruption. 2/3rds votes are necessary, and the conclave takes place in complete silence. Given that Benedict and the runner-up were both conservative non-Italian reformers, what are the factions or coalitions? How did they horsetrade past the 2nd round when John Pau started to emerge, if they couldn’t talk?
I also would add that, at diocesan and national conventions, voting strategies for candidates and resolutions were/are worked out in advance, including rehearsal of contingency plans and instructions where to place votes on each round of balloting. Done by both the liberals and the traditionalists. Votes in the conclave can occur in silence, but possible outcomes will have been worked out in advance.
If I understand correctly, aren’t there a small (3?) number of candidates put forward? It’s much harder to play that game when there are 115+ candidates. The permutations are just too difficult to fathom. I could only suggest that the selection of Carol Wojtyla and Joseph Ratzinger as the last two popes suggests that didn’t happen.
With the especially long delay before the conclave, I’m certainly hearing lots of reports of different camps this time. Not so much traditionalists vs. liberals as reformers vs. institution-conservationalists (i.e., people who don’t want to rock the curial structure too much.)
A LOT of the fault for this may lie with the Americans; they’ve already been told to knock off the press conferences, because the “Vaticanologists” have been reading into their comments, but they’re still blogging and chatting away. If these reports have any salt to them whatsoever, I’d expect Italian Angelo Scola is the next pope, but I thought he had the best resume going in.
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