Skip to comments.Day Four: The Great Game Begins (Daily Conclave Report)
Posted on 03/09/2013 11:37:30 AM PST by NYer
There’s still a lot of time between now (Friday evening, as I write) and then. Three whole days of the further “getting to know you.” That’s plenty of time to take some final measurements of the next successor to Peter, who is likely to be one of the several solid figures already being talked about. There seem to be no surprise candidates emerging – though the Italian press, including some seasoned Vaticanologists, seem to be giving NYC’s Cardinal Dolan a much stronger chance than seems realistic.
Dolan has multiple weaknesses as a papal candidate. He really speaks no languages other than English, and by default, Italian is the lingua franca in the Vatican. That lack alone would hamper him in carrying out the administrative reform and close supervision of the Curia everyone agrees the next pope must undertake.
He’s of course a charming and bighearted man, but I myself am not quite sure that the worldwide gathering of cardinals is ready for that much charm and that large a heart. Also, his shtick, to employ a technical theological term, is better suited to Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs than it is to the Roman Urbs, to say nothing of audiences in partibus infidelium to use a popular expression.
If you wanted to hazard a guess at this point, you’d want to triangulate among the various desiderata: reformer, pastor, clear teacher of the faith. In the next papacy, we probably are not going to see a string of social encyclicals or further developments of doctrine. What we seem to need in the near to medium future are workmanlike efforts to make the rich teaching of the past two papacies a living reality everywhere in the global Church.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet
So let me hazard a guess – maybe a passing fantasy this evening based on all of the above. As the days unfold, I may revisit this prediction. But add it all up and you probably can’t do better than Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet. Come to think of it, you could do better with a name easier to pronounce (ooh-let, seems to be the compromise version for now between Canadians and the French), but it will grow on you, don’t worry.
Ouellet is a strong reformer. When he was archbishop of Quebec City, in spite of the near total secularization of the formerly rock-ribbed Catholic province, he didn’t hesitate to put in place courageous, orthodox bishops. So he’s proved he can be a strong reformer even against strong headwinds.
As a Canadian, obviously, he understands North America better than most Europeans. But he spent years teaching in Colombia and has plenty of experience of Latin America as well. And he’s seen the Curia from the inside. He runs the Congregation for Bishops – if you’ve had a good episcopal appointment lately in your diocese, you can probably thank him. And he presides over the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. So he’s been close to the heart of Curial power, but – and this is very important – not too close.
He also follows in the theological/philosophical line of Joseph Ratzinger (along with Scola, Schonborn, and an outsider – CDF Archbishop, but not a cardinal, Gerhard Mueller).
Reaching into the Curia, even the outskirts of the Curia, for a pope invites many hazards. A deep thinker among our friends, with large experience in the Church and politics, said of this situation just today that trying to select a pope from the Curia is like putting your hand into a bag with six snakes and one eel – and hoping you’ll pull out the eel.
The same person advises that it’s not the Free Masons inside the Vatican or the “gay lobby” – both of whom exist – who are the real problem. The future scandal might come from financial corruption and the blandishments of power.
When was the last non-European pope? I seem to remember that there were are few from north Africa, or the Middle East over the millenia.
I hate to invoke the word hate, but I hate the title.
I shall keep praying. Mightily and faithfully.
I find it hard to believe that Cardinal Dolan speaks only English. He was stationed in Rome for many years when he headed the North American College there.
Besides, his personal warmth crosses all language barriers.
Are you infinitely thankful to God for having given us such a wonderful, wise and benevolent pope in Benedict XVI.?
Do you sincerely hope that the Church will be granted a worthy successor: a rock of faith, a leader open to the Holy Spirit, a pope prayerful and holy?
Do you as an important part of the Body of Christ wish to contribute through the power of your prayers so that the Holy Spirit may guide, protect and enlighten our Cardinals when they determine the next successor of St. Peter?
You now have the opportunity to actively be part of this providential endeavour by having a Cardinal assigned to you, who you will support through your prayer and intercession during the coming weeks before and during the conclave and for three days following the election.
Click on the link below:
I got Attilio Nicora of Italy. My husband drew a German Cardinal, while my granddaughter drew an Egyptian Cardinal. It makes it all so much more personal to be advocating for a particular Cardinal.
Cdl Dolan speaks what he himself refers to as “primordial” Italian (in other words, very primitive and not very fluent). I’m getting to like him better, but I’m not sure that he’d be firm enough. I think he was much too good-natured in dealing with Obama and inviting him to the Al Smith dinner, but since he wrote a letter apologizing to the diocese for perhaps having given scandal, maybe he learned from that.
Papa CONSTANTINUS, 25 March 708 9 April 715, born in Syria.
Cardinal Dolan is a man a great humility — to his eternal credit.
FWIW, I listened to the YouTube recording of Mitt Romney’s speech at the Al Smith Dinner, and it was absolutely the best thing he did during the entire campaign.
Obama had the hell embarrassed out of him (rather literally) through most of the dinner.
Same when Cdl Dolan gave the closing prayer at the DNC, and it was almost entirely pro-life—an implicit attack on everything the DNC stands for.
I was also upset about those events, but he handled them very well.
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That’s good to know. I can’t stand even to hear the sound of Obama’s voice, so I didn’t watch or listen to any of it.
I did like his DNC closing prayer!
Abundant blessings, dearest afraidfortherepublic!
I adopted a cardinal almost 2 weeks ago when I drew Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’Brien. He is the current Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
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