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Cardinal Pell: "We've got a Pope who's got mud on his boots"
La Stampa ^ | 4/23/2013 | Gerard O'Connell

Posted on 04/24/2013 3:02:28 AM PDT by markomalley

“We’ve got a man who has been tempered by fire or, to use a different metaphor, we’ve got a man who’s got mud on his boots after years of work”, the Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, told me in this interview for Vatican Insider as he spoke enthusiastically about the Pope from “the new world”. 

“I think we will be well served by this new pope”, he remarked on April 22, shortly before going for a private audience with Pope Francis who has chosen him to be one of the eight cardinals from all five continents to advise him in governing the Catholic Church and reforming the Roman Curia. We began by talking about the conclave.     

What was the atmosphere like in the conclave when Bergoglio gained the 77 votes that elected him pope?

Well, there was a burst of applause. People were very pleased. I think the comparatively speedy result was the fruit of the General Congregations.  One of the fathers there quoted St Thomas who said when you have got to take a decision you consider the options carefully and thoroughly and give it all the time that is necessary and then you are well prepared to make a quick decision.  And I think by conclave standards that’s what happened.

And when he chose the name Francis what did you think?

I thought it was brilliant. An inspired choice!  Francis is much loved inside and outside the Church.  While you can’t understand Italy without knowing of Machiavelli, neither can you understand Italy without knowing Francis of Assisi.  So much of the best of Italy is inspired by a Franciscan ethos.  Outside the Catholic Church too Francis is very much admired; amongst other Christians, other religions but also people of no religion. I think that was an inspired choice of title.

What was the look on Cardinal Bergoglio’s face when it became clear that he was going to be elected? 

 At one stage coming back from the voting, I glanced over at him and he looked a bit like a man under pressure.  When the election took place, however, he was composed, serene. I think he is a thorough professional. He’s not a man of pretences. I think he’ll be a very strong and – we hope and pray – a wonderful pope.

You’ve watched his first month as Pope, what’s your impression?

I think the Pope has commenced very, very well indeed at every level.  Liturgically, perhaps, there’s been a little ripple here and there, but whether you’re talking to the people who serve you a cappuccino in Rome, or a taxi, or people around the traps in Australia, he’s gone down very well. He’s given a new surge of energy, and I think all this will be amplified in South America.

 In terms of the new evangelization, what do you see here?

 He’s very much centered on Jesus, on the Lord, on the call to Christ, and I think he will very much support any orthodox movement that is effectively bringing Christ to the people. It was a refrain of his in Argentina, telling priests to get out and go to the people and, I read somewhere that he increased the number of priests in the slums from 11 to 23. He’ll want us all to be doing that, and obviously in something like that all the cardinals will back him to the hilt.

Bergoglio gave a short but forceful speech in the General Congregations before the conclave. The Cardinal of Havana has published the full text.  Did it really have such a big impact as people say?

Yes, obviously it did because he was elected as pope.

 Did you see that as a key moment?

Yes, it was a significant moment. But there were a lot of good speeches in the General Congregations.  Indeed, I thought the General Congregations this time round were better than at the previous conclave; they were very useful.

Pope Francis has chosen you as one of the eight cardinals from all five continents that will advise him. What was your reaction on being chosen to this body?

Of course I was surprised! I felt he would move some way along this line, it was a theme that came up on more than one occasion in the General Congregations.  I was surprised that he asked me, and I was surprised that it came in this form and so quickly.  I hadn’t given any significant thought as to what he might do or when, so it was quite a surprise. 

So now you have to understand what your role will be?.

Yes we do.  We are not a cabinet. We’re not an executive body.  I think it is enormously important to preserve the prerogatives of the Successor of Peter so that he can decide.  We are there to help the Pope, in whatever way he asks us.

I imagine you’ve come with many ideas into this new role?

I do, but the ideas are for the Pope. I don’t want to appear to be putting any sort of pressure on him.

Looking at the Group of Eight, it seems you have very different perspectives on life

 Not entirely! Sure, we have significantly different backgrounds coming as we do from the five continents.  But most of us would know one another quiet well, because we’ve met regularly over the years, at meetings here in Rome or on the council of the synod and so on. I hope it will be a productive group, and I am pretty certain it will be a pleasant sort of gathering.

When the Vatican announced the setting up of the G 8 – as it is called, it described your task as twofold: to help the Holy Father in the government of the Church, and to look at the study for the reform of the Roman Curia. These two issues surfaced in the pre-conclave meetings of the cardinals – the General Congregations.

Yes. Well the world is changing or it may be best to say the world of communications is changing, and that effects government.  We’ve had scandals with the Vatican bank, and the need to have the money systems in order.  All these things have been to some extent discussed in the public domain, and with a changing world they’ll continue to be discussed.  I hope we’ll do significantly better in all these areas. I have great confidence in the executive capacity of the Holy Father to effect substantial improvement.

What does it mean for you that this Pope is a Jesuit?

I’ve spent seven to eight years in institutions run by Jesuits.  I was never a Jesuit, or a Jesuit student or anything like that.  I’ve enormous admiration for the Jesuit tradition, and for Ignatius of Loyola. I think he was a strong man. And Francis Xavier, for example, came very close to Australia.  What I think we have got in the Pope is the very best of the traditional Jesuit: faithful to Christ, faithful to the Church, going out to people – and not just to the powerful ones but to those on the margins, as Francis is urging us to do now. At its best, I don’t think there is any tradition in the Church to equal that of the Jesuits.

Were you surprised at Pope Francis’s impact on people?

No, not entirely. In Australian terms, I would say we have a Pope who will give us a run for our money.

How has he gone down in Australia?

Very well.  Very well, right across the board - in Catholic circles, other Christian circles, and wider than that.  I think they appreciate the fact that he is energetic, that he is open, that he wants to go out to the people, and I think they realize that very substantially what you see is what you get.   Then again we are from the new world, so is the Pope.  And sometimes new world people have a capacity to enunciate simple truths very clearly, and I don’t think that is always a disadvantage. As a matter of fact in many cases I think it’s a considerable advantage.

You’ve met Bergoglio several times, both before and after he became pope. What is the lasting impression that you have formed of this man?

Well he’s a follower of Jesus. He loves God. I’m told that he’s prayerful man and I’m not surprised at that. I think he’s also a formidable man.  Argentina is a very difficult country. It’s one of the most unequal societies in the world, and he has had to navigate through turbulent waters there – dictatorships, financial problems, and nationally a financial meltdown.  Now there’s a big difference between any archdiocese and the papacy but, you know, we’ve got a man who has been tempered by fire or, to choose a different metaphor, we’ve got a man who’s got mud on his boots after years of work. So I think we’ll be well served by this new Pope.      


TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: popefrancis

1 posted on 04/24/2013 3:02:28 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

Quite informative.


2 posted on 04/24/2013 3:35:49 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("I think amnesty is deader than a Chechen bomber." ~ LS)
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To: markomalley

His comment reported yesterday regarding Jesus’ availability “outside the church” gave me the creeps. If I had not known it was him nor what church he leads, I would have guessed that it was a statement made by the leader of a “Christian” cult.


3 posted on 04/24/2013 4:11:15 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: cuban leaf
His comment reported yesterday regarding Jesus’ availability “outside the church” gave me the creeps. If I had not known it was him nor what church he leads, I would have guessed that it was a statement made by the leader of a “Christian” cult.

Are you talking about this comment?

"Wanting to live with Jesus without the Church, following Jesus outside of the Church, loving Jesus without the Church is an absurd dichotomy."

That is pretty much standard Catholic doctrine and has been for 2,000 years. Compare this to St Paul's words in Ephesians:

Eph 5:22 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church;

St Paul compares the relationship of Christ and His Church to a marriage...where the two become one flesh.

4 posted on 04/24/2013 4:22:27 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: markomalley

Are you talking about this comment?

“Wanting to live with Jesus without the Church, following Jesus outside of the Church, loving Jesus without the Church is an absurd dichotomy.”
That is pretty much standard Catholic doctrine and has been for 2,000 years. Compare this to St Paul’s words in Ephesians:

Eph 5:22 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church;
St Paul compares the relationship of Christ and His Church to a marriage...where the two become one flesh.


No. I’m talking about this comment: “You cannot find Jesus outside the Church,” he said April 23 in the Apostolic Palace’s Pauline Chapel.

It is from this link: http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/3011464/posts

And, IMO, the word “church” is synonymous with the words “body of believers”.


5 posted on 04/24/2013 5:11:30 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: cuban leaf

The Church is the Body of Christ. We literally cannot find Christ outside His Church.

The stumbling block may be that we are thinking of the word ‘Church’ in a restrictive sense.

If we think of The Church as “all the people who are being saved by Christ + all those who have died in a state of grace + the Holy Angels” then things may become clearer.

The Church is an iceberg. It has its visible part and its invisible part.

Its visible part is the clearest expression and embodiment of Christ - most especially in the Sacraments.

But where we find Christ in an unexpected place, there we have also brushed against His Church. Hidden, fugitive - but also real and salvific.


6 posted on 04/24/2013 5:48:32 AM PDT by agere_contra (I once saw a movie where only the police and military had guns. It was called 'Schindler's List'.)
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To: agere_contra

In the Religion forum, on a thread titled Cardinal Pell: “We’ve got a Pope who’s got mud on his boots”, agere_contra wrote:
The Church is the Body of Christ. We literally cannot find Christ outside His Church.

The stumbling block may be that we are thinking of the word ‘Church’ in a restrictive sense.

If we think of The Church as “all the people who are being saved by Christ + all those who have died in a state of grace + the Holy Angels” then things may become clearer.

The Church is an iceberg. It has its visible part and its invisible part.

Its visible part is the clearest expression and embodiment of Christ - most especially in the Sacraments.

But where we find Christ in an unexpected place, there we have also brushed against His Church. Hidden, fugitive - but also real and salvific.


I was following you right up to the “iceberg” sentence. I don’t really know what you are saying from there on, unless you are bringing up the spiritual aspect of it.


7 posted on 04/24/2013 6:01:14 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: markomalley

For later.


8 posted on 04/24/2013 7:08:43 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: cuban leaf

Do you find the Holy Eucharist outside the Church?


9 posted on 04/24/2013 7:09:57 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Do you find the Holy Eucharist outside the Church?

No. It’s a catholic thing. Me, as often as I do it I do it in remembrance of Him. It means we evern practice communion at home.


10 posted on 04/24/2013 7:58:00 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: cuban leaf
The Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ inside the Catholic Church.

That's where you will find him -- although I believe that we will look back and see all the opportunities when someone else was Jesus disguised and be totally amazed at what we missed.

11 posted on 04/24/2013 2:35:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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