Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Newsweek featured an article about the process of picking the next Pope. It ends with a succint regurgitation of the conventional wisdom of "why the Church will pick and older rather than a younger pope":

Most of the candidates figuring in current speculation are in their late 60s or even in their 70s, which is no accident. After more than 26 years of the extraordinary leadership of John Paul II, who was elected at the age of 58, the electors may decide they want someone who will be more of a transitional figure until they can figure out which kind of leadership they want in a post John Paul world. "The greatest show on earth" might just want to slow things down a little.


(1) Is it really logical for anyone in leadership of the Church to want to SLOW THINGS DOWN!? (Especially since the late great PJPII had already been less active for the last few years!?) (2) Is there any benefit to the ONE BIILION Catholics to have an older and less-active Pope, who would of course travel less, and who would probably maintain a daily schedule that would be less busy than a younger Pope could!? (3) Will an older less-active Pope be more likely to fill the empty Churches in Europe with young worshippers, and fill the empty seminaries with young future priests!?

I think the answers to these questions are obvious. And that's why I think the CofC will pick another young Caridnal to become the Pope. Like the late great Karol Wojtyla. One with boundless energy and a vigorous vision. Perhaps, one of the seven young cardinals I picked HERE:

Juan-Luis Cipriani-Thorne (Peru, 62); Jean Louis Tauron (France, 62); Polycarp Pengo (Tanzania, 61); Vinco Puljic (Bosnia-Herzegovina, 60); Josef Bozanic (Croatia, 55); Crescenzio Seppe (Italy, 62); Angelo Scola (Italy,64).


UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt AGREES! In a post today he argues that the serious moral controversies abounding in the world today mean that the CofC will not choose a place-holder as the next Pope: "If many Cardinals had the idea that a "caretaker" pope might be in order, the [Schiavo] drama in Florida works against that desire for a period of calm transition. Would the allies have selected a caretaker general on the eve of D-Day had Ike suffered a mishap?"

INDEED. FIRST, the world is awash in several serious moral controversies: euthanasia; abortion; embryonic stem cell research; and Gay marriage. SECOND, there're several CHURCH issues that need attention, NOW: Gay clergy; the vanishing Church pews in Western Europe; the virtually non-existent seminary students in the USA and Europe. These hotly contested issues, and dire Church problems, implore the CofC to pick someone as bold and as YOUNG and as energetic as the late GREAT PJPII was when they announced "we have a Pope," and the 58 year old - strong and smiling and young - Karol Wojtyla walked out on to the balcony in his Papal vestments, and waved to the happily astonished crowd. The CofC will - nay MUST - happily astonish the next crowd with an equally bold and young pick.


Jack B. said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Many members of the MSM don't want to admit they have no idea who most of the cardinals are so thats wht they throw out known names like Ratzinger (the Pope's "enforcer"), Arinze (largely because he's African - as if he's the only African cardinal), the Cardinal of Vienna (an aristocrat) Brazil's Hummes (because's he "moderate"), Belgium's Daneels (ditto), or one of the Italians (just because they are Italians).

Each of these have a story the media can hype up. Notice nobody mentions someone like George Pell who's at out-there and out-spoken in the Australian public sphere as Cardinal in any diocese but he doesn't fit the script the media has already written (being Aussie and conservative)

Reliapundit said...

i ONLY deleted multiple "editions" of the post you CAN READ.

i guess - by accidenmt - the last commenter posted it NINE TIMNES!!!!!!!!!


Michael J.W. Stickings said...

It's not just the MSM. No one really knows what's going on. The problem is that we (Western political junkies) tend to view such elections in terms of horse races. Who's ahead, who's not, who's hot, who's not, what's the lastest gossip, who's "liberal," who's "conservative". In short, we project our own narrrow political perspective, both in terms of content and process, on an even of world-historical proportions that plays by different rules. This is why the MSM, but also non-MSMers, are having such a hard time with it. Even today, with the blanket coverage on CNN, for example, there was very little actual appreciation of what might be going on in the conclave. But that's in part because they don't even have a vocabulary for what might be going on in the conclave.

But that doesn't mean that it isn't fun to take wild stabs in the dark, not least because this is, in fact, an event of truly historical proportions that will resonate, potentially, for generations. As a non-Catholic, I look at it different than, say, a devout traditionalist Catholic, but I, too, appreciate the magnitude of it all.

For my part, reasoning has led me to Tettamanzi as the likely choice, a sort of "third way" between Ratzinger on one side and the myriad reform-minded moderates on the other. I hope it's okay to a bit of self-promotion here, but I've written extensively on the papabili at my own blog:


By the way, Astute Blogger, thanks for a great blog. I hope you'll look at mine. I'm a Straussian, for what that's worth these days (!), and it's nice to find another voice of reason out there in the wilderness. My blog focuses on politics, philosophy, and culture, and I hope also to bring some sense of sanity to it all.

In the meantime, let's enjoy what we can of the conclave, if only through occasional puffs of smoke.