Tuesday, November 17, 2015


You can read at CRUX John Allen's article on the next pope. He doesn't say that Pope Francis is about the kick the bucket, but what the heck, it's never too early to make plans for the next conclave.

These are John Allen's top choices:

  • Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, Austria
  • Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier of Durban, South Africa
  • Cardinal Oscar Rodriguzez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
  • Cardinal George Pell of Australia, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy
  • Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops
  • Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India
  • Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines
  • Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, United Kingdom
  • Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship
  • Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, United States
  • Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, Italy
  • Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq
  • Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid, Spain
  • Archbishop Sérgio da Rocha of Brasília, Brazil
Most of the ones John Allen names I'm not familiar. So here are my choices in order of preference for the next pope:

 Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship
 Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, United States
 Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier of Durban, South Africa
 Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops

My final comment: My clairvoyance tells me that it will be Cardinal Wilfrid FOX Napier because if you look at the image of smoke coming from the Sistine Chapel, an image I randomly found on the net, you will see that the smoke looks like a fox biting the pipe from which the smoke is coming. Surely you see the FOX in the smoke too!


Marc said...

It seems unlikely that someone from North America would be selected. And given the negativity toward the African bishops that we saw during the synods, it also seems unlikely that one of them would be selected.

My money is on Bruno Forte. He has all the qualifications that most churchmen are looking for in a pope, if you know what I mean.

Gene said...

What makes anyone think it won't be somebody just like Francis or worse? I see nothing to indicate that the Church is moving back toward traditional belief and practice. I hope I am wrong, but I am not optimistic.

Gene said...

That smoke you see is causing global warming and should be discontinued. I think some solar powered lights should replace the smoke thingy.

Joy313 said...

It looks like John Allen's list is just the list of prelates chosen for the planning commission for the next synod. Did he put any effort into this??

Anonymous said...

God help is if any of those men, minus a couple get elevated to the papacy. If we think Francis is an unmitigated disaster then could you even imagine what a Forte or Shonborne would be like

James said...

My money is on Cardinal Parolin, who seems like a good compromise candidate as well as a safe pair of hands. It's odd that he's not on Allen's list.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

James, I think you are right and I would be very comfortable with Cardinal Parolin also. He strikes me as a great diplomat and is careful how he says things, although he was quite direct about Ireland's referendum which allows for same sex marriage.

But being a diplomat, he would be very clear and concise as a teacher, which the papacy should always do.

Mark Thomas said...

My hope and prayer is that our next Pontiff focuses intently upon liturgical. I believe that we also require a Pope who has expertise in dealing (or will deal realistically) with Islam.

In regard to liturgy, we need a Pope who will acknowledge the failed nature of the liturgical reform that is supposedly a tremendous spiritual success. From there, we can finally repair the tremendous damage that the "reform" unleashed upon the Latin Church.

In 2013 A.D., His Holiness Pope Francis said the following:

"In the Orthodox Churches they have kept that pristine liturgy, so beautiful. We have lost a bit the sense of adoration. They keep, they praise God, they adore God, they sing, time doesn’t count. God is the center, and this is a richness that I would like to say on this occasion in which you ask me this question.

"Once, speaking of the Western Church, of Western Europe, especially the Church that has grown most, they said this phrase to me: “Lux ex oriente, ex occidente luxus.” Consumerism, wellbeing, have done us so much harm. Instead you keep this beauty of God at the center, the reference.

"When one reads Dostoyevsky – I believe that for us all he must be an author to read and reread, because he has wisdom – one perceives what the Russian spirit is, the Eastern spirit. It’s something that will do us so much good.

"We are in need of this renewal, of this fresh air of the East, of this light of the East. John Paul II wrote it in his Letter. But so many times the luxus of the West makes us lose the horizon."

We have heard the above for decades from our Popes. They have exhorted Latin Catholics to draw inspiration from the East to enhance Latin Church liturgy. I don't understand as to why our Popes don't exhort Latin Catholics to seek inspiration from the Latin Church's liturgical tradition.

Anyway, our Popes exhort Latin Catholics to enhance Latin Church liturgy via the Eastern Christian liturgical experience. However, said exhortations remain hollow as the Novus Ordo liturgical situation drifts farther and farther each year from the Eastern Christian understanding of liturgy.

Perhaps His Holiness Pope Francis intends in grand fashion to tackle liturgy...to follow through on his above statement.

I hope and pray so.

Liturgy and Islam...big issues for our future Pope(s)...as well as Pope Francis.


Mark Thomas

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Mark, the EF Mass is only going to appeal to a small group of Catholics, what I would refer to as those who want a deeper relationship with Christ and the Church similar to those who join the various movements in the Church, such as the charismatic movement, Cursillo and the like. These groups act as a leaven in the Church and provide a powerful witness to faith and good works, but the majority of Catholics don't want to be a part of these faith groups or movements.

We will never go back to having the Mass as the EF Mass is celebrated today for the entire Church. Our only realistic hope is that the revised Missal be celebrated properly. Pope Benedict did much to model this, but didn't really mandate anything.

Pope Francis celebration of the Mass are exemplary too, although he is more austere than Pope Benedict was.

The Anglican Ordinariate Mass is a step in the right direction and I continue to believe that what they have (apart from the unique Anglican heritage allowances) the general Latin Rite will also receive. I think Cardinal Robert Sarah said as much.

But with that said, the biggest problem with the revised Roman Missal isn't actually the Missal itself but the following:

How priests celebrate it, either too casually or improvising and too much of their personality inserted into it at very inappropriate times.

The wide varieties of styles of music (I'm not speaking about the Mass texts here but hymns and songs that are chosen that are of poor quality, poor theology and sometimes with a secular or Protestant ethos in spirituality and devotional content.

Chant must be recovered for the Mass and the chanting or saying of the Propers must be mandatory as in the EF Mass. Then additional hymns would be seen for what they are, additional and not required.

Ad orientem and kneeling for Holy Communion would be great mandatory restorations.

The vernacular is here to stay as are altar boys and girls and male and female lectors.

Jusadbellum said...

Well, electing the Iraqi would be something else. So would electing a Chinese cardinal.

The problem though is that we have enemies within (modernists, communists, masons, gaystapo double-agents, intellectual and moral cowards awed and cowed by the world, flesh, and devil... AND we have enemies without: secular materialists of various persuasions in the West, Strong man dictators across the 3rd world, Militant nationalists in India, militant Muslims, and the militant nationalist communists of Asia who all see the Catholic Church as merely a human organization that represents a threat to their interests or at best a tool to co-opt for their own goals which run counter to our own.

So a Pope needs to simultaneously strengthen the faith of the brethren who have been dispirited and systematically put upon by fellow Catholic modernists, gays, commies, etc....and inspire non-Catholics to consider Christ and His Kingdom as a viable alternative to their dead-end systems.

But with Pope Francis we have two contradictory theories: one, that he's a "loyal son of the Church" meaning in complete continuity with his predecessors magisterium albeit using a novel "pastoral" way to advance the cause of the faith in an increasingly secular and hostile age. In this reading, what he officially says is all that matters as his off the cuff remarks, "tone" and unofficial head fakes are just that: head fakes to win the Low Information crowd to lower their ideological shields.

Any aid and comfort to the enemies of the faith are merely coincidental and would have happened regardless.

The second reading is that he has long played a game of seeking some medium path between Modernist/heretical "liberation" theology, modernist/heretical sexual revolution theology, and modernist/heretical socialist ideology and what vision of the Church JP2 brought to us and that this would explain why his words are so opaque and contradictory. It's an impossible task to find some safe middle ground between these 3 schools of thought and classic Catholicism.

Since the French Revolution, there has been an increasingly institutionalized rupture between faith and behavior, faith and culture, and faith and epistemology. One can't accept the revolutionary idea that a nation's laws can long endure based on secularity and NOT inevitably slide into anti-Catholicism. Natural Law and history proves this to be so. It's a fools errand to accept as a Catholic that the state (made of people) can't possibly find positive laws as ultimately grounded in Divine Law except as a tactical measure while wishing for better days.

It's likewise a fool's errand to accept that with human laws so divorced from Divine Revelation that so too our morals could be officially established on purely secular reasoning that is positivist not Natural Law. For the same reason: ultimately the maximum secular value will not be God or even humanity but some combination of the 7 capital sins.

Our task and blessing from almighty God was to make disciples of all the nations, not become disciples to all the nations.

Julian Barkin said...

Kay, I'll go out on a limb and say, none of the above. It will be Cardinal Collins by a landslide! Root root for the home team!

gob said...

When I go to purgatory, part of my punishment is gonna be that I have to be roommates with Jusad...

John Nolan said...

In Allen's biography of Cardinal Ratzinger (2000), written entirely from an American liberal standpoint, he gives a list of reasons why there will not be a Ratzinger papacy. His predictions are no more useful than anyone else's.

Mark Thomas said...

Father McDonald said..."Mark, the EF Mass is only going to appeal to a small group of Catholics, what I would refer to as those who want a deeper relationship with Christ and the Church similar to those who join the various movements in the Church, such as the charismatic movement, Cursillo and the like. These groups act as a leaven in the Church and provide a powerful witness to faith and good works, but the majority of Catholics don't want to be a part of these faith groups or movements.

"We will never go back to having the Mass as the EF Mass is celebrated today for the entire Church..."

Father, first we must recognize that the Novus Ordo appeals to a small group, speaking relatively, of Catholics. There are Western nations where Sunday Mass attendance is in the single digits...for example, France. Elsewhere, in many parts of the West, Sunday Mass attendance is on the way to single digits.

In the United States, New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas...on and on, Sunday Mass attendance is in the 15 percent range and falling.

The Novus Ordo enjoys monopoly status throughout the Western Church. Despite that, the majority of Latin Church Catholics, at least throughout the West, are not interested in assisting regularly at Novus Ordo Masses.

Incredibly, among the majority of Catholics in the West who bother to attend Mass regularly, the majority favor artificial birth control, abortion, sodomy...the Culture of Death.

Father, the Novus Ordo is, if you will, not working.

Something dramatic has to be done in regard to Western Church liturgy.


Mark Thomas

Jusadbellum said...

Oh GOB, how sweet. I don't think anyone has said as kind a thing to me on this chat room before.

Imagine, to be in purgatory! To know that one is saved, one the very cusp of entering into eternal bliss with the Lord and that all that's left is to purge away all those hurtful desires and willful imperfections that keep us from loving God and loving neighbor as Jesus loves us.

I'm honored that you think I could help you enter heaven. But I'm afraid I will probably need another roommate besides you to be purified as you just don't annoy me enough. It would be too pleasant so I'm sure the Lord will find some other suitable foil.

Still, what can I say but thanks!

Mark Thomas said...

Dear Father McDonald, to add, please, to my previous reply to you...

I recognize that as of now, the amount of Catholics who assist at TLMs is microscopic. However, bishops have worked overtime to keep the Faithful away from TLMs.

My bishop, for example, operates in the manner of many bishops. He established a TLM (FSSP) parish in our diocese. That is very good. Unfortunately, he is determined to confine the TLM in our diocese to that one parish in question.

Literally from the first Sunday at our FSSP parish, the Masses overflowed with worshipers. Interest in the TLM within our diocese is greater than the Chancery will acknowledge.

We have at least a couple of priests within our diocese who would offer the TLM. However, said priests tell us that our bishop will not permit the TLM to spread beyond our FSSP parish.

Reports of that situation are common throughout the Western Church.

All that I would ask of our bishops is that they cease their determination to keep access to TLMs to a minimum. Level the playing field. Allow the Faithful opportunities to assist at TLMs.

Then, over time, we will have the opportunity to assess whether solid interest in the TLM exists throughout the Latin Church.

The fix is in against the TLM. The bishops have ensured that the amount of Catholics who assist at TLMs will remain low.

At every turn, our bishops (with few exceptions) prevent seminarians from learning the TLM...pressure their priests to refrain from even learning the TLM...and confine the TLM to one-parish-only situations within the dioceses.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Finally, Father McDonald, a great many bishops, perhaps the majority, persecute the TLM.

One possible response to that situation is to establish an Apostolic Administration for the TLM...a worldwide structure to protect the TLM from bishops and priests who will not permit the TLM to prosper. The TLM would be protected and cultivated by people who love the TLM and wish to allow the Faithful access to the Traditional Roman Mass.

It also seems beyond doubt that a "regularized" SSPX would be positioned to help the TLM expand throughout the Church.

One sign that may indicate whether the above is true may arrive during the Year of Mercy. His Holiness Pope Francis, declared, of course, that during the Year of Mercy, the Faithful are free to request the Sacrament of Penance from priests of the SSPX.

That act by Pope Francis will almost certainly generate among various Catholics interest in the SSPX. From there, a "regularized" SSPX would have the opportunity to bring many Catholics and converts to the Traditional Roman Mass and Holy Tradition.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Dear Father McDonald,

Thank you for tolerating me. Thank you for allowing me to post to your important and outstanding blog.


Mark Thomas

Gene said...

Gob, how do you know you will go to Purgatory? How do you know you will not go the express route to Hell, where you will be forced to listen to old Ronald Reagan speeches for the first million years with Dixie playing in the background.

Michael (Quicumque Vult) said...

I want to say the following carefully so as not to come across as disrespectful. "Dominus sit in corde meo et in labiis meis." ;)

Father, you say, "The vernacular is here to stay as are altar boys and girls and male and female lectors."

However, is it not possible that you say this simply because you personally *like* those things? I can easily foresee, with the right Pope and enough time, all those things being disallowed and the traditional practices reinstated - and I happen to *not* be a fan of those things, which probably means I'm hoping for whatever my tastes want. Really, it's impossible to say what will stay and what won't. I agree that we probably won't be going back to the EF wholesale, at least for a while, but I do foresee the OF being brought into *sharp* continuity with the EF, sooner rather than later, and that means dumping the liturgical novelties.

Again, though, that's just my conjecture, which at this point is just as valid as yours. Our gracious Lord the Holy Ghost will decide how He wants the liturgy purified. All we can do, I guess, is pray that He help the Church to accomplish that quickly.

Anonymous said...

I believe we need a strong and fearless Pope to lead the Church in the face of the absolute moral decline in society and the rising spectre of Islam. I believe the next pope will be Cardinal Burke.

As regards the Mass - the TLM will indeed become the Mass of the entire Church simply because the Novus Ordo will die out because there are very few of the younger generations now attending Mass who will remain in the Church to keep the new Mass going. Also, where are the priestly vocations going to come from because of that? There are no Catholic schools where the faith is taught properly or parents who even know their faith properly to be able to pass it on. The very few vocations to the priesthood to say the new Mass are preferring the TLM as well. Vocations are certainly on the rise for the traditional orders. In my country over recent years more have gone into traditional seminaries than into the ordinary seminary where the vocations are next to none. That is very telling.

It is not

Mark Thomas said...

Father McDonald, it's interesting to me that the 45-(or so) year-old Novus Ordo, altar girls, and additional novelties are here to stay. Novelties are somehow set in concrete.

Conversely, the ancient Roman Mass and centuries-old Catholic practices are not set in concrete. Why?

Why is it that the TLM could be discarded with ease but the Novus Ordo is set in concrete at our parishes? Everything "pre-Vatican II" is subject to being tossed aside without a second thought. But everything post-Vatican II is set in stone.

Something is terribly wrong with that.


Mark Thomas

Bret H said...

My short list:
Cardinal Ranjith
Cardinal Schnieder
Cardinal Sarah
Cardinal Burke
Cardinal Piacenza

Flavius Hesychius said...

So, as long as the NO is 'normal' (like it will ever be lol) we can expect to hear 'hymns' like this one from vol IV of the Liturgy of the Hours:

God, whose almighty word
Chaos and darkness heard
And took their flight:
Hear us we humbly pray,
And where the Gospel day
Sheds not its glorious ray
Let there be light.

The insipidity would probably kill me if I had to endure the NO breviary everyday.

Anonymous said...

Tune: Italian Hymn
Written in the middle 1700's

Text: Thomas Raffles (1788-1863)

Scriptural references 2 Corinthians, Habakkuk, Isaiah, Job, John, Luke, Malachi, and Matthew.

Pretty good pedigree.

John Nolan said...

Flavius, the hymn you quote is by the Anglican clergyman John Marriott (1780-1825) although the first line should read 'Thou whose eternal word'. It's familiar to Church of England congregations, but is hardly an Office hymn in the Roman Rite, whether monastic or secular, reformed or unreformed. I can only assume that there is a kiddies' version of the LOTH in English which is used by priests who are so ill-educated that they are unable to follow the clear instructions of Vatican II to pray the Office in Latin.

Mark, no female has ever been instituted as a Lector; they may act as lay readers, that's all. As for altar girls, no parish priest is obliged to recruit any (and many don't) and any priest can refuse to have a female serve his Mass, even if no males are available. The best that can be said is that they are tolerated for the time being.

Mark Thomas said...

To John Nolan...

Thank you for your reply.


Mark Thomas

Flavius Hesychius said...

I'm not sure who anonymous's comment was directed at. I assume me, but he says 'text: Thomas Raffles', and since my breviary attributes the text to John Marriott, so I guess there's some other 'text' he's referring to. On the other hand, I don't see any other texts being referred here. So, who knows?

I don't give a damn if it has a 'pretty good pedigree'. It still sounds stupid. I'd say it was written for eight-year-olds, but I don't want to insult their intelligence. You might disagree, which you're certainly free to do. But, I don't give a damn about your opinion, just like I suspect you don't give a flying eff about mine.

John Nolan, strangely, I've always thought that if I were Anglican, I'd prefer no music or singing, read psalms and lessons, and no sermons. Why I love the Byzantine rite liturgy is a mystery to me entirely. I do prefer the UK's version of the LOTH, but I don't pray the LOTH so it's not really relevant.

As an aside, does anyone have any recommendations for what to with a barely-used 4 volume LOTH? (I'm being serious; I'd like to give it to someone who could use it. It's just collecting dust on my closet shelf.)

Anonymous said...

Dust it off and use it for prayer.

(I'm being serious, too.)

John Nolan said...

Flavius, Anglicans had to endure hour-long sermons but you are right in assuming that morning and evening prayer would have been read from the pulpit. Marriott wrote his piece as a religious poem since hymn-singing as we understand it was then the preserve of non-conformists. Newman in his Anglican days wanted to allow translations of the Office hymns to be sung but ran into opposition from the bishops who were against the singing of all but Scriptural texts.

The singing of metrical non-Scriptural hymns in both the Catholic and Anglican traditions dates from the second half of the nineteenth century. Many of the Office hymns date back to the first millennium. Pope Urban VIII (1623-1644) altered most of them to conform with classical Latin and it is these inauthentic texts which appear in the Liber Usualis. The restoration of the originals is the only (I repeat only) worthwhile liturgical reform to come out of Vatican II.

Flavius Hesychius said...

Anonymous—then I would be praying the hours twice. That would be silly.

John Nolan—as much as I hate the LOTH, I think it was right to restore the Patristic readings to Matins. They give it a greater depth, in my opinion.

Marc said...

Flavius, doesn't the LOTH include reading through the Vatican II documents to some extent? I might be misremebering, and I don't want to disturb the healthy amount of dust that has probably settled on my copy.

Flavius Hesychius said...

Yeah, Marc, it does. The very few times I used the LOTH, I skipped over those. I didn't really care what V2, or even Trent had to say about anything. I think there's also excerpts from medieval works like Imitation of Christ. I also skipped those.

I freely admit to having a bias for ancient writers. Many of them are, I think, much more relevant today than their medieval successors.

But that's just me.

Anonymous said...

Actually, John Allen's list is the list of bishops elected at the synod and he actually clarifies that saying,

"To begin, it’s important to stipulate that elections to a synod council are an inexact measure of who might get a look in a papal conclave.

For one thing, they’re drawn from prelates who actually took part in the synod, and on any given occasion several papabili, meaning papal contenders, aren’t in the mix."

Cardinal Burke wasn't at the synod this year. At the last synod he was elected as the English speaking representative and also in a look earlier this year at who might be the next Pope, Fr. Longenecker mentions Cardinal Burke as a likely contender:

"Two cardinals from North America should not be overlooked. Last year the talk was that Cardinal Raymond Burke had been demoted from his influential posts choosing bishops and governing the Vatican’s Supreme Court. In fact, his time of service was up in those roles and if he emerges as a spokesman for the conservative group in the church he may be an appealing candidate to those who want a change in style and stance from Francis. He lacks the international experience of others, but his experience in Rome may make him seem like a safe pair of hands."

Cardinal Burke has emerged as a spokesman for conservatives and his election to the papacy would be indeed welcome.

Cardinal Sarah is also mentioned:

"A rising star from Africa is Cardinal Robert Sarah from Guinea. Having served as secretary for the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples he was recently appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Divine Worship. Known as a conservative and taking a strong stance against the advance of Islam in Africa and the Middle East, Cardinal Sarah could emerge as powerful leader in the growing tensions between Islam and Catholicism."

Flavius Hesychius said...

Why are there already predictions for the next Pope?

Does someone plan on assassinating the Pope or something?

Anonymous said...

Flavius, it is no doubt because Pope Francis himself has stated his papacy is likely to be no more than 4 or 5 years:

In a wide-ranging interview Thursday with Mexican broadcaster Noticieros Televisa, Pope Francis said he had the "somewhat vague sensation" that his papacy could be short, leaving open the possibility he may retire rather than serve until his death, as is the custom for serving popes.

Francis told interviewer Valentina Alazraki that he had "the feeling that my pontificate will be brief: four or five years; I do not know, even two or three. Two have already passed. He added, "Maybe it's like the psychology of the gambler who convinces himself he will lose so he won’t be disappointed and if he wins, is happy. I do not know. But I feel that the Lord has placed me here for a short time, and nothing more.""


He has made several such statements over the past two years and apart from the recent rumor of a brain tumor which has been denied I have read that he is suffering from some sort of nerve disorder. Obviously Pope Francis knows the situation about his health but his statements are causing blogs to speculate.