Tuesday, July 13, 2021


 Sandro Magister has an article that is insightful and clearly delineates where the Church is now after eight years of the current pontificate. You can read the full article here.

But I excise the most pertinent part of the longer article for your contemplation on prospects for the next pope:

Conclave in View, Everyone Backing Away From Francis


Francis is a known quantity. He has his favorites for the succession. The first is the Filipino cardinal, a bit Chinese on his mother's side, Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle, prefect of “Propaganda Fide” and for this reason one of the best known cardinals in the world.

For Tagle, it is objected, there is the obstacle of age. He is 64 years old and therefore could reign too long for cardinal electors to bet on him. But above all he is considered too close to Jorge Mario Bergoglio not to end up overwhelmed by the many grievances over the current pontificate, which will inexorably come into the open in a future conclave.

For this reason Tagle has been lying low for some time, he who in the early years of the current pontificate had been so active and vocal. He is prudently keeping his distance, all the more so now that the pontificate is at an end and its shortcomings are increasingly evident.

In particular, Tagle has shrewdly put a damper on that interpretation of Vatican Council II as a rupture and new beginning which he learned during his theology studies in New York, at the school of Joseph Komonchak, and then set down in writing, under his signature, in a key chapter in the history of the Council that is the most widely read in the world, produced by the so-called “school of Bologna” founded by Fr. Giuseppe Dossetti and Giuseppe Alberigo.


Another cardinal dear to Francis is the German Reinhard Marx, 68, enrolled by the pope in 2013 into the small group of cardinals called to assist him in the government of the universal Church and promoted in the curia to the presidency of the council for the economy.

It is true that the “synodal path” set in motion in Germany, with Marx among the promoters, seriously distresses Francis, on account of its disruptive objectives. But the pope continues to keep this cardinal close, perhaps planning to call on him to put the brakes on the skid.

But to all appearances Marx means to play on his own and distance himself from a closeness to Bergoglio that could harm him in a conclave. He has left the presidency of the German bishops’ conference and above all - asserting a collective responsibility of the bishops in the sexual abuse scandal - offered his resignation as archbishop of Munich and Freising.

The pope refused this, but some observers have interpreted the cardinal's move as aimed precisely at Marx’s self-nomination for the succession, naturally for a pontificate that would mark the drastic overriding of “Roman Catholicism,” in deference to the secular anti-Roman complex of the Catholic Church of Germany, always tempted by an assimilation to Protestantism.


Then there are the cardinals who to Francis are the most distasteful. Angelo Becciu is so unbearable for him that the pope brutally stripped him ten months ago - without any explanation and before any due process - of all the “rights” of the cardinalate, including access to the conclave.

Properly speaking Becciu was never a papabile, but a major elector yes, thanks in part to his membership in the international network of cardinals and bishops who are friends of the Focolare movement, one of the ecclesiastical lobbies most serviceable in arriving at consensus. By putting Becciu out of the game with ignominy, Francis has in fact also disarmed the network that looked up to him.

Pietro Parolin is another of the cardinals that Bergoglio has contributed to removing from the list of the papabili. But properly speaking, Parolin has already put a lot of his own effort into disappointing those who initially saw him as a desirable successor, capable of setting back on the right course the ship of the Church in the storm created by Pope Francis, correcting his drifts without betraying his spirit.

In fact, since everyone can see the mayhem in the secretariat of state under his management, it is difficult to imagine that he is capable of governing the Church, which is a reality incomparably more vast and complex. Not to mention the chain of failures of his diplomatic initiatives, “in primis” with China.


Instead, among the moderates there are those who would gladly see on the chair of Peter a cardinal like the Hungarian Péter Erdô, 69, archbishop of Esztergom and Budapest and for ten years president of the council of the Catholic bishops’ conferences of  Europe, highly appreciated by many also for having guided with wisdom and firmness, in the twofold synod on the family of which he was relator general, the resistance against the advocates of divorce and the new homosexual morality.

In two months Erdô will preside over the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest, and Pope Francis will go there to celebrate the concluding Mass on September 12. This would be an excellent opportunity to shine a light on him as a high-profile personality of the college of cardinals, with many talents for being elected pope.

The fact is, however, that Bergoglio has tried every trick in the book to downplay his trip to Budapest and cast a shadow over this possible, but above all feared, successor of his. He first added and then extended to four days a visit to neighboring Slovakia, and in this way he has reduced his presence at the Eucharistic congress to a hasty stopover, visibly discharged against his will.


A successor like Erdô would certainly bring the papacy back into the furrow of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, meaning precisely those two popes seen as having interrupted - according to the two books cited at the beginning - the happy intertwining between Church and society, between “evangelization and human promotion,” of the first post-conciliar season.

Because it is instead Riccardi and company who would have the right candidate. He is Cardinal Matteo Zuppi (in the photo), 66, archbishop of Bologna and grandnephew of another cardinal, Carlo Confalonieri (1893-1986), who was also secretary to Pope Pius XI, but above all co-founder, with Riccardi, of the Community of Sant’Egidio, unquestionably the most powerful, influential, and omnipresent Catholic lobby of recent decades, at the worldwide level.

As general ecclesiastical assistant of the Community of Sant’Egidio and parish priest of the Roman basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere until 2010, as well as auxiliary bishop of Rome since that year, Zuppi has found himself at the center of an incomparable network of persons and events on a planetary scale, both religious and geopolitical, from the peace agreements in Mozambique of the years 1990-92 to today’s support for the secret agreement between the Holy See and China, from the interreligious meetings in Assisi to the “humanitarian corridors” for immigrants in Europe from Africa and Asia.

Having adapted like a chameleon to the two pontificates of Karol Wojtyla and Joseph Ratzinger, with Francis the Community of Sant’Egidio has reached its apogee, with Vincenzo Paglia at the head of the Vatican institutes for life and the family, with Matteo Bruni at the head of the press office, and above all with Zuppi, promoted as head of the archdiocese of Bologna, made a cardinal and now also in the running for the presidency of the Italian bishops’ conference.

The path from this point to his election as pope is by no means sure, but it is seriously in the order of things. All the more so with a college of cardinal electors in disarray, uncertain in their views and easily led, this time by a lobby not of cardinals - like the legendary “mafia” of St. Gallen that is said to have facilitated Bergoglio’s election - but one certainly more influential and decisive, that has that very name, Community of Sant’Egidio.

Zuppi likes to be called a “street cardinal,” as in the documentary he has already put into circulation, and he had the shrewdness to sign the preface to the Italian edition of the pro-LGBT book by the Jesuit James Martin, dearly beloved to Pope Francis.


Tom Marcus said...

Pointless speculation. We've seen these articles when JPII was pope and Benedict as well. The bottom line is no one knows and no one can accurately predict. There are forces in the College of Cardinals we know nothing about and they intend to keep it that way. Unfortunately, one of them is what Fr. Malachi Martin referred to as the "superforce"--if you get my drift.

I just pray that whomever is next finally consecrates Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in union with the world's bishops. The clock continues to tick.

Anonymous said...

His Grace Cardinal Raymond Burke! Just a wishful prayer but one never knows now do they?

Mark Thomas said...

God, in His time, will form a new Pope.

Then, as is the case, and has been the case, beginning with Saint Peter, the Pope will deliver unto us the Catholic, orthodox Faith.

Pope Venerable Pius XII, 1949 A.D:

"The Pope has the divine promises; even in his human weaknesses, he is invincible and unshakable; he is the messenger of truth and justice, the principle of the unity of the Church;"

That is all that I need to know about the Roman Pontiff.


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Consecrates Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? Uh, why? Is that a slap at the Russian Orthodox Church?

Tom Marcus said...

Some people make posts before they think. It would greatly benefit some of the people here--if they are indeed serious--to do some research before posting certain things.

Mark, you're nothing, if not predictable. Now go enjoy your cupcakes.

Mark THOMAS said...

In regard to who will reign as Pope Francis' successor, we would do well to heed the following:

Rorate Caeli.

"Love the Pope!" - no ifs, and no buts:

Pope Saint Pius X:

"...we are regrettably in our age in this hard, unhappy, situation of having to tell priests: love the Pope! is necessary to obey him.

"Therefore, when we love the Pope, there are no discussions regarding what he orders or demands, or up to what point obedience must go, and in what things he is to be obeyed;...

"...when we love the Pope, we do not say that he has not spoken clearly enough...we do not place his orders in doubt...

"...whoever is holy cannot dissent from the Pope."


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Francis stacked the college with radicals like himself. The next one will be 10 times worse than this one.

Anonymous said...

My position, as a layman in 30327, matches the infamous words from the White House on Sunday night, March 31, 1968. "I shall not seek and I will not accept..."

Anonymous said...

Dear Lord, Our Savior King, please awaken to us and calm the winds and the waves.
Atheistic materialism has shown the inanity of Godlessness. buy the Power of the Holy Spirit we pray for a good Pope and the end of apostasy and abortion. May the notion of the sanctity of marriage and family fill the hearts and minds and souls of your faithful ones. We are here, if but a remnant, and we cry out to you 'Have Mercy on us'. Deliver us from Evil. Thy will be done.

JR said...

It's silly to speculate. Remember the old Roman proverb: "He who goes into the Conclave as Pope will come out a Cardinal."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Silly but fun….

Mark Thomas said...

I am surprised that certain folks, if they are "traditional," desire a Cardinal Burke Pontificate.

The reason is that he would act against the SSPX.

Cardinal Burke declared:

"The fact of the matter is that the Priestly Society of St. Pius X is in schism since the late Abp. Marcel Lefebvre ordained four bishops without the mandate of the Roman Pontiff.

"And so it is not legitimate to attend Mass or to receive the sacraments in a church that's under the direction of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X."


Mark Thomas

John Nolan said...

Geopolitical considerations apply. The next pope will be from Africa or Asia. If it's Sarah or Ranjith all well and good. If it's Tagle or Turkson, look out.

Richard M. Sawicki said...

“Anonymous said...
Francis stacked the college with radicals like himself. The next one will be 10 times worse than this one.”

Actually, do an in-depth look at some of them, particularly the Africans, and you may see that is far from guaranteed!

Gaudete in Domino Semper!