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Interregnum report, March 8

Some quick links for the end of the week:As everyone now knows, the papal conclave will begin on Tuesday, likely to be preceded by a formal Mass in the morning. At the close of the week, governance was said to remain a topic of discussion among cardinals, but other reports say meetings have been all over the map, hinting at a lengthy balloting process. The consensus is that there is no consensus on a leading candidate, but Vatican Insider says Milan archbishop Angelo Scola seems to be winning new support, and from the American contingent too.Still more on job qualifications (and another sign of creeping managerial-ese): Which candidates possess the sufficient global fluency?If you cant tell the papabile without a scorecard, heres a helpful interactive guide for putting faces to the names and studying up on vital statistics. Meanwhile, the Rome correspondent for Frances La Croix calls for the canonization of Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi.After cataloging the (familiar) fault lines among the gathered electors, The Guardianthen delves into qualities and accomplishmentsof certain cardinals that tend to get lost in the coverage:

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Jesuit intellectual and archbishop of Buenos Aires who travels around town by bus and told his compatriots not to waste their money on plane tickets to Rome to see him become a cardinal but to give it instead to the poor; Cardinal Dominik Duka of the Czech Republic, who practised and deepened his faith despite enduring years of state repression; Cardinal Fernando Filoni, who refused to leave his diplomatic post in Iraq in the violence that followed the US invasion, saying "If the pastor flees in moments of difficulty, the sheep are also lost"; Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the charismatic, 55-year-old archbishop of Manila, whose scholarship on the second Vatican council and passionate defence of the sanctity of life have won him popularity on both sides of the political divide; and Cardinal scar Rodrguez Maradiaga of Honduras, who has proved an ardent defender of human rights and a fierce critic of capitalism and the drug trade.

About the Author

Dominic Preziosi is Commonweal’s digital editor.



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Check out the current results on The Sweet Sistene:

I see Cardinal scar Rodrguez Maradiaga of Honduras is on the list. He would be a most intriguing choice.

The joy of voting in The Sweet Sistene is that you can vote early and often. But most of all, YOU can vote!

Some folks in Latin America, especially Honduras, would dispute the claim that Cardinal Rodriguez is an ardent defender of human rights. SNAP also has serious reservations about his response to sexual abuse issues. He is also reported to have made remarks that the publicity about sexual abuse was related to Jewish publishers.

O'Malley of Boston is also on SNAP's 'disaproved' list. I don't understand why. In the end he has seemed to address the abuse problem strongly.

you can't get these facts from George Weigel. That's for sure.

Besides Dolan, O'Malley and Wuerl are on the Snap list of Cardinals who should not vote. The other nine are:Leonardo Sandri of Argentina, George Pell of Australia, Marc Ouellet of Canada, Dominik Duka or the Czech Republic, Peter Turkson of Ghana, Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, Tarcisio Bertone and Angelo Scola of Italy, and Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico

Not all of them are linked to alleged coverups of sexual abuse, SNAP said. Some were placed on the list because of their public remarks related to the abuse scandal, SNAP said.

Not to be a noodge (OK, so it is to be a noodge), I really would be more interested in what the LCWR thinks of the candidates -- if the could talk -- than in how SNAP uses the conclave to get its message out, worthy as its message is.

-- if the sisters could talk --(Odd, I was sure they were there when I hit submit)

Nice front-page article about Dolan in the NYT this morning with a picture of him shaking hands with Pope Paul VI. that:. . . he has repeatedly won votes of confidence from his peers. The American bishops elected him their president in a surprise vote in 2010; in Rome, global bishops elected him to continue their work on new evangelization after their synod last fall. Most significantly, early last year he was tapped by Benedict to deliver a keynote address to the full College of Cardinals.But:. . . his fondness for beer and barbecue, his physicality and exuberance define him as American in a way that is a liability in a church headquarters that at times views the New World with a combination of condescension and disdain.

A pope must speak Italian well. He doesn't.

John, do you know which cardinals, among the ones whose names are being mentioned, speak Italian well?

Gerelyn - link: piece but well written. This comes closer to someone who has been tested by various fires and issues and has left his mark.He has been raised in polyglot fashion; comfortable partnering with different cultures, religions, positions, politics, national feelings.Compare this to Dolan and his accomplishments (??).

Hi, John, (I'm disappointed that you were unable to correct the Latin you criticized in yesterday's thread.) Do you think Sancta Spirita bases Her choice for pope on fluency in Italian?

Gerelyn - personally, I like Dolan. Don't think that he has much depth but he fits the US scene well. That being said, he reminds me of the typical American image overseas in the 1950s and 1960s best characterized via a literary work, The Ugly American.

Cardinal Dolan has made waves several times in the US, showing bias towards the Republicans during the presidential election campaign, and making misleading or false statements about the HHS mandate, statements that were debunked in these pages. He has also shown lack of sensitivity towards women (in remarks about religious sisters, and, I vaguely remember, some remark about how a young good-looking woman would help evangelization!), In handling sexual abuse in Milwaukee, he secretly paid priest abusers to leave, and tried to pretend that the money was used for something other than hush money - he's been castigated by SNAP. I also tried to comment on his blog once, correcting a statement that was factually incorrect by providing a link to the correct information, and my perfectly neutral comment was deleted. I do not trust him. Exuberance is not enough for me.Cardinal O'Malley, on the other hand, is another matter. His blog is boring, but he doesn't make waves. He doesn't have an inflated ego and looks like a man dedicated to service. I do not know why SNAP is against him. I don't dislike him.

Oh, and, I almost forgot: Cardinal Dolan has been divisive for US Catholicism. For a pope, who is the sign of unity of the Church, that's the last thing that one would want!

Hi, Bill: I remember The Ugly American very well. On my first trips to Europe, I chose my clothes and shoes carefully, hoping not to be considered too ugly. Interesting article about Christoph Schnborn. Sounds like a nice man, but I don't think he has a chance. I hope Sancta Spirita is ready for an American (from Ballwin).-----Hi, Claire:I think they've all said/thought/done many many things that would make ordinary people cringe. They wouldn't be where they are if they hadn't played the game. Sancta Spirita doesn't have much to choose from. (Which American would not have "been divisive for US Catholicism?")-----I don't see why the cardinals' swearing an oath before casting a ballot has any meaning. Jesus and his brothers and sisters and Peter and his brothers and sisters wouldn't have a CLUE about what was going on if they walked into that room and saw all those old men dressed alike in satin and lace with two little stoves.

I imagine Cdl O'Malley as an honest, if a tad uninspiring, manager, who is good at easing tensions and implementing difficult measures such as parish merges while convincing most people to go along without protests. After 8 years of loftiness, a little bit of down-to-earth realism with a pastoral touch and managerial skills might not be bad. Such a papacy would not be about uplifting renewal but about recovery from disastrous management. Maybe after the year of Faith, we'd have a "Year of Sound Financial Practices"!

Can anybody here who is talking about The Ugly American tell me how Cardinal Dolan resembles Homer Akins, who didn't wear stripey pants but did get his hands dirty and did speak the language while trying to help Southeast Asians?

He is a practiced frequent flier; last fall, he flew a round trip in a day, borrowing a billionaires jet so he could preside at a dinner in Manhattan without missing a meeting in Rome."That billionaire was doubtless Republican. And really was it necessary. This is another man of Empire. No resemblance to the Crucified who had no home.

Gerelyn:I wasn't "unable." Just slow. By now you will have received my four corrections.

I wonder if any Cardinal has given a speech about possible "Year of"'s? - Year of Religious Sisters- Year of Elementary Catholic Schools- Year of Pastoral Councils- Year of the Laity- Year of the Holy Land- Year of Collegiality- Year of the Poor...

Vox populi ...Corriere della Sera gives its readers the chance to vote on twelve candidates. So far, 11, 455 have voted.1. Cardinal O'Malley -- 36.72. Cardinal Scola -- 18.03. Cardinal Tagle -- 14.3And no. 9, Cardinal Dolan -- 1.9

Bill, small point of information (provided by the NYTimes article itself): the billionaire was Mort Zuckerman, who is Jewish and a Democrat. And I think the dinner they are referring to was the Al Smith dinner, where Cardinal Dolan hosted the President and the Republican nominee for President. This doesn't answer your question about whether or not it was necessary. I hope it provides a bit of context.

Ah, Cardinal Tagle you can find his talks online. When you hear him give a homily (online), it's impossible not to like him and admire him a little, and even feel drawn to Christ. Although he's too conservative for me, I would still love to have him as my parish priest! I think it would make me a better Christian. Then, if everyone has the same reaction, indeed, why not pope?

Mr. Blackburn - merely highlighting this theme (last line especially) in the Ugly American:In the novel, a Burmese journalist says "For some reason, the [American] people I meet in my country are not the same as the ones I knew in the United States. A mysterious change seems to come over Americans when they go to a foreign land. They isolate themselves socially. They live pretentiously. They're loud and ostentatious."

Bill, But the ugly American was the one who was none of those things the Burmese mentioned. He was a contrast to the noisy but well barbered, pretentious but sweet smelling, isolated but well-served Americans in the foreign land. I just can't see Cardinal Dolan in either group. His folksy beer-and-sausage persona is noisy, I guess, but it is inviting rather than pushy. On the other hand, I don't seem him submerging his bulky self into local conditions the way Akins did in the novel.

If papabili like Bergoglia of Buenos Aires, Duka of Prague, or Tagle of Manila, or Vatican diplomats like Filoni (J23 was a diplomat) are to even have a chance to emerge, then we must assume that "the fix" is not in and that the next pope has not already been selected with only the confirmation of the conclave to be secured.That's what happened last time with Ratzinger!We'll see ... PLEASE, please stop all this bloviating about the insufferable "Padre Sean" O'Malley who presents himself as the modern reincarnation of Francis of Assisi, all the while lusting after all the trappings of power. He forgets apparently that Francis eschewed power of all kinds, probably would have denounced any friar who took on a princely office, and who died on the floor marked by the stigmata. He has spent his entire career as a bishop tidying-up after the mess left by priests and bishops who can't stop exploiting children - in other words, the clerical equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig. O'Malley is just better at putting a better public face on the corruption of the hierarchy.

Jim, yes, what I see of Cdl O'Malley is how he presents himself, and the reality could be very different. Do you have specifics?

(Literary note) The "ugly American" of the Burdick and Lederer novel, was as Tom Blackburn points out, actually a good guy compared with so many of the foreign aid and foreign policy apparatchiks in South East Asia at the time. He was indeed not afraid of getting his hands dirty, working with the people he was trying to help, and was modeled on a particular individual who, with his wife, did exactly that. He was called ugly, I think, because he did not have the kind of celebrity (or Ivy League) beauty of some of his colleagues.But of course the term quickly became a pejorative one, and remains so in American speech today. Perhaps the opposite term might be "Quiet American," though almost everyone who has read Greene's book (perhaps my favorite of all his novels) can understand how much death and destruction such an unimposing man could bring on in the name of ideological purity.I say "almost everyone" because the great film director, Stanley Kubrick, didn't get it. Or if he did, his 1958 movie deliberate skewed Greene's meaning to turn Alden Pyle (the Q. A.) into a noble and admirable figure.

Bill de Haas: thanks for posting this piece. As you say, it's advocacy, but I've long thought that Schnborn was one the more hopeful members of the cardinalate.You can be sure that the long knives in the Curia will to their best to block him, however. Unlike so many others of his rank he did not wait until the present interregnum to call for a Vatican housecleaning.I may also be influenced by my streaming Radio Stephansdom from Vienna on my computer; really good music, and three operas a week (this afternoon it's Verdi's "Araldo," which I don't know at all (it's set in xii century England).

About Cardinal O'Malley -- I watched one of the recent interviews in Rome of two American cardinals, the one with O'Malley an DiNardo. The site didn't offer closed captioning, so I couldn't understand a word either one said. But I was fascinated by their body language, so I watched the whole thing. DiNardo came across as a young man, enthusiastic, sincere, eager to be understood. He used many hand gestures and his face was animated, especially with smiles. O'Malley was the opposite -- he mainly sat there like a statue, except for laughing once and sluggishly answering the questions put to him. His eyes didn't roam to follow either DiNardo or the questioners. He didn't look sleepy with droopy eyelid, he was just blank-eyed. He looked as if he were doing contemplation in some other room. Who knows what he was thinking except about the specific questions he was asked. Or maybe it was just extreme boredom. I can't believe it was just ordinary weariness. Weird.

About Cardinal Schoenborn -- his parents were divorced when he was a child. Maybe that gives him an understanding of some of the existential problems families sometimes face. I wonder if there are any other bishops at all who are the children of divorce. (And how many bishops have gay siblings, or sisters who would like to be priests?)

"Dont think that he has much depth but he fits the US scene well."I don't know who you are damning with faint praise more: Dolan or the US church!Gimme a cafeteria anytime over fast food.

Apropos nothing said here: I have just finished reading Kenan Heise's "The Sin of Obedience."It needs a good editor and waxes a bit too preciously Thomistic in a couple of spots, but all in all it is an enjoyable read.

1. It is interesting that on the "vote for your candidate" site provided by Corriere della Sera, Cardinal O'Malley, after 14, 500 votes, still holds a very solid lead. The twelve choices given (Schoenborn is not listed!) are the result of asking eight Italian journalists (Vaticanisti) to suggest three names. Five of the eight chose O'Malley. What is this O'Malley "boomlet" about? A good part of this phenomenon may have to do with the Franciscan habit and beard. (The scarlet zucchetto fits oddly in the picture.) The beloved saint and his simplicity. And so, Pope Francis I.Cardinal O'Malley is a very reserved man, as Ann Olivier noted. He came most alive twice during the interview at the North American College on Tuesday. That was in response to questions in Spanish, which he handled with ease. (His Ph.D from CUA is in Iberian languages.) I doubt that his chances, along with those of Cardinal Dolan, are very high. He has told reporters that he has a return ticket, but so did Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto in August 1903. in any case, it helps to create some added drama in this now month-long story.2. Given the wide-open reality, the Roman party vs. the anti-Roman party dichotomy is a ready way to give a framework to the complexity of the situation. But surely there are always at least two sides, with various subsets and over-lappings.Too neat, it seems to me. There is an Italian saying, "Il Papa si fanno nel conclave." Something like, the pope is chosen during the conclave. This time, I think that will be truer than eight years ago. The cardinals should not fear that a three, four-day conclave will give the appearance of a lack of unity. In 1922, Cardinal Achille Ratti, Pius XI, was elected on the fourteenth ballot; in 1958, Cardinal Roncalli was elected on the eleventh ballot; in October 1978, Cardinal Wojtyla, on the eighth. Are the cardinals having many conversations this weekend? For sure. Are they spending a lot of time in prayer? Also.---To me the most intriguing cardinal is Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon and primate of France. He arrives for the general congregations, even in yesterday's heavy rain, on a bicycle, in black pants, clerical shirt, jacket, black cap, with a shoulder bag with his cassock inside. Probably he is coming from the French College, near the Pantheon. So a bit over a two-mile trip in Rome's traffic. Now there's a brave man!

Jim - no suspense behind my sentence....*damning with faint praise*Dolan has his gifts but would suggest that they fit best in a US Midwest diocese (where he should have stayed). Any allusions to the *church* - no, rather to the current ranks of both cardinals and bishops - almost all who aren't retired appointed by JPII or B16 - as others have said well, the Peter Principle, alive and well or, in other words, a mediocre group of company men. But, within that group, there are a few who have achieved and live gospel lives - but, can group think find and elect them?One other thought - had commented about polyglot in terms of what in business we call a *global mentality* - the rare individual who understands, functions, and is liberated across multiple cultures. This goes beyond just facility in various languages - it has to do with integrating into a culture without passing judgment and being able to inspire using that culture's best.Dolan is polyglot if you mean - he understands US baseball and cheers for the STL Cardinals while enjoying the Met-Yankee competition; he enjoys US football and cheers for the Packers but enjoys the Giants-Jets competition. Those are the cultures he understands and functions best in. (compare to Ravasi, Schonboern, Sherer, etc.)

@Bill Mazzella 03/08/2013 - 5:42 pm"I see Cardinal scar Rodrguez Maradiaga of Honduras is on the list. He would be a most intriguing."I see him differently:He has blamed the Jews for the scandal surrounding the sexual misconduct of priests toward young parishioners! He has argued that the Jews got even with the Catholic Church for its anti-Israel positions by arranging for the media which they, of course, control, he said to give disproportionate attention to the Vatican sex scandal. He then compared the Jewish controlled media with Hitler, because they are protagonists of what I do not hesitate to define as a persecution against the church.Maradiaga, in a May 2002 interview with the Italian-Catholic publication 30 Giorni, claimed Jews influenced the media to exploit the current controversy regarding sexual abuse by Catholic priests in order to divert attention from the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.At the time, the Anti-Defamation League expressed public outrage at the cardinals comments. In a later conversation with Abraham Foxman, ADL national director, Maradiaga apologized and said he never meant for his remarks to be taken as perpetuating an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about Jewish control of the media, and promised never to say it again."How comforting: he has promised never to say it again.

A source of concern about O'Malley:He secretly returned to ministry a priest accused of soliciting and offering to pay a 12-year old girl for oral sex, along with her mother no less, in a Chelsea bar. There was no physical contact, says the archdiocese, and the priest was under the influence ---why is that not incriminating instead of exculpatory? Abusers do not abuse because they drink but drink in order to abuse.See case history at Summary of Case: Accused of asking oral sex on 1/25/05 from woman and daughter age 12. Resigned 1/28/05. Pleaded not guilty to enticing child, soliciting sex, annoying/accosting, and assault. Most charges dismissed 4/4/05. Pleaded sufficient facts to annoying/accosting charge. Case continued pending alcohol and sexual offender evaluations with treatment if indicated, and no contact with minors without disclosing case. Case dismissed 2007. Returned to work without announcement. Was Lynnfield supply priest 4/08.

Thank you Carolyn.Indeed, returning someone to work after such a dubious incident, without getting the parishioners's approval and without even informing them is disrespectful of the people. Good luck trying to get them to participate in the life of the church after treating them with such disregard!

John Page: "A pope must speak Italian well. He doesnt."Bill DeHaas: "Dolan has his gifts but would suggest that they fit best in a US Midwest diocese"Two good reasons to relocate the Throne of Peter to Chicago.

Two possibly erroneous thoughts occur to me (actually many, but two I will mention):1. The Curia has a candidates Scherer of Sao Paulo. This means the Curia, Bertone and Sodano included, have a common candidate.2. We would be well served by a religious who lived through the renewal of his order.

I had sent this out at 11:41PM, forgetting that my threel links as back-up exceeded the dotC limit. The comment appears on my screen as "Your comment is awaiting moderation" but I suspect the best approach is to post without them. Anyone interested in the detail may email me. Terry McKiernan and Anne Barrett Doyle's contact info is already online, so I hope that does not cause difficulty.SNAP on OMalley:In 2008, a national church panel found that, for the second year in a row, OMalley was violating the US bishops child sex abuse prevention policy. According to other church officials, OMalley was refusing to train all kids in his archdiocese how to avoid or stop being victimized. OMalley also failed to discipline a single individual on his staff for this violation.In 2006, in a case with disturbing parallels to many earlier Boston pedophile priest cases, OMalley moved very slowly in the case of a prominent Catholic hospital official who faces multiple allegations of sexually harassing employees.Under OMalleys watch, the archdiocesan abuse policy was revised, eliminating a provision that required the immediate removal of accused priests, and severely limited survivors access to archdiocesan files about their cases. Also, under OMalleys leadership, the archdiocese cleared a very high percentage of accused priests (45%, whereas most diocese have a 10% clearance rate), and has also failed to rule on at least 15 cases.OMalley was one of the last US bishops to post the names of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics on his website, and when he did, he disingenuously left off roughly one third of the priests those who worked for religious orders.(For more info on OMalley, feel free to contact Anne Barrett Doyle 781 439 5208, [email protected]) and Terry Mckiernan (508 479 9304, [email protected]) of, theres this hopeful thought: OMalley: Church must discipline bishops

Cardinal O'Malley seems to have realized that bishops should be disciplined only on finding out that that is what the other cardinals generally think. The major good news here is that the college of cardinals supports disciplining bishops. The bad news is that O'Malley didn't discover that on his own. No, he is not a leader. He's a nose counting politician from start to finish. Spare us, O Lord!

Hmm."Security personnel will control the route which the voters will have to cover at least twice a day in the morning and early afternoon: the few hundred yards that lead from San Marta square to the San Damaso courtyard, where there will be access to the Sistine Chapel. The Prefect of the Pontifical Household Gaenswein - Ratzinger's eyes in the Sistine Chapel - will also attend the "extra omnes"."

"Two good reasons to relocate the Throne of Peter to Chicago."Or, better yet, to Madison. ANYONE would be better than Morlino .... ANYONE!!!!!

Other aspects of O'Malley are shown in 2+ years of fairly careful reporting on the Boston archdiocese by Boston Catholic Insider bloggers. Their emphasis tends to be in the governance area -- management, finance, communication. (See Categories list)

"SNAP on OMalley:"SNAP isn't an objective source of information, and I don't take their allegations as Gospel truth. None of these seem disqualifying to me.

Jack - that's a pretty archconservative Catholic source. It criticizes O'Malley for admitting the children of homosexual parents to Catholic schools, and for employing people who donate money to President Obama.

Jim: SNAP is there to represent and help victims of sexual abuse by clergy. Their lack of objectivity only comes from their empathy with the victims. Even if they are passionate about their mission and sometimes sound excessive, they must be taken seriously. They are an important voice in the church. Their negative assessment of Cdl O'Malley gives me pause.

Snap has been way ahead of all of us in discovering sexual abuse among priests and the bishops coverup. No one said they are infallible. But they have infinitely more credibility than the bishops and the Vatican.

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