Friday, March 8, 2013

Lines Being Drawn, Sides Being Chosen

But, if we're to believe Sandro Magister, there are some weird champions popping up on both sides. By the way, to fully grasp the significance of this report, make sure you at least take a glance at the previous story on the apparent hijinks to inflate Cardinal Scherer's profile before the conclave.

First, Sandro gives us his thoughts on the move amongst the cardinals to flush the establishment types in the Vatican who have created so many of our current problems. He cites none other than Cardinal Timothy Dolan as the prospective tip of the spear for this faction.

But the fracture remained intact. On one side the feudal lords of the curia, in strenuous defense of their respective centers of power. On the other the oecumene of a Church that no longer tolerates that the proclamation of the Gospel in the world and the luminous magisterium of Pope Benedict should be obscured by the pitiful chronicles of the Roman Babylon.

It is the same fracture that characterizes the imminent conclave. Dolan is the consummate candidate who represents the impulse in the direction of purification. Not the only one, but certainly the most representative and audacious.

On the other end of the spectrum, you've got the aforementioned establishment guys, who know that folks are clamoring for them to be ousted. In an attempt at a romanita end around, they are allegedly throwing their weight behind Cardinal Scherer.

On the opposite side, however, the magnates of the curia are closing ranks and counterattacking. They are not pushing forward one of their own, knowing that in this way the game would be lost from the start. They are sniffing the wind that blows in the college of cardinals and are themselves pointing far from Rome, across the Atlantic, not to the north but to the south of America.

They are looking to São Paulo, Brazil, where there is a cardinal born from German immigrants, Odilo Pedro Scherer, 64, who is well known in the curia, who was in Rome for years in the service of Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re when he was prefect of the congregation for bishops, and who today is part of the cardinalate council of supervision over the IOR, the Vatican “bank,” reconfirmed a few days ago with Bertone as its president.

Scherer is the perfect candidate for this maneuver, completely Roman and curial. It doesn't matter that he is not popular in Brazil, not even among the bishops, who when called to elect the president of their conference two years ago rejected him without appeal. Nor that he does not shine as archbishop of the great São Paulo, the economic capital of the country.

Consider that this raises the impact of the earlier story about media manipulation to a whole new level. Now, you've got the prospects of not just some Brazilian cadre looking to put +Scherer in the Big Chair but also an entire enclave of the College of Cardinals working this angle. And why for this particular candidate?

The important thing for the curial magnates is that he is docile and bland. The progressive halo that envelops his candidacy is of purely geographic derivation, but it too serves to ignite in some naïve cardinals the boast of electing the “first Latin American pope.”

As in the conclave of 2005 the votes of the curials and of the supporters of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini converged together upon the Argentine Jorge Bergoglio, in a failed attempt to block the election of Ratzinger, this time as well a similar marriage could take place. Curials and progressives united around the name of Scherer, with the little that remains of the ex-Martinians, from Roger Mahony to Godfried Danneels, both under fire for their lax conduct in the scandal of pedophile priests.

The pope who pleases the curials and progressives is by definition weak. He pleases the former because he leaves them alone. And the latter because he makes room for their dream of a “democratic” Church, governed “from below.”

This is what happens when so many cardinals come into a conclave touting Curial reform as a priority. Since the Curia is basically run by a whole bunch of cardinals, it's pretty much one group telling the folks minding the store that they're incompetent.

Now note this next bit:

It should come as no surprise that an outspoken representative of worldwide progressive Catholicism, the historian Alberto Meloni, should have expressed the hope in “Corriere Della Sera” of February 25 that from the next conclave there should emerge not a “sheriff pope” but a "pastor pope,” should have scoffed at Cardinal Dolan and indicated precisely in four magnates of the curia the cardinals who in his judgment are most “capable of understanding the reality” and of determining “the effective result of the conclave”: the Italians Giovanni Battista Re, Giuseppe Bertello, Ferdinando Filoni, "and obviously Tarcisio Bertone".

That is, precisely the ones who are orchestrating the Scherer operation. To these four should be added the Argentine member of the curia Leonardo Sandri, who is rumored to be the next secretary of state.

First off, anybody willing to make Cardinal Sandri the SecState after his utterly asinine comments about requiring Eastern priests to be celibate should have his freaking head examined. I swear, we can have ecumenism out of our collective wazoos when it comes to giving pagans a forum for their false gods, but we can't leave the Easterners' traditions alone?

Second, anybody who thinks that we don't need a "sheriff pope" has no credibility. Anyone who thinks that person has credibility is either a moron, a loser, or insane.

Third, can anybody really be following +Bertone's lead anymore? At this point, that would be like someone voting for Obama to get a second term.

Oh wait...

Anyways, Sandro sums up his views of Cardinal Dolan pretty well.

For a curia constituted in this way, the mere hypothesis of the election of Dolan is fraught with terror. But Dolan as pope would also shake up that Church made up of bishops, priests, faithful who have never accepted the magisterium of Benedict XVI, his energetic return to the articles of the “Credo,” to the fundamentals of the Christian faith, to the sense of mystery in the liturgy.

Sandro also mentions the prospects for Cardinals O'Malley and Ouellet but essentially concedes that they are also-rans when compared with +Dolan. I haven't understood the hype with +Ouellet myself. I just don't know what people see in him that would qualify him for the most important job in the world. I would be pretty scared of a Pope O'Malley but not in a good away. I have nothing against him, but I think the wolves would devour him. Frankly, we need a pope who will take a stand against stuff like the Kennedy funeral. There isn't time for anymore waffling on these kinds of issues. When we talk about the need for a house-cleaning, it's not just among abusers, enablers, and all the worse elements of the Vatican culture. It's also for every publicly obstinate heretic, schismatic, and enemy of the Church.

All we can do is to continue to watch and pray. Let us please be sure to do so.

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