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Yikes! Brazilian cardinals in cahoots with media to pump their nominee….. March 6, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, episcopate, error, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving.
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…..while the American cardinals act like giddy schoolchildren with a new toy, in this case, big-name media attention!  Oh, look at me, LOOK AT ME!

Both stories below from Rorate.  First, the Brazilian bishops are openly crowing about their collusion with the media to push their own candidate, Cardinal Archbishop of Sao Paolo Odilo Scherer:

A Brazilian reader sends us the following astonishing article published yesterday in the largest national daily, Folha de Sao Paulo: the official chosen by the Brazilian Conference of Bishops (the largest Conference of Bishops in the world) to advise the cardinals of that country in the conclave explicitly asked the media to print supportive articles on Cardinal Scherer, Archbishop of Sao Paulo. He is now clearly in open campaign in collusion with the media.

Rorate then prints a translation of a Brazilian newpaper article discussing the corroboration going on between the Brazilian Bishop’s conference and the media, to openly campaign for their man Scherer. Another name off the list.

Also off the list – pretty much every non-Curial American Cardinal, who have been giving TV interviews as the conclave meets, and apparently have been letting slip some private, secret internal conversations. That’s another big no-no.  Dolan was apparently one of the worst (this is where I get lost, as I no longer have TV):

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, Director of Media Relations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, had organized daily press conferences with two American Cardinals each day in the Pontifical North American College – and provided exclusive access to American networks to some Cardinals.

 Four Cardinals took part in the suspended press conferences: Cardinals Wuerl and George on Monday, Cardinals O’Malley and DiNardo on Tuesday – with Cardinal Dolan providing an exclusive interview to ABC News also on Tuesday. (Source)
Today, the conferences and interviews were cancelled. Giacomo Galeazzi reports for La Stampa (Italian):

Concern was expressed in the General Congregation about leaks of confidential proceedings reported in Italian newspapers. As a precaution, the cardinals have agreed not to do interviews,” [that] is the succinct communiqué from the spokeswoman of the US prelates, Sister Mary Ann Walsh.

During his briefing, [Father Federico] Lombardi [Holy See spokesman] answered with a certain annoyance the repeated questions on the cancellation of the press conferences of the US Cardinals. “Ask them,” he said curtly.
Regarding the cancelling of the press conferences that some of the American cardinals were giving in these days, Fr. Lombardi observed that “the Congregations are not a synod or a congress in which we try to report the most information possible, but a path toward arriving at the decision of electing the Roman Pontiff. In this sense, the tradition of this path is one of reservation in order to safeguard the freedom of reflection on the part of each of the members of the College of Cardinals who has to make such an important decision.
Was it crazy like this in 2005?  Were American Cardinals (or German, or whomever) giving loud mouth interviews, with whole episcopal conferences openly campaigning for “their guy?”  That’s before  I really started paying attention to Catholic things.  I believe I’ve read about a few Turkson-like gaffes from ’05, where individual prelates made unwise, campaign-like statements in an interview here or there, but I’ve never seen any evidence it was like this.  Am I just ill-informed?  Anyone recall?


1. skeinster - March 6, 2013

No, it wasn’t.
There was the usual predictable MSM hoo-hah. But think how much easier it is, in just the 8 years since, to be your own journalist. What has changed is the idea that b/c we can stream info 24/7, we should, irregardless of content.
In the U.S., we’ve just had 4 years of a President campaigning, instead of governing. That may be catching.
Add to that the complete lack of understanding of heirarchy, ditto decorum, and the unusual event of a resignation, not a death.
I’m not happy, but I can’t say I’m surprised.

evangelicaltocatholic - March 6, 2013

“we’ve just had 4 years of a President campaigning, instead of governing. That may be catching.” Great point. I’m a big fan of Dolan and was hoping he had a chance to be pope.

2. Elizabeth - March 6, 2013

My apologies to everyone who so wants Cardinal Dolan, but yikes is right. I’m not at all surprised as far as he’s concerned. He seems to like to talk and joke; must be part of his jovial nature. Not papal material as far as I’m concerned.

Every time I heard or saw any of our Cardinals once again giving an interview or even a small soundbite, I shook my head at the impropriety of it all. Don’t they have any common sense or sense of proper etiquette? I’m probably most surprised that Cardinal George has been responding to press questions.

Every single Cardinal should make it clear that this isn’t a media event; this is a very solemn, spiritual and most of all, private event. Everyone will know the outcome when there’s an outcome. Why can’t they simply just respond to every request with that answer? Seems simple enough to me. Maybe they will now.

3. Mitchell - March 7, 2013

This can be distasteful to watch, but the politicking is certainly nothing new, as I’m sure we all know. I’ve been rereading the book “Pontiff” by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts, which is a very good chronicle of the 1978 conclaves, and provides a great deal of background on the state of the Church – which, quite frankly, was awful in 1978. (Parenthetically, I would note that those who criticize JPII for being too moderate really need to look at what things were like back then to appreciate how far we’ve come since then.)

The intrigue going on behind the scenes back then was breathtaking, the difference being that with social media, we know what goes on today that we didn’t know went on then.

But my real point is that I read this book over a dozen years before I converted to Catholicism. I was already fascinated by the papacy, which would lead me to become fascinated with the Church and its teachings, but in no way was I either discouraged or put off by what I read. It was easy for me to accept the Church, warts and all, as the Divine institution governed by fallible men. I don’t like much of what’s going on right now, but my faith that all will turn out for the best remains unshaken.

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