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The revealing reaction to US Cardinals press conference cancellation March 8, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, self-serving, true leadership, Voris.
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I haven’t covered this much, but I think it is very significant.  Several US diocesan (as opposed to curial, or Roman) cardinals, had been giving interviews to select US reporters, primarily TV reporters, during the run-up to the conclave.  They were directed to stop by their brother cardinals from around the world, and/or the Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone. What followed was rather interesting: a media barrage from certain American Catholic commentators who

Lawler

Lawler

perhaps have a stronger reputation for political conservativism than Catholic orthodoxy.  This included George Weigel, who just went off on the other cardinals of the world for having the temerity to end the US media campaign, and Phil Lawler at Catholic Culture, among others.  That these individuals have some ties to the two American cardinals most featured in the interviews and in recent talk of papabile is perhaps meaningful.  I should note that no other cardinals have been giving such interviews, and that encouraging a media circus seems to me contrary to the spirit of prayerfully preparing the solemn duty – the sacred, incredibly vital duty – of electing the next Pope from within their own ranks.  The American advocacy of “transparency” to me has not rung true, instead, the media effort appeared to me a transparent attempt to influence the papal voting, as well as being a powerful temptation to self-seeking by gaining media exposure and notoriety.

Occuring almost simultaneously with all that was an article from Sandro Magister that purports to describe the infighting in the conclave, with different blocs at war with one another. One bloc, made up of Italian curial cardinals who seek to maintain their current power arrangements uninterrupted, and progressives who seek a weak, easily bullied Pope, is said to be against an American led group who seek a powerful Pope who will clean house in the curia and maintain doctrinal orthodoxy. Magister then posited that the two most likely American papabile were Dolan and O’Malley.  I’m very Archbishop-Dolanskeptical of either’s chances, and both cardinals have been very uneven in their support/enforcement of Catholic belief.

Which gets me to what Rorate Caeli wrote concerning all the above today. I was working on a post very similar to theirs last night, but ran out of time and didn’t get it out. Their prose and logic is much better than mine, but the analysis is exactly what I had been thinking, as well (my emphasis and comments):

Is an American Pope possible? Yes, eminently, this time more than ever. In this, we agree with Magister. Cardinal Wuerl’s declaration that there could not be a pope from “the Superpower” indicated: first, his dislike for specific fellow countrymen of his in the College, perhaps one specific curial Cardinal, one not making any noise, whose position he wished to undermine; and also an outdated view of the relatively much weaker position of the United States in today’s world. [I think we feel and understand that in this country, but do people around the world see the US as much weaker than it was even 8 years ago?]

Could it be Cardinal Dolan? There is a diffuse feeling that he, as well as some noisy American prelates, speaks through the media, and that “mainstream-media-Catholics” such as Weigel represent his views.[I think this a likely surmise. And we know Cardinal Dolan speaks through Bill Donohue]And the boisterous, belligerent, and particularly imperious and ideological tone epitomized by Weigel and his allies make a Dolan papacy very unlikely. That is the fault of what Weigel in a fit of wrongheaded patriotism calls “Team America”, but that is rather a “Team of some Americans”.
Does the Church need more noisy gestures from lukewarm sources? Does she need more instability? An American Pope, certainly, but one who is a sterling administrator and understands the need for festina lente, not presidential-like “first 100 days”. [A reference to an unfortunate term Weigel used, likening the beginning of a papacy to that of a new presidential administration, a unique time to clean house. I think that analogy betrays far more about Weigel than it reveals about the papacy]  Such antics, including press conferences during the period of reflection that is that of the pre-conclave General Congregations, and exclusive interviews for the favored media, are beneath the papacy. Rome is not Manhattan, and it is not 340xWashington – and that is something to be celebrated, not regretted.
Everything I have seen in the pre-conclave thus far indicates to me that Cardinal Burke’s chances are improving – maybe.  Several prime candidates have been knocked out, or knocked themselves out (for goodness sakes, Cardinal Turkson is having posters calling for him to be elected Pope plastered all over Rome!).  And much of Magister’s analysis made sense, I would not be surprised in the least if the conclave came down to a liberation theology/modernist faction against a more orthodox faction.  But divining from that a specific “winning candidate” is still pretty far fetched.
I really do not think that Dolan and O’Malley and the other American Diocesan Cardinals have much of a chance.  If you read foreign sites, which I do, there is strong antipathy towards them, specifically.  We’ll see.  But I bet we don’t know until Thursday or Friday.

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?