Monday, 11 February 2013

A post from 22nd January 2011

Will the Holy Father resign when he is ninety?

If he is spared to reach the age of 90 (and I pray that he is) will Pope Benedict elect to resign the Papacy and make way for another? He has indicated that this is a possibility and I believe that is a healthy and good objective.

I cannot begin to imagine the physical, spiritual and mental pressures on a Pope. CEO of 1.2 billion souls, Successor to St Peter, Consultee to the Holy Spirit, Bishop of Rome, Head of State - the mind boggles.

My simple view is that this is a likelihood within the next 5 years or so. He has shown that he is not afraid to address radical change and I do not think that he will shrink from this decision provided that he has identified and secured a suitable successor. With Benedict's ability, this should not be a problem; the only question is, to whom will he turn?

A quick scouring of the betting odds shows an interesting, if a little haphazard set of runners and odds.

At 79 Cardinal Arinze may not be a contender
Cardinal Francis Arinze, great man as he is, enjoys the role of favourite at odds of 7-4. But, as of today's facts, he is 79 years old and that puts him not too far behind the present Holy Father in age terms. He does have considerable experience in Rome but he also hails from Nigeria and that may be another reason why the white smoke may not be for him; at times of Papal elections, the Cardinals can be remarkably conservative.

If I was a betting man (and I'm not) I would be tempted to base a bet on three contenders who go some way to fulfilling what may prove to be a tempting criteria.
Here  are my tips for the post based on the fact that I am discounting an Italian Pope as, having broken with tradition in 1978, the Cardinals may not wish to return to that track. I am also guessing that a candidate in their mid to late sixties is going to receive greater consideration and I am ruling out France, The Netherlands, Germany and Eastern Europe as being the base from which the successor may be chosen. Too much politicking from those countries maybe.

My guess is that the next Pope will be a man of the Americas or, possibly, Spain. That ticks, or so I believe, a number of boxes.

Here are my favourites in descending order:-

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke - born 30th June 1948. Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura.Conservative well respected and in the process of fast tracking his Rome experience. American citizen.
Current odds are: 20-1

Cardinal Antonio Llovera - born 10th October 1945. Spanish. Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Has been a Cardinal for the past 5 years and has been dubbed "Little Ratzinger". Will have appeal to South American Catholics.
Current odds: 33-1

My tip for the top - Cardinal Ouellet
Cardinal Marc Ouellet - born 8th June 1944.  Canadian of French descent. Currently Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and President of the Pontifical Commission for South America. If there are boxes to be ticked, this man does the job. A man of the Americas, English and French speaking (as well as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and German), strong European links via his French ancestry, holds a key South American appointment and looks young enough and fit enough for the post.
Current odds: 20-1

 Do you have a view as to the Cardinal most likely to succeed Pope Benedict? If you are a betting man or woman you may be interested in Paddy Powers listing of Bono at odds of 1000-1. Aherm......I might give that a miss!

1 comment:

  1. Card.Arinze is not a good choice as successor. I had a clip from his Familyland conferance where he bashes Latin Mass goers. To me, the only issue that matters is wheather or not they are pro-traditional/Latin Mass or not. Do they realize that Latin was never to be taken out of the mass? Do they see the destruction in the world since the Latin was removed and the devil unleashed? 70% of the Catholics left and out of the remaining, only 8% believe in the Real Presence. How can they believe in God when there is not respect shown to Him? I pray that the new sucessor knows of the beauritul prayers and readings that are not use anymore, sees the beautiful sacrafices and processions and fastings that used to be done to appease God and beg His mercy 4 times a year and the evil that is spread because it is no more. We are missing so much, with the 'new mass', it is no wonder that the devil is unleashed. God have mercy on us. I think people underestimate the importance that the launguage has. It is the only launguage exorcisms work in. It silences the evil one. We need it back to the mass of the saints and back to tradition. What is a church wihtout tradition? IMHO