Monday, 16 December 2013

Cardinal Burke

In light of the storm in a Roman coffee cup stirred up by Pope Francis not renewing Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke's membership of the Congregation for Bishops, I thought it might be opportune to publish here a piece I wrote on him five-and-a--half years ago (May 2008). But first, some common sense.

When, shortly after Pope Francis was elected, it was announced that all superiors of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia were to continue in post donec aliter provideatur”, that is pending any future possible arrangements being made, in effect until further notice, one important point was not highlighted and only became clear when Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, sostituto (Secretary of State Substitute for General Affairs, effectively the Papal Chief of Staff) was interviewed by L’Osservatore Romano on May 1 (published May 2). The operation of the “quinquennium” had also been suspended.

Normally, appointments to positions within the Roman Curia are for a five year term (the quinquennium). This is stipulated by Article 5 §1 of Pastor Bonus: “The prefect or president, the members of the body mentioned in art. 3, § 1 (that is the dicasteries, the various departments of the Roman Curia), the secretary, and the other senior administrators, as well as the consultors, are appointed by the Supreme Pontiff for a five-year term.”

When Cardinal Burke was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Clergy it was doubtless felt that he was up to speed with who was who and what was what at home in the USA. After more than five years in Rome that quite clearly can no longer be the case. So why NOT get someone else in who DOES know what side is up?

I cannot for the life of me see any reason to regard this as some sort of purgation.

Anyway, back to what I wrote over five years ago (slightly edited).


Burke’s Law

Raymond Leo Burke did not exactly rise without trace to succeed His Eminence Justin Cardinal Rigali as Archbishop of St Louis.

His academic record alone makes him stand out from the clerical and, indeed, prelatial crowd. Majoring in Philosophy, he graduated BA and MA from the Catholic University of America (1970 and ’71 respectively); STB (Bachelor of Sacred Theology), Pontifical Gregorian University (1974); MA (Theology), Gregorian (1975); Licentiate in Canon Law (LCJ), Gregorian (1982); Diploma in Latin Letters, Gregorian (1983); Doctor of Canon Law (JCD, specialising in Jurisprudence), Gregorian (1984).

It is hardly surprising that Archbishop Burke’s only known hobby is reading!

Ordained priest in St Peter’s Basilica by one Pope ― Paul VI, on June 29, 1975 ― and bishop at the same venue by another ― John Paul II, on January 6, 1995 ― he had between times been appointed as both a visiting Professor of Canonical Jurisprudence at the Pontifical Gregorian University (1985-94) and (in 1989) the first American Defender of the Bond for the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (he succeeded Fr William O'Connell OFM; when Cardinal Winning returned to Scotland in 1966 and became my PP at St Luke's, North Forgewood, Motherwell, it was wrongly asserted that he was the only British priest who was an Advocate of the Sacred Roman Rota; obviously Fr Willie and he made two) (Pope Benedict would later appoint the by then Archbishop Burke a Member of the College of Judges of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, in July 2006). Pope John Paul II named him a Prelate of Honour (Rt Rev Mgr) on 12 August 1993.

On November 23, 2003, the Solemnity of Christ the King, while still Bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Mgr Burke issued a Notification to the clergy of his diocese in which he pointed out that he was bound to be “solicitous for all the faithful entrusted to my care” (Code of Canon Law, canon 383 §1).

His went on to explain that in conformity with the teaching contained in Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics, the document promulgated by the United States Conference of Bishops, he had “a fundamental responsibility of safeguarding and promoting the respect for human life” and, therefore, it was his duty “to explain, persuade, correct and admonish those in leadership positions who contradict the gospel of life through their actions and policies.

He reminded the clergy that His Holiness Pope John Paul II had frequently reminded us that “those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a grave and clear obligation to oppose any law that attacks human life. For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them.” (Doctrinal Notes on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life [November 24,  2002, n4 §1])

The Notification then spells out the obvious: “A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion or euthanasia, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others. Universal Church law provides that such persons are not to be admitted to Holy Communion” (CCL, canon 915).

Within his then diocese, three Catholics active in politics ― two state representatives and a congressman ― had supported anti-life legislation and had ignored their bishop’s request for them to call on him and discuss the matter. Renewing his call for these Catholic legislators to “uphold the natural and divine law regarding the inviolable dignity of all human life”, Archbishop Burke reminded them again that to fail to do so “is a grave public sin and gives scandal to all the faithful” and he formally cautioned them that if they continued to support procured abortion or euthanasia then they “may not present themselves to receive Holy Communion.”

He then went further than any other member of the American hierarchy had previously done and instructed his clergy that if these legislators did present themselves for Holy Communion “they are not to be admitted…until such time as they publicly renounce their support of these most unjust practices.”

This created a sensation not merely in Wisconsin, and not solely within the Catholic Church, but throughout North America and, indeed, around the world. That sensation as well as spreading among the believers of other Christian communities, also stirred adherents of different religions and of none. And it didn't solely generate opposition.

The way of La Crosse

The American Life League, which with over 370,000 members is one of the biggest pro-life groups in the States, launched a campaign to mark the 31st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Wade-v-Roe which legalised abortion. It featured Mgr Burke’s clear and concise statement and, naturally, they called their campaign “The way of La Crosse”.

From scarcely being a household name in his own back yard, Mgr Burke soon rocketed not only onto the national, but also onto the international stage. For, no sooner had he been translated to the Archdiocese of St Louis, Missouri, than a supposedly Catholic Democratic candidate for the Presidency rolled into town. When asked by a local journalist what would happen if Senator John Kerry approached his altar rail at Communion, the newly installed archbishop could only give but one reply: “I would have to admonish him not to present himself for Communion. I might give him a blessing or something. If his archbishop has told him he should not present himself for Communion, he shouldn’t. I agree with Archbishop O’Malley.”

(Archbishop, now Cardinal, O’Malley, who had then but recently replaced Cardinal Law in Boston, had called on legislators who do not support the Gospel of Life to refrain of their own volition from presenting themselves for the Blessed Sacrament. But, of course, Archbishop Burke was going further.)

This, then, was one American Roman Catholic bishop prepared to refuse Holy Communion to a potential President of the United States of America. Inside the Vatican named him one of the top-ten People of the Year along with the likes of Mel Gibson and Dolores Hart. (“Dolores who?” You might well ask. Well, Dolores was in her younger days only the first ever actress to kiss Elvis Presley on screen. Now living the contented life of a Benedictine nun, many years later asked: “What is it like kissing Elvis?” She chuckled a bit at the memory and then said: “I think the limit for a screen kiss back then was something like 15 seconds. That one has lasted 40 years.” HT Wikipedia. )

But critics were not hard to find, especially among the ranks of the “liberal” Catholics.

William Bablitch, a former Justice of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, was quoted as having said: “Certainly the bishop has every right to express his own views to an elected official. But to invoke the moral authority of the Church in a threatening way (!) to a legislator seems to cross over a line that has been very carefully drawn and is very well respected in this country.”

Strange might it seem to us on this older side of the Atlantic that a Catholic judge would regard as being “threatening” a Bishop advising members of his flock of the mortal danger to their souls of their own actions. Thankfully, however, two Catholic American Professors of Law also found that odd.

Robert George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Programme in American Ideals at Princeton University, and Gerard Bradley is Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame and President of the American Fellowship of Catholic Scholars. In National Review Online they defended Archbishop Burke. 

They argued that since the Democratic leaders of both houses of Congress are professed Catholics who support the so-called “woman’s right to choose”, it was about time that a member of the American hierarchy spoke out. Noting that he has been called a “fanatic” ― surprise, surprise by a Professor of Theology at a Jesuit run University ― and of having “crossed the line” (see Bablitch above), they dismissed both ideas as being absurd. They pointed out that Archbishop Burke had merely exercised his constitutional right to the free expression of his religion and that in doing so he was “not denying others of their rights. No one is compelled by law to accept his authority. But Bishop Burke has every right to exercise his spiritual authority over anyone who chooses to accept it. There is a name for such people. They are called Catholics.”

Pope Francis's First Consistory: Archbishop Baldisserri

When he returned to the Sistine Chapel from the Room of Tears and received the homage of the cardinal electors, the newly elected Pope Francis then received the homage of the four prelates summoned after the canonical election had been accepted: the Secretary of the Conclave, the Master of the Papal Liturgical Ceremonies and the two Assistant Masters of Ceremonies. As the Secretary, Archbishop Lorenzzo Baldisseri, knelt Pope Francis placed on his head the scarlet cardinal’s zucchetto of which, naturally, he had no further use. Thus he indicated his intention, according to an ancient tradition not always followed in modern times, to reward the Secretary with the Sacred Roman Purple at the first opportunity. (As far as I can determine the last Pope to do this was Good Pope John in 1958. The recipient of papal benefaction was Mgr Alberto di Jorio who had been Secretary of the Sacred College of Cardinals since 1947.)

It must be remembered, of course, that Mgr Baldisseri was not a stranger to His Holiness. His Excellency was Nuncio in Haiti and Paraguay 1992-99 and in Brazil 2002-12 and they would have often met at CELAM (Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano, the Latin American Episcopal Council). (In between times he had been Nuncio to India and Nepal.)

Moreover, Mgr Baldisseri was a classmate and friend at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy (Class of ’71) of one of the few men in the Roman Curia whom the Pope knew extremely well, Leonardo Cardinal Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches (the 22 Eastern Rite Churches in full communion with Rome). Cardinal Sandri, like Pope Francis, is the son of Italian immigrants to Argentina; and, he is a priest of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires.

On the day our own Mgr Cushley was being honoured with episcopal ordination and installation as Archbishop and Metropolitan of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, September 21, back in Rome Pope Francis was making a few announcements involving some of his former colleagues in the Secretariat of State.

Manuel Cardinal Monteiro de Castro (Portugal), a former Nuncio, resigned as Major Penitentiary a mere 6 months after his 75th birthday. Moreover, he had only been in office for about a year and a half. But this allowed the Pope to transfer Mauro Cardinal Piacenza out of the Congregation for the Clergy to the Apostolic Penitentiary and install Archbishop Beniamino Stella as Prefect. Mgr Stella had been President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy (where Cardinal Monteiro de Castro had been a classmate of our very own Mgr Basil Loftus, Academia Class of 1965).

Archbishop Nikola Eterovic was removed from his post as Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. Naturally, His Excellency was given an important assignment, Apostolic Nuncio to Germany. Aged 62 years, His Excellency will in all likelihood be made cardinal when in due course this present mission is concluded since, now reunited, Germany is again one of the most important delegations. (And all three predecessors of Archbishop Eterovic as General Secretary were created cardinal.)

But why remove him? His Excellency certainly had done nothing wrong, either personally or professionally. Pope Francis had early decided that the Synod of Bishops was to be central to his Pontificate. After due deliberation, he has further decided that in consequence it has to be headed by a cardinal, or by a prelate who can be created cardinal at the first opportunity. Elevation in Archbishop Eterovic’s case would have been premature at this time. Not unmerited, simply premature.

And so Pope Francis decided that the man for the job was the man he honoured mere moments after his election: Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, aged 73 years.

“Pope Leaves Vatican” ceased to be front page headline news after Pope Paul VI left the Vatican and Rome for the Holy Land on January 4, 1964 (he would leave it on another ten occasions, eight of them to venture furth of Italy). If anyone doubted the importance Pope Francis attaches to the work of the Synod, then what happened on Monday, October 7, was instructive. Pope Francis again astounded the Vaticanisti when he left the Vatican and made his way the short distance along Via della Conciliazione — the magnificent street created by Mussolini which leads directly onto St Peter’s Square from Castel Sant’Angelo — and headed to the Palazzo del Bramante for a meeting in the office of the secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.

He went there to discuss both changes needed within the secretariat and the agenda for the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops called for October 5-18 next year on the theme “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of the Evangelization.” This was a case of Mohamet come to the mountain not because it would not come to him, but because he did not presume that it ought. (See Francis Bacon “Essays” published in 1625, Chapter 12.)

It is no surprise that comment on the Extraordinary Synod has focused on the vexed question of the pastoral care of the divorced and remarried, and not least their being denied Holy Communion, but another most important aspect of all this has been ignored, or, and this is more likely, missed. Pope Francis,  like his three immediate predecessors — ignoring Pope John Paul I as he died before anything concrete could be deduced of his intentions in the matter — sees reconciliation with the separated brethren of the Orthodox East as the most important, and achievable, goal of ecumenical activity.

On Saturday, September 18, 2008, at early Vespers in the Sistine Chapel to celebrate the participation of Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, at the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, His All Holiness said at the beginning of his remarks: “It is well known that the Orthodox Church attaches to the Synodical system fundamental ecclesiological importance. Together with primacy, synodality constitutes the backbone of the Church’s government and organisation.

“As our (the Pope and his) Joint International Commission on the Theological Dialogue between our Churches expressed it in the Ravenna document, this interdependence between synodality and primacy runs through all the levels of the Church’s life: local, regional and universal. Therefore, in having today the privilege to address Your Synod our hopes are raised that the day will come when our two Churches will fully converge on the role of primacy and synodality in the Church’s life, to which our common Theological Commission is devoting its study at the present time.”

Pope John Paul II’s dream of the Church breathing with both lungs, East and West, has just come a lot closer to being realised. Pope Francis, by appointing Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, whom he has already as the first act of his pontificate, even before it had formerly begun — he hadn’t signed the document, so he could still have changed his mind! — publicly indicated is to be made a cardinal at his first consistory has sent a clear message: the Synod is of such importance that its secretariat must become one of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia of the first rank, requiring to be headed by a cardinal, or an archbishop who will be made a cardinal at the first opportunity. Whether he formally erects it as a tenth Congregation of the Roman Rota awaits to be seen.


Friday, 13 December 2013

Pope Francis's Watchword: Festina Lente!

My Latin teacher in First Year at Our Lady’s High School, Motherwell, despaired, but something obviously stuck. Festina lente! Hasten slowly!

Juglio Iglesias, the Spanish tenor, and Shay Brennan, the Manchester-born Irish footballer of happy memory, were on a TV show hosted by Anne Diamond. When Iglesias used the word “mañana”, Diamond asked him what that word actually meant. Iglesias replied: “A job, or whatever, that might be done tomorrow, maybe the next day, or the day after that. Perhaps next week, next month, or even next year. Who cares?”

Turning to Brennan, Diamond asked him if there was an Irish equivalent to “mañana”. “No,” he replied “in Ireland we don’t have a word to describe that degree of urgency.”  

In his La Civiltà Cattolica interview, Fr Antonio Spadaro SJ asked Pope Francis: “What does it mean for a Jesuit to be Bishop of Rome?” Strictly speaking, that should in fact be “ex-Jesuit” as, under canon law, His Holiness ceased to be a Jesuit the moment he accepted election. But to take the time to simply point that out and leave it there is to hasten slowly for a wrong reason: See how clever I am!

However, we have hastened slowly for a right reason if, after having made that observation, I then go on to assure that this notwithstanding this is in essence a conversation between two senior, vastly experienced and greatly respected members of the Society of Jesus known by name to all throughout the Society. Moreover, it is a conversation recorded in interview form specifically for the attention of the readership of 16 Jesuit journals published across the world (the editors of which journals all contributed questions for Fr Spadaro to consider including in his interrogation of their man).

In other words, now before proceeding to consider what the Pope actually said in reply, we are fully aware of the context in which he said it. Pope Francis is speaking to an essentially Jesuit and Jesuit affiliate audience. These weren’t words of wisdom directed as per an encyclical to “the Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Men and Women Religious, the Lay Faithful and All People of Good Will” (to whom Pope Benedict XVI addressed his three encyclicals; Blessed Pope John Paul II had a slightly different formulation). It is not a contribution to the Magisterium. This is a message directed to a specific audience Pope Francis knows well; an audience which speaks the same language, whichever language they happen variously to read it in.

Now back to the question at hand. Although later in the interview he would admit that in his early days in a position of leadership he had been overhasty and too autocratic, the new Bishop of Rome here indicates he has realised the importance and the consequence of the application of the notion of discernment as taught by St Ignatius. Importantly, he notes: “This discernment takes time. For example, many think that changes and reforms can take place in a short time. I believe that we always need time to lay the foundations for real, effective change. And this is the time of discernment.”

There is, of course, the apparently contradicting lesson of experience. For he then adds: “Sometimes discernment instead urges us to do precisely what you had at first thought you would do later.” The garbled grammar is the responsibility of the translators commissioned by the American Jesuit Magazine “America”. It obscures, but does not completely hide, the point being made. Pope Francis is all too well aware that the time taken for discernment might appear to have been wasted — if we end up doing what we immediately thought of doing when the matter first surfaced — but it hasn’t been. For, instinct and intuition have been reinforced with dialogue based on sound reason and hence, with a degree of consensus, we can proceed with confidence.

Festina lente does not mean failing to procrastinate today because we can just as easily put it off until tomorrow.

In anticipation of the conclave in March, I noted: “There are many problems urgently clamouring for the new Pope’s immediate attention. The problem is that no Pope can do everything that is required of him all by himself.” Obviously, both the cardinals and Pope Francis agreed with me. One month to the day after his election, on April 13, VISNews, the official Vatican news agency, reported: “The Holy Father Francis, taking up a suggestion that emerged during the General Congregations preceding the Conclave, has established a group of cardinals to advise him in the government of the universal Church and to study a plan for revising the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, ‘Pastor Bonus’.”

Pope Francis met with this Council of Cardinal Consultors (the Papal G8) for the first time at the beginning of this month, October 1–3. His Holiness took a month to identify who he wanted to advise him and he then asked them to take about six months to rehearse, research and consult on, within their respective geographical areas, the compound problem identified by him as most urgently requiring attention.

In that same anticipation of the conclave alluded to above, it was suggested that the conclavists “must take a long view” and that the feeling was irresistible that “that long view must demand that close attention be given to one long neglected problem before all others: the central governance of the Church, the Roman Curia… if we are finally to see the proper implementation of the rightly interpreted fruits of the Second Vatican Council.”

But the priority had to be the appointment of “an effective Secretary of State” and the announcement of that came about five-and-a-half months after the election of Pope Francis, on August 31. Archbishop Pietro Parolin was due to take up his post on Tuesday, October 15, but on a visit to his family in Veneto he suffered appendicitis and had to undergo surgery. Happily, the good Archbishop was allowed home on Friday, October 25,  and will spend some time recuperating by being fussed over at home by his family before taking up the reins of power in the Secretariat.

Almost immediately after his election, on March 16, Pope Francis had announced, again according to VISNews: “Heads and members of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, as well as their Secretaries, and also the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, continue ‘donec aliter provideatur’, that is, provisionally, in their respective positions.” And it also explained why. The Holy Father wished “to reserve time for reflection, prayer, and dialogue before any final appointment or confirmation is made.”

In Rome, nothing is being rushed. Festina lente reigns supreme. But that doesn’t mean nothing is being done.

Pope Francis, who in reality knew little or nothing about the actual workings, or the workers, of the Roman Curia, was going to take the time and go to the trouble of getting to know enough about both before he made any decisions about who would stay and who would go. Or, who would be transferred, and, to where.

Festina lente: both efficiency and justice demands it. But Pope Francis has not been idle.

And, funnily enough, one of the very first things he did, mere moments after his election and before he had even signed the official document of acceptance, something which, encouraged by one of his fellow Latin American cardinals, he did instinctively, or intuitively, or whatever but most assuredly without having thought the consequences through, that is without discernment, has, in the sober light of day, proved to be crucially important.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Lourdes: Diary of the apparitions in 1858 et en suivant

Thanks to the kindness of a friend, I have been able to retrieve many notes locked in old floppy disks. I shall publish some of them as I manage to render them into a readable form.

17 Feb: “a young girl dressed in white, holding a rosary” first appeared to Bernadette in the grotto at Massabielle.

24 Feb: “the Lady” called for penance.

25 Feb: “the Lady” asked Bernadette to dig with her hands in the ground and when she did so immediately a well sprung up and “the Lady” told Bernadette to drink from and wash in the new spring.

27 Feb: “the Lady” asked Bernadette to have a chapel built at the grotto so that the people might come there in procession.

2 March: “the Lady” repeated her request of 27 Feb.

25 Mar: On this day, the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord, during the 16th apparition “the Lady” told Bernadette in her own local dialect “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

3 Jun: Bernadette receives her First Holy Communion.

16 Jul: On this the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, The Blessed Virgin Mary, The Immaculate Conception, appeared to Bernadette for the last time (here on Earth).

Lourdes after the apparitions

1858: The first cures reported.

1861: The first commission held to examine claims of cures considered 100 cases and declared 15 of them miraculous.

1862: A marble statue was carved faithful to Bernadette’s description of “the Lady”. The building of a Gothic church, and not as requested a humble chapel, was begun.

1871: The first Mass was celebrated in the church.

1872: After the Franco-Prussian War had ended, pilgrims flocked to Lourdes from all parts of France.

1876: Archbishop Guibert of Paris in the presence of 100,000 pilgrims consecrated the church as a minor basilica. The Papal nuncio to France crowned the statue.

1882: A medical bureau established at Lourdes to conduct initial medical assessments of purported cures. Cases considered valid are asked to return in the following year. If a claim is subsequently still considered to be meritorious it is referred on to the International Medical Commission of Lourdes based at Paris. Appropriate cases are referred by this Commission on to a canonical commission in the patient’s home diocese. It is up to the bishop of that diocese to declare as to whether or not he is satisfied that a cure is truly miraculous. By 1959 the number of alleged cures was about 5,000 of which the church authorities have declared 58 miraculous. [Most nervous and neurological conditions are excluded from consideration. Miraculous cures have been accepted in cases of cancer, tuberculosis and blindness.]

1883: Work began on a second church with 15 chapels to cope with the huge increase in the number of pilgrims. The church was completed in 1901.

1891: Pope Leo XIII, who had had built a Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican gardens, approved an Office and Mass for Lourdes for the Province of Aud of which the Diocese of Tarbes was a part.

1907: Pope Pius X promoted the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes for the Universal Church.

1912: The Diocese of Tarbes was renamed “Tarbes and Lourdes”. Thereafter the Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes took up residence in Lourdes from May to October (roughly the pilgrimage “season”) each year.

1926: The second church was also consecrated a minor basilica, the Rosary Basilica.


1958: In the year of the centenary of the apparitions 6,000,000 pilgrims descended on Lourdes. Most notable among them was the Patriarch of Venice, His Eminence Angelo Cardinal Roncalli, who only a very short time later would become Pope John XXIII. Cardinal Roncalli had been sent by Pope Pius XII as Papal Legate to consecrate the crypt below the basilica of the Immaculate Conception and the underground church of Pope Pius X.

Synod of Bishops Upgraded

One of the very first things Pope Francis did, mere moments after his election, something which, encouraged by one of his fellow Latin American cardinals, he did instinctively or intuitively or whatever but most assuredly without having thought the consequences through, that is without discernment, has, in the sober light of day, proved to be crucially important.

When he returned to the Sistine Chapel from the Room of Tears and received the homage of the cardinal electors, he then received the homage of the Secretary of the Conclave, the Master of the Papal Liturgical Ceremonies and the two Assistant Masters of Ceremonies. As the Secretary, Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, knelt, Pope Francis placed on his head the scarlet cardinal’s zucchetto of which, naturally, he had no further use. Thus the new Pope indicated his intention, according to an ancient tradition not always followed in modern times, to reward the Secretary of the Conclave with the Sacred Roman Purple at the first opportunity.

It must be remembered, of course, that Mgr Baldisseri was not a stranger to His Holiness. His Excellency was Nuncio in Haiti and Paraguay 1992-99 and in Brazil 2002-12 and they would have often met at CELAM (Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano) the Latin American Episcopal Council. (In between times he had been Nuncio to India and Nepal.) Moreover, Mgr Baldisseri was a classmate and friend at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy (Academia Class of ’71) of one of the few men in the Roman Curia whom the Pope knew extremely well, because he was one of his priests before his election as Pope, Leonardo Cardinal Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches (the 22 Eastern Rite Churches in full communion with Rome). Like the Pope, Cardinal Sandri’s parents were Italian immigrants to Buenos Aires.

When Mgr Baldisseri was recalled to Rome from Brazil in 2012 it was upon his appointment as Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops, on January 11. Two months later, on March 7, he was, as is customary, appointed Secretary of the Sacred College of Cardinals. It was in this capacity that he served the Conclave.

On the day our own Mgr Cushley was being honoured with episcopal ordination and installation as Archbishop and Metropolitan of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, September 21, back in Rome Pope Francis was making a few announcements involving some of his former colleagues in the Secretariat of State. One was entirely routine: Archbishop Miroslaw Adamczyk Apostolic Nuncio to Liberia and Gambia was also given responsibility for Sierra Leone. Another was less so but not unexpected: Cardinal Fernando Filoni, a former sostituto was confirmed as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. (It was Cardinal Filoni who, as Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq, 2001-6, was the only Ambassador to remain at his post in Baghdad during the Second Gulf War.)

But the other changes involving alumni of the Academia were not so straightforward. They were all consequent upon the removal of Archbishop Nikola Eterovic from his post as Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. Naturally, His Excellency was given an important assignment, Apostolic Nuncio to Germany. Aged 62 years, His Excellency will in all likelihood be made cardinal when in due course this present mission is concluded since now reunited Germany is again one of the most important delegations. But why remove him? His Excellency certainly had done nothing wrong, either personally or professionally.

Pope Francis had early decided that the Synod of Bishops was to be central to his Pontificate. After due deliberation, he has further decided that in consequence it has to be headed by a cardinal, or by a prelate who can be created cardinal at the first opportunity. Elevation in Archbishop Eterovic’s case would have been premature at this time. Not unmerited, simply premature. And so Pope Francis decided that the man for the job was the man he honoured mere moments after his election: Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, aged 73 years.

If anyone doubted the importance Pope Francis attaches to the work of the Synod, then last week was instructive. “Pope Leaves Vatican” ceased to be front page headline news after Pope Paul VI left the Vatican and Rome for the Holy Land on January 4, 1964 (he would leave it on another ten occasions, eight of them to venture furth of Italy). But last week Pope Francis again astounded the Vaticanisti when, on both Monday and Tuesday, he left the Vatican and made his way the short distance along Via della Conciliazione (the magnificent street created by Mussolini which leads directly onto St Peter’s Square from Castel Sant’Angelo).

He was headed to the Palazzo del Bramante for meetings in the office of the secretariat of the Synod of Bishops to discuss both changes needed within the secretariat and the agenda Extraordinary Synod of Bishops called for October 5-18 next year on the theme “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of the Evangelization.”

This was a case of Mohamet come to the mountain not because it would not come to him, but because he did not presume that it ought. (See Francis Bacon “Essays” 1625, Chapter 12.)

It is no surprise that comment on the Extraordinary Synod has focused on the vexed question of the pastoral care of the divorced and remarried, and not least their being denied Holy Communion, but another most important aspect of all this has been ignored, or, and this is more likely, missed. Pope Francis,  like his three immediate predecessors — ignoring Pope John Paul I as he died before anything concrete could be deduced of his intentions in the matter — sees reconciliation with the separated brethren of the Orthodox East as the most important, and achievable, goal of ecumenical activity.

On Saturday 18, September 2008, at early Vespers in the Sistine Chapel to celebrate the participation of Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, at the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, His All Holiness said at the beginning of his remarks: “It is well known that the Orthodox Church attaches to the Synodical system fundamental ecclesiogical importance. Together with primacy, synodality constitutes the backbone of the Church’s government and organisation. As our (the Pope and his) Joint International Commission on the Theological Dialogue between our Churches expressed it in the Ravenna document, this interdependence between synodality and primacy runs through all the levels of the Church’s life: local, regional and universal. Therefore, in having today the privilege to address Your Synod our hopes are raised that the day will come when our two Churches will fully converge on the role of primacy and synodality in the Church’s life, to which our common Theological Commission is devoting its study at the present time.”

Pope John Paul II’s dream of the Church breathing with both lungs, East and West, has just come a lot closer to being realised. 

The Glasgow Herald: Then as Now

Thanks to the kindness of a friend, I have been able to retrieve many notes locked in old floppy disks. I shall publish some of them as I manage to render them into a readable form.

The (Glasgow) Herald of November 25, 1998, devoted a whole page to the Good Friday Agreement, but succeeded only in leaving their readers none the wiser. I noted at the time (though, of course, The Herald did not publish my observations) that one of their contributors, Russell Edmunds, purported to examine the decommissioning issue, but failed to explain why the IRA had so far insisted that abandoning its weapons was most definitely not an option at that time. I rather feared that the reason he did not do so was because it would have meant exposing the conduct of the RUC and the security forces to close and embarrassing public scrutiny.

Graham Walker claimed to analyse the contributions of various British Prime Ministers to the “Irish problem”, but in the event only managed to raise questions as to what was the nature of the history he as Reader of History at Queen’s College, Belfast, was supposed to be teaching since there was scant evidence that it could possibly be Irish: modern or recent.

Security may have been the pretext for the legislative union, but greed was the subtext. Peel may very well in normal circumstances have been a devout adherent of laissez-faire economics, but in relation to Ireland and the possibility of famine he was a wise and prudent interventionist. It was Lord John Russell’s slavish adherence to laissez-faire economics which doomed Ireland’s Catholic peasantry. That peasantry were already at the very edge of the abyss before Russell succeeded Peel and it is therefore nonsense for Walker to suggest that the famine suddenly occurred, scuppering Russell’s Irish policy. Potato blight was first reported in Ireland on September 9, 1845; repeal of the Corn Laws was enacted on June 26, 1846. The blight in the new potato crop was first reported in Freeman’s Journal on June 27, 1846, the day of Parnell’s birth; Peel was replaced by Russell on June 30, 1846.

However, my main criticism of this coverage revolved around Graham Walker’s bland assertion that “…when the north erupted, the then Labour Government under Harold Wilson was bewildered about what to do.” Seemingly it had never occurred to Graham Walker that Harold Wilson was the one person who could have, if he had so wished, faced up to the looming crisis in 1966 and thus averted the thirty two years of madness, badness, mayhem and murder which ensued.

At the General Election in 1966, Gerry (later Lord, such was the degree of his apostasy) Fitt was returned from Belfast West to Westminster. He rose to make his maiden speech at 7pm on Monday, April 25, 1966. Early in his speech he said “I believe… I will be able to appeal to every reasonable Member of this Chamber, and, through them, to every reasonable member of the British public.”

Harold Wilson conspired with the Speaker to ensure that that was never allowed to happen. Even as late in the day as July 11, 1968, at Prime Minister’s Questions, Fitt tried to bring matters up on the floor of the House which if dealt with then and there by Her Majesty’s Government and Parliament under their rights of sovereignty as enshrined in the Government of Ireland Act (1920), Section 75, would in all probability have avoided that madness, badness, mayhem and murder.


Wilson claimed to have problems with the West Lothian Question, long before Enoch Powell gave it a name and Tam Dalyell (falsely) claimed it for his own.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Tories and Orangeism

Thanks to the kindness of a friend, I have been able to retrieve many notes locked in old floppy disks. I shall publish some of them as I manage to render them into a readable form.

St Bernard once said of the Church “ante et retro oculata”: she looks back in order that she can see her way forward. If that is good enough for our Church, it is surely good enough for us. However, we must remember that it is never advisable to live in the past, though equally it is foolish not to learn from it.  So what does the past teach us about Parliamentary democracy?

On Parnell’s election to Westminster as Home Rule MP for Meath at the by-election in April of 1875 following the death of John Martin, Secretary of the Home Rule League, there were 59 MPs in the Irish Parliamentary Party, under the Chairmanship of Isaac Butt, committed to campaign for Home Rule. Although they were pledged to vote for Home Rule “issues” en masse, on other matters they could vote as their consciences dictated.

From the General Election of 1880 until the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, there were between 80 and 86 Irish Nationalists sitting as the Irish Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons at Westminster. Though at times riven by internal frictions, they always comfortably retained in excess of three-quarters of the Irish seats. In addition, from 1885 the Scotland Division of Liverpool was represented by an Irish Nationalist, T P O’Connor.

Although the Conservative Party in Randolph Churchill’s memorable phrase “played the Orange card” in 1886, many of the early Irish Home Rulers were in fact Tories. On May 3, 1911 as Asquith was introducing the third Irish Home Rule Bill, The Times published a Letter to the Editor from Sir Henry Bellingham of Castle Bellingham, Co Louth. Under the heading “Conservative Home Rulers”, it read:


Sir,
The present leader of the Conservative Party, and also, I regret to say, other Conservatives in high positions, have recently endeavoured not only to identify the whole party with the extreme Ulster section, but to let it be thought that as a party they never had anything to do with Home Rule. Will you therefore allow me to remind your readers that Home Rule was started by a Conservative, and that for many years Conservatives sat as Home Rulers?

In the year 1880, when I stood as an avowed Home Ruler for this county of Louth, I received the support both of the Carlton Club and the Conservative Whip. Further, during the time I was in Parliament (1880-86) I was regularly summoned to the meetings of the Conservative Party, and I have letters in my possession from some of the Conservative leaders which are complete evidence of complicity with Home Rule.
I am etc.

Lord Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill, third son of John Winston Spencer Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough, and Frances, eldest daughter of the third Marquess of Londonderry, acted as secretary to his father when he served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1877-80. He made many friends in Dublin and adopted many of the causes of Dublin Toryism. Through his mother’s Famine Relief Fund, established in 1879, he became aware of, and sympathised with, the miserable conditions in which the peasantry in the west of Ireland lived.

Not only did he advocate conciliation as the best way forward for Unionism, he cultivated relations with leading Parnellites and even attended Parnell’s trial in January, 1881, sitting near him. In 1884 he advocated extending the Irish franchise, and in 1885 was instrumental in securing the entente between the Irish Parliamentary Party and the Tories which enabled the latter to form the Government. The Tories then allowed Parnell to raise the Maamtrasna affair on the floor of the House.

Such is the nature of Parliamentary democracy that when Gladstone won the beauty contest with the Irish Parliamentary Party in 1886, Churchill had no hesitation in ditching his former principles and embracing Orangeism without any trace of embarrassment whatsoever. Indeed, to this day the Tories are still happily and unashamedly in bed with the Orangemen as was witnessed every time Andrew Mackay MP, their former Irish Affairs Spokesman, opened his mouth.

Even the Tories in the last Labour Government were quite happy to advocate the Orange cause. Hardly surprising really when you think that Harold Wilson by his inaction when confronted in Parliament with the fears of the Nationalist community, at least from the time of Gerry Fitt’s taking up of his seat in the Spring of 1966, was personally responsible for the outbreak of widespread loyalist violence against the Catholic/Nationalist/Republican community in the late 1960s and early 1970s. (Sadly, of course, Fitt later apostasised, took the King's shilling and entered the House of Lords, greatly to his own advantage.)

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Cardinal distribution by Country

Barring the intervention of the Grim Reaper, the following is based on how the College of Cardinal Electors will look on the eve of the consistory in February.

Note is given of cardinals in a country who have passed the 79 year mark. If they are an “Ordinary” the successor is given IF he is not yet a cardinal; see for example below: Cardinal Tettamanzi was replaced by Cardinal Scola.

If a prelate is thought likely to be elevated at the First Franciscan Consistory, his name is highlighted in red; if he might be elevated but there is a doubt, then green is used

Western Europe (45 Electors/45 non-Electors)

ITALY: 25 Electors; 22 non-Electors
Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia (69) was appointed to Turin on October 11, 2010, in succession to Severino Cardinal Poletto who turned 80 on March 18.
Archbishop Francesco Moraglia (60) was appointed Patriarch of Venice on January 31, 2010, when Cardinal Scola was translated to Milan.
(Note: These appointments would only temporarily increase the Italian presence in the College of Cardinal Electors: Cardinal Tettamanzi will be 80 on March 14, 2014: Emeritus, Milan.
Cardinal Sardi will be 80 on September 1, 2014: Emeritus, Curia, Vice-Chamberlain.)

SPAIN: 5 Electors; 5 non-Electors

Cardinal Amigo Vallejo OFM will be 80 on August 23, 2014: Emeritus, Seville.
Juan José Asenjo Pelegrina (68), was appointed Coadjutor on November 13, 2008, and succeeded on November 5, 2009.
(Only two Archbishops of Seville were not created cardinal. Both died shortly after appointment: Archbishop Salvador Castellote y Pinazo was appointed on December 6, 1906, and died just over a fortnight later, on December 23 in his 61st year; Archbishop Bienvenido Monzón y Martín was appointed on March 27, 1885 and died just under five months later, on August 10 in his 65th year.)

GERMANY: 4 Electors; 5 non-Electors
NOTE: One of the non-Electors is Joachim Cardinal Meisner, 80 on Christmas Day (coming, that is 2013). He is still active as Metropolitan Archbishop of Cologne, which is most definitely a “Red Hat” See. So when his successor IS named, he will come into the reckoning.
Cardinal Cordes wll be 80 on September 5: Emeritus, Curia (“Cor Unum”)

FRANCE 4 Electors; 4 non-Electors

SWITZERLAND: 1 Elector; 3 non-Electors

PORTUGAL: 2 Elector; 1 non-Elector
NOTE: Patriarch Manuel José Macário do Nascimento Clemente (65) was appointed Patriarch of Lisbon on May 18, 2013. Patriarch José da Cruz Cardinal Policarpo will not be 80 until February 26, 2016.

IRELAND: 1 Elector; 1 non-Electors

NETHERLANDS: 1 Elector; 1 non-Elector

GREAT BRITAIN: 1 Elector; 1 non-Elector
NOTE: the Elector is Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien who was 75 on March 17 this year. There is some question as to whether he will resign the cardinalate at the next consistory.
Vincent Gerard Nichols (67) was appointed Archbishop of Westminster on April 3, 2009, in succession to Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor who turned 80 on August 24, 2012. Whilst it is likely that he would never have received a Red Hat under Benedict, it is unlikkely that Pope Francis willbe as severe in his judgement, although Cardinal Ouelett is unlikely to have changed his views. (Cardinal Ouelett, as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, is required to brief the Pope BUT the choices are entirely a matter for the Pope. So, if, for example, Cardinal Ouelett says that historically the Metrpolitan Archbishop of Westminster is created cardinal at the first opportunity but your predecessor held this view..." Pope Francis could say "well I don't."

AUSTRIA: 1 Elector

BELGIUM: 1 non-Elector
André-Joseph Léonard (73), Military Ordinary of Belgium was translated on February 27, 2010, as Archbishop and Metropolitan to Mechelen–Brussel in succession to Cardinal Godfried Danneels who turned 80 on June 4, last.

MALTA: 1 non-Elector
(Note: Prosper Cardinal Grech OSA (87) gave the final exhortation at the conclave in March. This was the first ever to be published.)

Eastern Europe (10/10)

POLAND: 4 Electors; 2 non-Electors
NOTE: Mgr Józef Kowalczyk (75), Archbishop of Gniezno, is a distinguished former Apostolic Nuncio. Gniezno is the historic Primatial See of Poland but I cannot see His Excellency being considered.

CZECH REPUBLIC: 1 Elector; 1 non-Elector

HUNGARY: 1 Elector; 1 non-Elector

SLOVAKIA: 2 non-Electors

UKRAINE: 2 non-Electors
NB:
(1) The Greek Catholic Church of the Ukraine is by far and away the largest of the Eastern Rite Churches in full communion with Rome. Many believe that it is long past time it should have been created a Patriarchate.
(2) Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk (43) was elected to Kyiv–Halyč of the Ukrainians on 23 March, 2011, and this was confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI two days later, March 25, 2011 and upon receipt of that confirmation assumed office as Metropolitan Archbishop of Kyiv (Kiev) of the Ukraines. Born on May 5, 1970, as I write (November 3, 2013) is only 43 years old. His predecessor having attained his 80th birthday on February 26 last he SHOULD be considered a certainty for inclusion in the forthcoming list of new cardinals. But will his age be held against him?

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: 1 Elector

CROATIA: 1 Elector

LITHUANIA: 1 Elector

SLOVENIA: 1 Elector

ROMANIA: 1 non-Elector

North America (16/10)

CANADA: 3 Electors
Note: Montreal first became a Red Hat See with Paul-Émile Cardinal Léger’s elevation in 1953, three years after his appointment. But, his successor, Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte, waited 20 years for his cardinal’s hat. And his successor, being passed over in one consistory. So it is by no means certain that Archbishop Christian Lépine (62), appointed and installed on March 20, 2012, will be created cardinal at this consistory.

UNITED STATES: 11 Electors; 8 non-Electors
Baltimore: Archbishop William Edward Lori (62) appointed March 20, 2012, in succession to Edwin Frederick Cardinal O’Brien (74) who was appointed Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (August 29, 2011, as Pro-Grand). Cardinal O’Brien had been appointed in succession to William Henry Cardinal Keeler, now aged 82 years.

Detroit: First became a Red Hat See with Edward Aloysius Cardinal Mooney’s elevation in 1946, nine years after his appointment. Archbishop Allen Henry Vigneron (65) was appointed on January 5, 2009 on the retiral of Adam Joseph Cardinal Maida. Mgr Vigneron has been passed over at four consistories since Cardinal Maida turned 80.  

Los Angeles: Archbishop José Horacio Gómez Velasco (62 on Boxing Day) succeeded on March 1, 2011 and has been passed over in 2 consistories under the Benedictine policy. Cardinal Mahony will remain an elector until February 27, 2016. However, Los Angeles is the biggest (arch)diocese in the USA AND it has a massive Latino population and that population nationally is grossly underrepresented in the hierarchy and in the Sacred College.
Philadelphia: Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput, OFM Cap (69) was appointed on July 19, 2011, to succeed Justin Francis Cardinal Rigali. His Eminence will be 80 on April 19, 2015.

MEXICO: 2 Electors; 2 non-Electors
NB: Mexico has 18 Metropolitan Archbishops.

Central America (3/1)

CUBA: 1 Elector

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: 1 Elector

HONDURAS: 1 Elector

NICARAGUA: 1 non-Elector

South America (9/12)

BRAZIL: 4 Electors; 5 non-Electors
NB: Brazil has 44 Metropolitan Archdioceses
São Salvador da Bahia first became a Red Hat See with Augusto Álvaro Cardinal da Silva’s elevation in 1953. Thereafter, the new Archbishop has been created cardinal at the first opportunity. Archbishop Murilo Sebastião Ramos Krieger (70) was appointed January 12, 2011, in succession to Geraldo Majella Cardinal Agnelo who has just turned 80, on October 19.
São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro first became a Red Hay See with Joaquim Cardinal Arcoverde de Albuquerque Cavalcanti’s elevation in 1905, eight years after his appointment. The Cistercian, Archbishop Orani João Tempesta (63), was appointed on February 27, 2009, in succession to Eusébio Oscar Cardinal Scheid who turned 80 on December 8 last.
Belo HorizonteL last two Archbishops created cardinal. Archbishop Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo (59) was appointed on January 28, 2004, in succession to Serafim Cardinal Fernandes de Araújo, now 89.
Brasilia: Last two Archbishops were created, though not immediately, cardinal. Archbishop Sérgio da Rocha (54) was appointed on August 6, 2011.


ARGENTINA:  1 Elector; 2 non-Electors
NB: Argentina has 13 Metropolitan Archbishops.

COLOMBIA:  1 Electors; 2 non-Electors

CHILE:  0 Electros; 2 non-Electors
Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello (72 on January 7) was appointed Archbishop of Santiago de Chile on December 15, 2010. His predecessor, Francisco Javier Cardinal Errázuriz Ossa, P. Schönstatt, a member of the Council of Cardinals, turned 80 on April 13 last.

BOLIVIA:  1 Elector

ECUADOR: 1non-Elector
Fausto Gabriel Trávez Trávez (72) was appointed Archbishop of Quito on March 11, 2010, in succession to Raúl Eduardo Cardinal Vela Chiriboga who will be 80 on New Year’s Day.
PERU: 1 Elector

VENEZUELA: 1 Elector

South and East Asia (10/6)

INDIA: 5 Electors; 1 non-Elector

PHILIPPINES: 1Electors; 2 non-Electors
NB: The Philippines has 16 Metropolitan Archbishops.
Cebu: Archbishop Jose Serofia Palma (61) appointed October 15, 2010, in succession to Ricardo Jamin Cardinal Vidal who will be 83 by the time of the consistory. 

HONG KONG: 1Electors; 1 non-Elector

INDONESIA: 1Elector

SRI LANKA: 1Elector

VIET NAM: 1Elector

SOUTH KOREA: 1 non-Elector

SRI LANKA: 1 non-Elector

Central and South West Asia (1/2)

LEBANON: 1Elector; 1 non-Elector

IRAQ: 1 non-Elector

Oceania (1/3)

AUSTRALIA:  1 Eector; 2 non-Electors
NEW ZEALAND: 1 non-Elector
Last three Archbishops have been elevated. Archbishop John Atcherley Dew (65) succeeded on March 21, 2005.

Western and Northern Africa (6/2)

NIGERIA: 2 Electors; 1 non-Elector

EGYPT: 1 Elector

GHANA: 1 Elector

GUINEA: 1 Elector

SENEGAL: 1 Elector

CAPE d’IVOIRES: 1 non-Elector

Eastern and Central Africa (4/2)

CONGO (DEM REP): 1 Elector

KENYA: 1 Elector

SUDAN: 1 Elector

TANZANIA: 1 Elector

CAMEROON: 1 non-Elector

UGANDA: 1 non-Elector

Southern Africa (1/2)

SOUTH AFRICA: 1 Elector

ANGOLA: 1 non-Elector

MOZAMBIQUE: 1 non-Elector