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:

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
(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?


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


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


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)


ANGOLA: 1 non-Elector

MOZAMBIQUE: 1 non-Elector

Friday, 1 November 2013

Consistory, February 22, 2014, Feast of the Chair of Peter

Today, there are 109 Cardinal Electors. By February 22, 2014, Feast of the Chair of Peter, and on the occasion of Pope Francis’s first consistory for the creation of new cardinals, there will be, barring the intervention of the Grim Reaper, 106. Joachim Cardinal Meisner, still Archbishop of Cologne, will be 80 on Christmas Day. Raúl Eduardo Cardinal Vela Chiriboga, Archbishop Emeritus of Quito, will follow suit on New Year’s Day. Giovanni Battista Cardinal Re, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Bishops, loses his rights as a Cardinal Elector on January 30. It will be remembered that Cardinal Re as Cardinal-Bishop of Sabina-Poggio Mirteto and senior Cardinal Bishop present at the recent conclave, acted as Pro-Dean and so had the responsibility of asking His Eminence Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio SJ if he accepted his canonically valid election.

Thus under the rules currently in force, Pope Francis will have 14 red birettas to confer on new Cardinal Electors.

Unless Pope Francis decides otherwise, there are 21 positions within the Roman Curia and related institutions which are reserved to cardinals or to archbishops who will be created cardinal at the first opportunity (although Pope Benedict himself ignored this at his mini-consistory of last November when he did not create cardinal Archbishops Müller and Bruguès). These are:

The Secretary of the Secretariat of State;

The Prefects of the nine Congregations;

The heads of two of the three Tribunals, the Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary and the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura;

The Presidents of the: Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See; Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See; the Governatorate of Vatican City State, who is also President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State;

The Librarian of the Vatican Library and Archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives (now a combined post);

The Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, and;

The Archpriests of the Four Patriarchal Basilicas: St John Lateran (which Archpriest is also the Pope’s Cardinal Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome); St Mary Major; St Paul’s Outside the Walls, and; St Peter’s.

Before speculating on who will be on the list we must also remember that Pope Benedict adopted the attitude that in general a prelate appointed to a position which traditionally merited the award of a Red Hat would have to wait until the person he succeeded ceased by reason of age or demise to enjoy the rights of a Cardinal Elector. But it must also be borne in mind that this was his policy, it is nowhere enshrined in canon law. Benedict himself applied it inconsistently in the metropolitan archdioceses and he did not apply it where the major departments of the Roman Curia were concerned (see the appointments of Archbishops: Fernando Filoni, Oriental Churches, 2007; Angelo Amato, Causes of Saints, 2008;  Joã Bráz de Aviz, Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, 2011; Fernando Filoni, Evangelization of Peoples, 2011). Only time, and it may be a short time, will tell how Pope Francis intends to proceed.

Since the first consistory of the new millennium, that of February 21, 2001, it has been the practice that when a list of cardinals-designate is issued, at the top of the list are named those prelates destined for service in the Roman Curia. To be named Number 1 on the list is a signal honour. To that prelate falls the privilege of addressing the Holy Father in behalf of all the new cardinals at the public consistory, nowadays invariably in St Peter's. On this occasion, Number 1 on the list will be Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Pro-Secretary of State (although they seem not to have officially adopted this correct designation in the Vatican) since October 15. This is a rare occurrence. I am aware of it having happened only twice before (if we ignore Domenico Tardini whose nomination was announced on the eve of Good Pope John's first consistory in 1958; also Cardinal Tardini was not named as Number 1, that honour went to Cardinal Montini, a personal friend of Good Pope John as well as being a former sostituto, which outranks a former equivalent to the present day Secretary for Relations with States).

In July of 1903, as Pope Leo XIII lay dying, Mgr Volpini, Secretary of the Sacred College of Cardinals and who should therefore have acted as Secretary at the upcoming conclave, suddenly died. The Anglo-Spanish Archbishop Rafael Merry del Val, President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, was elected by the cardinals to act as Secretary to the Conclave. Such was the favourable impression that Pope Pius X formed of him that he asked him to act in an interim capacity, in effect as Pro-Secretary of State without seemingly appointing him formally as such. He headed the list of two at Pope Pius's first consistory, on November 9, 1903 (the other was Giuseppe Callegari, Bishop of Padua).

Archbishop Angelo Sodano, Secretary for Relations with States, was named Pro-Secretary of State on December 1, 1990. He was created cardinal on June 28, 1991, and was confirmed as Cardinal Secretary of State on the following day.

Obviously, there is no way of knowing how the work of the Papal G8 will affect the way in which Red Hats are distributed within the Roman Curia in the future,  but it is doubtful if it will impinge on this first Franciscan consistory. What may affect the numbers, if not the names, of those honoured at this is the fact that 36 of the 106 Cardinal Electors who will gather round His Holiness in February are cardinals in curia, 9 of them Emeriti heads of dicasteries, 6 of whom will cease to be Cardinal Electors before the end of 2014.

So who will definitely be joining Archbishop Parolin? Three current prelates of the Roman Curia, under the current rules and custom and practice, are certainties. They are:

Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller (65, birthday on Hogmanay; German) appointed on July 2, 2012, by Papa Ratzinger as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, President of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, of the International Theological Commission, and of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. Pope Francis has already confirmed him in place and demonstrated his great confidence in him by having him write an 8,000 plus word article for L’Osservatore Romano explaining the Catholic Church’s position on the divorced and remarried, with especial reference to the teaching in relation to admission to the Eucharist.

Archbishop Beniamino Stella (72), Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. Appointed by Pope Francis, he was formerly an Apostolic Nuncio and most recently served as President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, the Academia.

Archbishop Jean-Louis Bruguès OP (70 on November 22 ), Archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives and Librarian of the Vatican Library. He was appointed on June 26, 2012, by Papa Ratzinger. (Going back to 1700, only 4 prelates appointed to head the Secret Archives were not yet Cardinals. All were created Cardinal at the next consistory.)

In addition, they will be joined by Archbishop Lorenzzo Baldisseri (73), Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. By placing his own now discarded red zucchetto (skullcap) upon Mgr Baldisseri’s head as he knelt to pay homage towards the end of the conclave, to which the good Monsignor had acted as Secretary, Pope Francis indicated his intention to create him cardinal at his first consistory. That His Holiness had not had second thoughts — there was some talk afterwards that he hadn’t fully appreciated what he had done — was reinforced not so much when he appointed him as Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, but more when he appointed him in such a way as to emphasise that the Synod was to become core to the way he intended to govern the Universal Church.

One other prelate must be rated almost definitely certain to join them. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia (68) has been President of the Pontifical Council for the Family since June 26, 2012. That Pope Francis has chosen “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization” as the theme for the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops next year would strongly suggest that Mgr Paglia will be on the list.

(Two other heads of second tier dicasteries would in theory have a chance of being elevated but at the moment must be rated doubtful. These are, firstly, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski (64, Polish), President of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers since April 18, 2009, and, secondly, Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella (62), President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization since June 30, 2010. The latter is the more problematic. It would seem to me logical that especially bearing in mind what is said above in relation to Archbishop Paglia, the Papal G8 must be considering merging the Council for New Evangelization with that for the Family and erecting the joint body as a new Congregation.)

But who will join them from the particular Churches? Absolute certainty would seem to be possible in only two cases, both Latin American.

Archbishop Mario Aurelio Poli (66 on November 29) was appointed as his own successor in Buenos Aires by Pope Francis.

Mgr Orani João Tempesta (63), the Cistercian Archbishop of São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro was appointed by Papa Ratzinger on February 27, 2009, and three consistories have come and gone without his having been elevated because his predecessor, Eusébio Oscar Cardinal Scheid, was still a Cardinal Elector. (Although why he was not elevated at the mini-consistory in November last is a puzzle as Cardinal Scheid was to celebrate his 80th birthday a mere fortnight after it was held.)

After this it can only be guesswork. Of what degree or quality of inspiration is anyone's guess. There can be little doubt that Pope Francis intends to tackle the imbalance in the Sacred College. But how and when?

In Italy, two of the nine Red Hat Sees are currently headed by an Archbishop. Mgr Cesare Nosiglia (69) was appointed Archbishop of Turin on October 11, 2010, and has also been excluded from three consistories under Papa Ratzinger’s policy on succession. However, his predecessor, Severino Cardinal Poletto, turned 80 on March 18 last.

Archbishop Francesco Moraglia was appointed Patriarch of Venice on January 31, 2012, after Angelo Cardinal Scola was translated to Milan (June 28, 2011).

I personally cannot see Pope Francis omitting these two prelates, especially the latter (apart from anything else, three 20th Century Popes were elected from Venice: Pius X, John XXIII and John Paul I). His Holiness may be Argentinian but he is also an ethnic Italian. And Italy, and not just Rome, is still of immense importance to the church: culturally, spiritually and symbolically. Any Italian emigrant will tell you so!

I will return to this after suitable further cogitation. And maybe a pie and pint for lunch.