Monday, April 18, 2005

Black Smoke, No Pope

At 8 PM Rome time smoke rose above the Sistine Chapel and the faithful in Saint Peter’s Square exclaimed “bianco, bianco” thinking that a new pope had been elected. On further inspection the smoke turned out to be black indicating that the College of Cardinals had failed to achieve the 2/3 consensus of 115 eligible Cardinals needed for election of the 256th pope.

At the end of Conclave Day 1, the Cardinals retired to contemplate the choice before them. Las Vegas has issued a line on the election with the following odds:

Dionigi Tettamanzi, 70, Italy: 5-2

Francis Arrinze, 72, Nigeria: 11-4

Oscar Maradiaga, 62, Honduras: 4-1

Joseph Ratzinger, 77, Germany: 7-1

Claudio Hummes, 70, Brazil: 12-1

I like Cardinal Francis Arrinze who has been characterized as “charismatic, witty, urbane, of keen mind with conservative bent” who is dogmatic in his opposition to abortion and homosexuality and an expert on Islam. With the secularization of America and especially Europe, the 3rd world is now the center of mass of Roman Catholicism. Nearly 2/3 of Catholics live in Africa, Asia and Latin America. If elected, Arrinze would be the first black African pope since Gelasius in 492AD.

For other more authoritative views see Roman Catholic Blog, a fine addition to the “God blogs.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading E.J. Dionne Jr.'s (Washington Post)op-ed piece this morning on the Catholic Chruch's central mission; my preference for the next pope would be Cardinal Ratzinger. The ultra-lib Dionne writes about Razinger's transformation from a moderate liberal to a neoconservative and that he "was Pope John Paul's 'enforcer of orthodoxy'" and "as his doctrinal chief was 'one of the most personal choices of his pontificate'". Christianity is thriving/growing in Africa. Europe is spiritually dead. A German as Pope might have some influence in reviving Europe! PJ Cleveland

4:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not a Catholic, but have many dear Christian friends who are Catholic. And I need to remember they may have discernment where I do not.

Perhaps, you are correct in your wanting the African cardinal as the next pope.

The reason I decided the German cardinal would be so he seems to be so much like John Paul II. And the fact that an ultra-lib like Dionne would point that if it were a "scarey" thing....makes him even more appealing to me!

Have a good day.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...

Your notes caused me to look at Cardinal Ratzinger with fresh eyes. I was very impressed with his recent homily about the evils of moral relativism. I really like that he was so much trusted by John Paul II and served as his reliable hammer.

I found that Hugh Hewitt was rooting for him for quite practical reasons. Hugh believes that Ratzinger will be faithful to the traditional Church theology and that as pope he will have the opportunity to replace 40-50 of the oldest Cardinals over the next several years. Continuing John Paul's tradition of appointing conservative cardinals and bishops, Benedict's reign will result in a church hierarchy that provides reliable spiritual guidance for generations.

I expect him to continue reaching out to Jews and other Christians and to provide a counter model for some other Christian faiths that have lost their way.

Benedict XVI will have his work cut out for himself in Europe where, eg, attendance at mass in France has fallen to 5% of the Catholic population. God help him to withstand the poisonous arrows of the liberal left.

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