My two picks for pope

What I think does not matter one whit. But hey, it’s my blog, so I can say what I want, and what I want to say is that if I had a vote, it would probably go to this guy:

Cardinal Ivan Dias of Bombay

He is one of the few prelates who can rival Pope John Paul’s linguistic ability; he is fluent in at least 17 languages. Another veteran of the Vatican diplomatic corps and the Secretariat of State, he now heads a huge diocese in an often hostile environment. A friend and ally of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, he has protested the anti-Christian attacks by Hindu zealots, yet observes that for the Church, “persecution is something natural,” often presaging a great growth in the faith. Disadvantages: When speculation turns toward a Pontiff from the Third World, most prelates speak about Africa or Latin America, where Catholicism is growing– not Asia, where the faith remains largely unknown.

A linguist who knows how to deal with hostile factions, a pal of Mother Theresa’s, smart enough to know that the Church is always under persecution somewhere, and from what I’ve read, he has a sense of humor to boot. I likes him!

I also like Cardinal Lubomyr Husar

Cardinal Lubomyr Husar is the Major Archbishop of Kiev, the spiritual leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, which is the largest Eastern Church in full communion with the Holy See. The selection of a Byzantine prelate would be a sensational move, sure to cause turmoil in Vatican relations with the Orthodox churches, with results that are difficult to predict. Trivia note: Cardinal Husar is the only US citizen on this list.

He just looks really pastoral to me. And it might be nice to have an Eastern-Rite pope, particuarly from the Ukraine, at this moment in history.

Both of these men are considered “longshots” in the article I’ve linked to, btw.

Karol Wojtyla was considered a longshot, too.

I guess I should let Rome know what I’m thinking, eh? :-) They’re waiting, of course, with bated breath, to hear my selections!

Two other decent articles on the subject, although the normally very reliable John Allen blows it for me here by neglecting to make distinctions between stem cell research and EMBRYONIC stem cell research. He has been writing a lot, maybe he’s tired! The other is by Laurie Goodstein who I am liking a lot, these days, even if she does work for the dreaded NY Times. She’s a good writer and seems to go out of her way to be even-handed.

MEANWHILE: The tireless and stunningly prolific John Allen (who is going to need a long vacation once a new pope is finally named and installed) informs that the cardinals don’t really know each other very well, and in the NY Times, Henry Fountain explains why their unfamiliarity with each other might not be a bad thing.

FINALLY: The press has been working overtime to do as much damage as they can to Cardinal Ratzinger, so now we’re being informed that he was a member of the Hitler Youth – but you have to read some ways into the article to discover that this happened with such membership became mandatory, and that he deserted and spent some time in a prison camp:

Ratzinger has insisted he never took part in combat or fired a shot — adding that his gun was not even loaded — because of a badly infected finger. He was sent to Hungary, where he set up tank traps and saw Jews being herded to death camps. He deserted in April 1944 and spent a few weeks in a prisoner of war camp.

I dunno. I frankly don’t think Ratzinger is going to be the next pope, but that’s just my gut, and my gut is often wrong. I know conservatives who love him and conservatives who hate him (they have serious mistrust of him because of some Fatima issues), but I know that all the liberals and the folks in the MSM hate him, and that is always a reason for me to give someone the benefit of a doubt!

Note, the last line of this Times article quotes an “anonymous” liberal theologian: “One liberal theologian,when asked what he thought of a Ratzinger papacy, was more direct: “It fills me with horror.””

Like I said, I don’t see a Ratzinger papacy. But I almost want to see it just to tick that person off! ;-)

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Seahawk

    I’d vote for the Cardinal from Nigeria.

    Next comes Ivan Dias.

    Then maybe a conservative Italian, or Ratzinger.

    Or. . .?

  • TheAnchoress

    You mean Cardinal Francis Arinze. He would have been my first choice, too, but a very curious thing has happened, only in the last year, since the JPII’s health was clearly in extreme decline: Arinze, who was everyone’s “top choice” for over a decade, has suddenly – now that the moment has come – moved from the center to the edge of everyone’s radar.

    I don’t think it has anything to do with his race. At least I hope not. I frankly think a black pope would be a very good and helpful thing in many ways. I think, rather, many who were touting Arinze did not know him well and thought of him as a little less like JPII than he truly is. I think he’d be a very good, if slightly hot-headed, pope. But I don’t see it happening.

    Then again, I don’t see my two choices happening, either. But I’d be happy to see either one of them!

  • Sigmund, Carl and Alfred

    Do the math- Ratzinger would have been an 8 year old at the start of the war. If that still doesn’t resonate, blame his parents for signing him up.

  • Maggie

    “The Hitler Youth grew from a group with a handful of boys to one of the most important uniformed youth group in Europe. No group so thoroughly suceeded in their stated purpose. Had the NAZIs suceeded, the elite of Europe would have been raised and trained through the Hitler Youth. Membership increased from about 1,000 boys in 1923 to nearly 8 million in 1939 when Hitler launched World War II.”

    German children entered Hitler Youth at the age of ten….if Ratzinger was born in 1928, he would have entered in 1938.

    These children were getting major propaganda….including instructions on turning in their own parents for saying or doing anything against the Reich. Or did you not know that, Sigmund?

  • kimberley

    The Hitler youth thing doesn’t mean much. I’m hardly going to blame an adult for something that happened when he was just a little mite. Now, as to who’s going to be Pope. I suspect that the Holy Spirit is going to shock us all again. We will get the Pope we need or the Pope we deserve.

  • Greg

    Well, no, the Cardinal was twelve when the war broke out in 1939, and fourteen in 1941 when membership of the Hitler Youth became compulsory. He appears to have been enrolled by school officials, rather than signing up himself, and after attending a couple of meetings stopped doing so.

    Frankly, since attendance was obligatory, he should probably get a pass just for that. In any case, even aside from the ideological side of it – which he has spoken out against – he would hardly have enjoyed it, and the organisers probably had little time for him, since he was small and far from sporty.

    Hi, by the way. Came here via Technorati.

  • newton

    Not to mention that if he deserted and ended up in a prison camp, that means he didn’t like it at all.

    These people want to give him the Arnold’s dad treatment, I see.

  • Rae Stabosz

    Looks like it is Ratzinger after all.

    Quickly, where can we find solid sources to refute Hitler Youth gig and the other things those who have axes to grind will want to say?


  • maidel

    As a Jewish person, I’m not real comfortable with the German pope who had anything to do with WWII or Hitler. I know it’s probably none of my business since I’m not a Catholic, but the Pope has incredible power. I think unless he could care less about Jews, he will need to do something official–some jesture–to soothe Jewish jitters at his papacy.

  • TheAnchoress

    Maidel if it helps, Ratzinger was an instrumental part of everything JPII did with regards to healing the church’s relationship with Jews. Please see the above post from the Jerusalem Post.

  • maidel

    Sure, anything that helps to stop anti-Semitism is beneficial, but I still think he will want to make a jesture–his own jesture–as the head of the Catholic church. But this may not matter to him. If it does, he will do something, and if it doesn’t, then it doesn’t. Like I said, it’s really none of my business since it isn’t my religion, but let’s say someone like Arnold Swartzenegger was part of the Hitler youth or even a young person then…he would have never become a US governor…it would be impossible to even fathom California citizens accepting that…how much more important is the position of Pope to the Christian faith? Just my thoughts.

  • Kevin

    I don’t think you can SERIOUSLY fault a 14 year old who is forced to attend an organization against his will. If he WANTED to be a Hitler Youth he could have signed up on his own much earlier than 14. He got out of it pretty fast. He should still make a gesture to the Jewish people, continue the reconciliation.

  • maidel

    I don’t want to be disrespectful and lament the fact he was chosen because he is the Pope now. The main thing is the future, and a gesture (his own) would be welcome, I’m sure.

  • Kyle

    What should be considered is the Vatican’s role in rat-lining war criminals out of Europe into… as well as the laundering of Nazi loot. It is quick and easy to find instances of the Vatican laundering Nazi loot: Many Truth Commisions speak of it. So what is to be done of this? Picking a Right-Wing pope who is of the Rat-line Dictator type certainly won’t move the healing of Humanities’ shame in Right direction.

  • Kevin

    Now you are accusing him of fault and complicity in something that occured with the vatican long before he was ever even a priest? He spoke at his first Papal Mass of Ecumenical healing & dialogue. Give him a chance, I think you are judging him too harshly on too little available information.