The Virtual Conclave: And a Round Up! – UPDATE

Don't miss this virtual conclave -- it's really good!Meanwhile: "What secret process? We're talking electoral blocs!It's a little too much like reading the pony pages!John Allen sees three ways to 77 votes!What can a pope change? More and less than you think.No clear favorite, but a lot of excitement about Dolan. My own gut says once they're locked in, all bets are off, and we'll be surprised at who emerges onto the balcony.Speaking of which, the latest craze is "being … [Read more...]

Conclave: The making of a pope

This is very well done, indeed, from Catholic News Services: Here's a look at what's expected to take place in the Sistine Chapel March 12, 2013 as 115 cardinals choose the next pope.A serious look at a very serious undertaking. … [Read more...]

A Pope to give the Church a Youthful Face, Faith and Energy?


Yesterday I mentioned on Facebook that the more I read about the younger set of Cardinals the more I like these "Ratzingerians", (so named because they've mostly been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI). I was very taken with this John Allen interview with Cardinal John Onaiyekan (referred to by some as the "Timothy Dolan of Africa"); he seems very sensible, faithful, smart and even charming.Dolan, of course, is a Ratzingerian, as is Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley. Just over half of the College … [Read more...]

Cardinals Gagged; We’re asked to Pray; Let’s Talk Vatican Diaries – UPDATE

On his new blog, John Thavis explains how and why information from the General Congregations in Rome just got harder to come by:Sister Mary Ann Walsh...said in an email: “Concern was expressed in the General Congregation about leaks of confidential proceedings reportedin Italian newspapers. As a precaution, the cardinals have agreed not to do interviews.”In other words, because some anonymous cardinals fed Italian reporters a few details about their discussions, a gag order now applies t … [Read more...]

Like Nixon in China: Married Priest’s Credible Case for Celibacy

father longenecker with hawg

You know the saying, right? Only Nixon could go to China and be credible because no one would ever accuse him of being a secret communist?And perhaps only a married priest who has also been a celibate priest can give effective voice to the value of the disclipine in an age where, as Fr. Dwight Longenecker writes here, "everyone is expected to be copulating most of the time..." because no one would ever accuse him of being "sexually immature" or repressed or defensive on the matter.I … [Read more...]

Non capisco italiano! What did I say?

Chico and the man

Cardinals "Chito" Tagle and (further down) Timothy Dolan. Photosource: Catholic News ServiceI don't understand Italian! Che cosa ho detto?Last week I did a quick interview with Mattia Ferraresi for Il Foglio, and today you can you can find it, in Italian, here.My Italian is very poor -- I need to brush off my Rosetta Stone discs and give them a whirl before I leave for Rome later this week -- so I tried a machine translate of the thing, which was pretty ghastly!So, here, absent … [Read more...]

Could we see Pope Patrick I in this Year of the Snake? – UPDATE


The Chinese New Year has just passed and we are now in the Year of the Water Snake, according to my Chinese friends who take the zodiac with varying degrees of seriousness, this means we face a year characterized by "toil and transformation"."Your pope offered his resignation, almost as the year began," one friend said to me. "It's going to be a busy year of changes for all of us."I don't subscribe to zodiacs, myself, but one can't help noticing that one Cardinal never included in the … [Read more...]