KALYANI, (C.M. Paul) – Among 121 Salesian prelates listed in the SDB Elenco 2012 there are six cardinals, five of whom could be at the upcoming conclave for the election of a pope to succeed Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
If one heeds to speculations churned out in the rumour mills of Rome the chances for a Salesian cardinal to be elected pope are plenty…
According to Trophy D’Souza, a London based author who intends to do a book on the Conclave, in the early rounds the ballots could be prolonged… leading papabilies like Sandri (Argentinian) who satisfies the European-SouthAmerican emphasis… He’s also known as a reasonably good administrator, and a fairly good Pastor, and also one the present-retired Pope promoted…. He could get support from Italians / Europeans as well as of South Americans. He would seem to have a sort of edge even over the two Italian favourites: Scola of Milan [esp since Milan has recently provided Popes] or Ravasi one of the most kind of balanced ones in Italy, and quite a good administrator: perhaps the best candidate for Deputy Pope, ie. the job Bertone holds just now……If the voting is ‘aggressive’…. Sandri, or maybe, or just maybe Ravasi could stand out… [this is how human pressure goes….and the Cardinals are human!!!]
In middle rounds: if nothing definite happens earlier, i.e. no clear favourites, D’Souza feels an unknown guy could come up, and one of the strongest candidates is a relatively unknown guy: a monk. An American guy: Card of Boston: the reason? He stamped out, sort of, the child abuse stigma in more than one place [in the Americas N & S]… He even sold his bishop’s house to pay off victim’s claims….O’Malley is his name… Even now, in Rome for these grand consultations he goes round in his Carmelite slippers and brown habit… No fuss… no show. He might impress with his simplicity. The Cardinals might see him settling one of the biggest problems the church has to clean up: as the Telegraph London reporter flagged up as the biggest problem of the Church, even more than the lethargic functioning of the Curia… As a cardinal he has shown depth of spirituality and wit, not to mention leadership skills which many cardinal electors consider an essential quality for the future Pope, who will be called to sort out the Curia.
O’Malley’s name could come up strongly, together with what D’Souza sees as ‘lesser knowns’… including Tagle (Phillippines), Quette (Canada), Maradiaga (Honduras… who’s at the forefront of pro-life battle, against same-sex marriage, and anti-abortion)…These later rounds would /should actually get the college thinking more laterally… still without a clear favourite….O’Malley incidentally is quite well known to Scola and Maradiaga.
Final rounds: anybody’s guess! But, if the signs of the past [though not the Paul VI or Benedict elections] then they may have to go for the ‘absolute majority’… and D’Souza’s guess is that probably O’Malley / Maradiaga may be pitted against one of the big hitters, e.g. Ravasi or Sandri… whose votes may have picked up towards the end… or maybe, just maybe… Scola may have survived so far for a run-off… but again, D’Souza thinks it will be with one of the lesser knowns: O’Malley / Maradiaga / Ouette
Good luck to whoever wins….but it can’t be Turkson this time [he actually spoiled his own chances, if he had any], or Tagle [though very capable, has 2 problems with the generally pro-conservative cardinals: too young and too ‘out of mainstream ‘catholic (once upon a time) European thought’… however racist it sounds perhaps. Both these deserve higher postings in the Vatican… to do better next time!
Notes on Card. Maradiaga
Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, is 70 plus years old. He is passionate about classical music, having studied the saxophone, the piano, harmony and composition. He even directed an orchestra as a seminarian.
On the academic side, he has studied theology, philosophy, clinical psychology and psychotherapy. For more than ten years he also taught chemistry, physics, sacred music, moral theology and ecclesiology.
He has used his role to speak out in defense of the poor. So much so, that he must always be escorted in his native country for taking on drugs and corruption.
CARD. ÓSCAR RODRIGUEZ MARADIAGA
Archbishop of Tegucigalpa (Honduras)
Archive January 19, 2007
“The first value our continent has is faith, and with faith, the virtue of truth, which is not just optimism, but instead the confidence by which we must meet our goals and keep fighting. It’s what sustains the poor. We have to keep fighting to get rid of poverty.”
What many don’t know about him is that he loves to fly, and is certified as an aeronautical pilot. He is fluent in English, French, Italian, German and Portuguese, in addition to his native Spanish.
Cardinal Óscar Rodriguez Maradiaga is the current president of Caritas Internationalis, the Catholic Church’s leading aid agency.