When one is Catholic and knows the least bit about church history and human nature, not necessarily in that order, one realizes that all is never quite what it seems, that there is more than one side of the story and somewhere, somebody has the straight skinny on what’s really going on.
With that in mind, I’ve been scouring the Catholic blogs for more information on what the inside scoop may well be on the upcoming conclave. Somebody has to know something, right?
The time period between the knowledge that there will be a Papal Conclave and its commencement has now been dubbed “The Silly Season”, borrowing from NASCAR whether Catholics realize it or not. It is the time of wackiness when the the dissidents, malcontents, enemies, wolves and the like get more attention than the conservative, orthodox faithful and beg for changes in Dogma and Canon Law that would “bring the Church into modern times.” See, the lunatics think a pope can actually do this. (Shortening the time frame from 15-20 days after the See is vacant to something a lot more rushed this time, with no funeral Masses to be said, has already been quashed, so we have another four weeks of this insanity.)
In yet another example of liberal ideas and expectations not matching facts, some lay religious orders (sisters and/or nuns) DID modernize – and feminize – and those particular orders are dying out. Where the seminaries went liberal (with permission from their bishops at the time) is where there is a “priest shortage.” Faith and the practice of it collapsed where theology departments relaxed the hard line on professors having a mandatum (teaching authority from the Vatican on theology) which resulted in heresy and questioning of core tenets of the faith from those in authority, making it legitimate for unformed minds to question the rest. This is seriously what happened. What makes the wackos think that more of the same is going to make the Church stronger?
We keep hearing and reading about this “prophecy” from St. Malachy that says the next pope will be the last. The source of this “prophecy” is a 16th century monk who published supposed writings from the 12th century which are now considered to be a forgery. The predictions were incredibly wrong after publication and have been denounced. In other words, the end is not near through THAT “prophecy.”
Of course, there are the MSM columnists writing on Dogma and Canon Law that bear no resemblance to actual Dogma and Canon Law. It’s pretty maddening actually to read that we HAVE to believe this or that when the faith itself teaches that belief or non-believing is a matter of free will.
And then someone suggested the next pope be a nun.
Whatever. No matter what the MSM does and says, don’t pay any attention to them. We’re in the silly season and the nutcases are being, well, silly. If the Vatican hasn’t caved on modernism in the 100 years since John D. Rockefeller, Jr., went to Pope Pius X and asked him to lift the restriction on artificial birth control, it ain’t happening now. (The response is an encyclical titled “Pascendi Dominici Gregis” or “On the Doctrines of Modernists” 1907.) (There’s also an oath against modernism from 1910 for clergy. A few religious people need to take it again.)
Under normal circumstances, the best and most reliable scoop which is correct more often than not comes from Jesuit House in Rome, oddly enough. Even though there was a divide and conquer effort to subvert them, the Jesuits still have access to the highest levels of the Vatican and usually know what’s what. However, there does not seem to be any leaking from there at this time. That could change, but with Pope Benedict XVI having been betrayed by a leak not too long ago, my guess is not.
The next best source I’ve found over the years is an American blog called Whispers in the Loggia. The author, Rocco Palma, did not disappoint. In an entry from this morning, the best analysis I’ve seen yet of how a pope indicates his desired successor was explained. I do not want to take anything away from Palma’s post, so I won’t go into it other than to say that if he is on target, a whole lot of wackadoodles are going to be disappointed. It may not be the way the conclave votes, but it’s interesting none the less.
Then there is the little matter of the gentleman from Ghana, Peter Cardinal Turkson, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace at the Vatican. He’s been caught campaigning. Yep, no, that’s not done. We’ll see how that ends up, but he may well have cooked his goose.
Due to some of the more collegial efforts to be dignified about the affair, the entire complement of 117 active cardinals will participate in the conclave – even Roger Cardinal Mahoney who was FINALLY relieved of public duties by the sitting Archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez, last week over the most reprehensible of the entire Scandal cover-ups. (We Catholics with more orthodox leanings have been waiting for this for a long time.) It’s EXTREMELY doubtful that any of the older guard will come out of the conclave pope, but we all thought that the last time and the new pope was 77.
And, finally, just a little reminder for those of us who are Irish, placing bets on the outcome of the conclave, it seems, is grounds for excommunication (who knew?). Since the 16th century or something like that when Pope Gregory XVI got a burr under his seat about it. As we all know, it’s not too late to reverse an excommunication, all we have to do is go to confession as no bulls are published. Given the bookmaking industry on the Emerald Isle, the Archbishops of Dublin and Galway might want to consider general absolution if they think they can get away with it. (Psst, American politicians who bought into the Seamless Garment stuff and still vote to legalize baby killing: you need to go to confession too.)
Four more weeks…I’m glad I didn’t give up drinking for Lent, either. It’s going to be a long month.
Categories: Catholic Church