Conclave 2013

Hedging bets on a Scherer/Piacenza ticket


A news story yesterday got tongues wagging in Rome by suggesting that the Vatican’s old guard is promoting a sort of “ticket” for the looming conclave: Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Scherer of São Paulo for pope, along with either Italian Cardinal Mauro Piacenza or Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri for Secretary of State.

Without citing sources, the report claimed that the architects of the push are Italian Cardinals Angelo Sodano, who’s already over 80, and Giovanni Battista Re.

Time stops in Rome, but war on Christians continues



While the attention of the Catholic world is focused on events unfolding in Rome, time has not stopped for Catholics in other parts of the world. The flow of events since Feb. 11, when Benedict XVI announced his resignation, offers a reminder of why the next pope will be pressed to make defense of religious freedom job number one.

NCR interview with Cardinal Francis George


One could make a strong case that Cardinal Francis George of Chicago is the closest thing the United States has to an “American Ratzinger,” meaning the leading intellectual light among the current crop of prelates. Also like Benedict XVI, George is contemplating retirement, having turned 76 and already submitted his letter of resignation.

George is in Rome preparing to elect the next pope, and he sat down Saturday afternoon for an interview with NCR. 

Vatican newspaper editor: Church governance key conclave issue


As the church's cardinals discuss who should be the next pope, they'll also be considering how the church should be governed in the future, the editor of the Vatican's semi-official newspaper said Saturday.

"The church always needs reform," said Giovanni Maria Vian, a native Italian who is the editor of L’Osservatore Romano. "In history, the church of Rome and the church in general has shown its ability to respond and reform."

A daily Italian-language paper, L’Osservatore Romano also publishes weekly editions in a number of other languages.

Cardinal George: When selecting pope, must ask 'Can he govern?'


Among several questions cardinals ask when electing one of their peers as the new leader of the global Roman Catholic church, said Chicago's Cardinal Francis George, is simply: "Can he govern?"

Speaking to CNN Friday, George, who participated in the election of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, said the secret meeting of cardinals to select a new pontiff is "a very quiet time."

An anti-resignation pact? An over-80 pope?


Back in 2004, a veteran Italian Vatican writer published a front-page piece predicting the end of the Lefebvrist schism in conjunction with the celebration of a Latin Mass at Rome’s St. Mary Major Basilica. When it didn’t happen, I jokingly asked him what had gone wrong.

His answer was lapidary: In giornalismo, ogni tanto si deve rischiare, which, loosely translated, means, “In journalism, every now and then you’ve got to take a shot.”

Patriarchy writ large at papal conclave


On Thursday morning, I was a guest on the Diane Rehm Show, which airs on NPR stations across the nation. The topic was, of course, the departure of Pope Benedict XVI, the latest in scandal news swirling around the Vatican, and the coming conclave.

One of the questions surfacing on the show and in many interviews (including the ones I do on Interfaith Voices) is this: What qualities are needed in the new pope? 



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In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017