Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Lenten Prayer in Preparation for a Conclave

I wish you a blessed Ash Wednesday and may your 2013 Lenten journey bring you closer to God and God's creation.

The church teaches that clergy and most especially the pope are to remind people of Jesus.  As the College of Cardinals prepares to elect the next pope, let us pray for their increased understanding of what recalls Jesus for others.  For most people, it is not tied in any way to his sexual organs but rather to his compassion walking closely with and healing suffering people.

What are the odds that the Cardinals will choose such a person?

The distribution of voting Cardinals doesn’t mirror the distribution of Catholic population.  Europe has over 50% of voting Cardinals but only about 25% of the worldwide Catholic population.   Within that, almost 25% of voting Cardinals are from Italy where only 4 to 5% of the world’s Catholics live.  Africa, Asia-Pacific and North America are somewhat under-represented.  However, Latin America has almost 1/3 of worldwide Catholics but only about 16% of the voting Cardinals – that’s about 1 in 6 Cardinals.  Even if the voting Cardinals know the struggles of their own people, there are large populations of Catholics that are under-represented.

But I question that this group of mostly Caucasian males, 95% of whom are over 60 years old, 100% of whom are not married and childless, will credibly represent the needs of people from whom they are increasingly detached.

Thus, let us pray for a Conclave characterized by Cardinals who are passionately compassionate.

Oh God, send your Spirit crashing upon the senses and lives of the Cardinals.  May it wash over them like the tears of all the oppressed, especially those oppressed by the clergy.

May their hearts be pierced with the sustained intense pains of every child abused by a priest, or disillusioned by ineffective callous bishops’ handling of abuses, and of every child dying from malnutrition or lack of healthcare, as well as those discarded as unwanted before birth.

May their souls feel the screaming pain of every woman who is or has been abused, marginalized, devalued, discriminated against, suffered troubled pregnancies, or in any way been prevented from becoming the person God made her to be.

May they be blessed sensing the mental and emotional shredding of every person ignored, or categorized, labeled and rejected - by them or by anyone.

May their eyes burn with the vision of people suffering needlessly of AIDs or other diseases due to the hierarchy’s teachings, and may they grieve each lost life as though it was their only begotten child.

May they feel the pain of every person needlessly torn between choosing God's calls for them to be both ordained and married.

May they feel the "kick in the gut" nausea of every person misguided when seeking pastoral care by men lacking practical understanding of married and family living.

May they feel the dehumanizing agony of every person struggling to reconcile who God made them to be with who the clergy thinks God should have made them to be.

May they feel the painful confusion of everyone, especially the young and those outside the church, unable to reconcile Jesus' teachings with clerical actions and preachings.

May they know the angst of the faithful so disillusioned by the hierarchy that they think they must flee the church or lose faith in the Holy Trinity.

May they feel the painful damage caused by every single violation of truth committed by the church's hierarchy, especially those tolerated in an interest of preserving hierarchical power.

May they feel every sensation of angst inflicted upon others by their ignorance or arrogance.

And may they cast their votes with their hearts aligned with the heart of Jesus for a pope whose heart is similarly aligned.

If you'd like to pray for the Cardinals by name, here is a list.  Though only those under the age of 80 by February 28, 2013 will be able to vote, I include the full list of Cardinals with the names of those eligible to vote bolded.  They are grouped according to rank and tenure. 

92 Cardinals are ineligible to vote.
10 Voting Cardinals from Africa
1 Voting Cardinal from ANZ (Australia New Zealand)
10 Voting Cardinals from Asia-Pacific
61 Voting Cardinals from Europe including 28 voting Cardinals from Italy
19 Voting Cardinals from Latin America
2 Voting Cardinals from the Middle East
13 Voting Cardinals from North America

Cardinals of the Order of Bishops
Titular Bishops of Seven Suburbicarian Sees
Angelo Sodano* (Italy) - born 23 November 1927 – ineligible to vote
Roger Etchegaray* (France) - born 25 September 1922 – ineligible to vote
Giovanni Battista Re (Italy) - born 30 January 1934
Francis Arinze* (Nigeria) - born 1 November 1932 – ineligible to vote
Tarcisio Bertone (Italy) - born 2 December 1934
José Saraiva Martins* (Portugal) - born 6 January 1932 – ineligible to vote

Patriarchs of Eastern Catholic Churches
Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir* (Lebanon) - born 15 May 1920 –ineligible to vote
Emmanuel III Delly* (Iraq) - born 6 October 1927 – ineligible to vote
Antonios Naguib (Egypt) - born 7 March 1935
Bechara Boutros al-Rahi (Lebanon) - born 25 February 1940

Cardinals of the Order of Priests
Paulo Evaristo Arns* (Brazil) - born 14 September 1921 – ineligible to vote
William Wakefield Baum* (United States) - born 21 November 1926 – ineligible to vote
Marco Cé* (Italy) - born 8 July 1925 – ineligible to vote
Franciszek Macharski* (Poland) - born 20 May 1927 – ineligible to vote
Michael Michai Kitbunchu* (Thailand) - born 26 January 1929 – ineligible to vote
Alexandre do Nascimento* (Angola) - born 1 March 1925 – ineligible to vote
Godfried Danneels (Belgium) - born 5 June 1933
Thomas Stafford Williams* (New Zealand) - born 20 March 1930 – ineligible to vote
Joachim Meisner (Germany) - born 25 December 1933
Duraisamy Simon Lourdusamy* (India) - born 5 February 1924 – ineligible to vote
Miguel Obando y Bravo* (Nicaragua) - born 2 February 1926 – ineligible to vote
Ricardo Vidal* (Philippines) - born 6 February 1931 – ineligible to vote
Henryk Gulbinowicz* (Poland) - long reported as born 17 October 1928 but announced 2 February 2005 that he had concealed his real age in the wartime conditions of 1944 and was really born in 1923 – either way he’s ineligible to vote
Jozef Tomko* (Slovakia) - born 11 March 1924 – ineligible to vote
Paul Poupard* (France) - born 30 August 1930 – ineligible to vote
Friedrich Wetter* (Germany) - born 20 February 1928 – ineligible to vote
Silvano Piovanelli* (Italy) - born 21 February 1924 - ineligible to vote
Adrianus Johannes Simonis* (Netherlands) - ineligible to vote
Bernard Francis Law* (United States) - born 4 November 1931 - ineligible to vote
Giacomo Biffi* (Italy) - born 13 June 1928 - ineligible to vote
Eduardo Martínez Somalo* (Spain) - born 31 March 1927 - ineligible to vote
Achille Silvestrini* (Italy) - born 25 October 1923 - ineligible to vote
José Freire Falcão* (Brazil) - born 23 October 1925 – ineligible to vote
Alexandre José Maria dos Santos* (Mozambique) - born 18 March 1924 - ineligible to vote
Giovanni Canestri* (Italy) - born 30 September 1918 - ineligible to vote
Simon Pimenta* (India) - born 1 March 1920 - ineligible to vote
Edward Bede Clancy* (Australia) - born 13 December 1923 - ineligible to vote
Edmund Casimir Szoka* (United States) - born 14 September 1927 - ineligible to vote
László Paskai* (Hungary) - born 8 May 1927 - ineligible to vote
Christian Wiyghan Tumi* (Cameroon) - born 15 October 1930 - ineligible to vote
Edward Idris Cassidy* (Australia) - born 5 July 1924 - ineligible to vote
Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez (Dominican Republic) - born 31 October 1936
Fiorenzo Angelini* (Italy) - born 1 August 1916 - ineligible to vote
Roger Mahony (United States) - born 27 February 1936
Camillo Ruini* (Italy) - born 19 February 1931 - ineligible to vote
Ján Chryzostom Korec* (Slovakia) - born 22 January 1924 - ineligible to vote
Henri Schwery* (Switzerland) - born 14 June 1932 - ineligible to vote
Miloslav Vlk* (Czech Republic) - born 17 May 1932 - ineligible to vote
Carlo Furno* (Italy) - born 2 December 1921 - ineligible to vote
Julius Riyadi Darmaatmadja (Indonesia) - born 20 December 1934
Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino (Cuba) - born 18 October 1936
Gilberto Agustoni* (Switzerland) - born 26 July 1922 - ineligible to vote
Emmanuel Wamala* (Uganda) - born 15 December 1926 - ineligible to vote
William Henry Keeler* (United States) - born 4 March 1931 - ineligible to vote
Jean-Claude Turcotte (Canada) - born 26 June 1936
Ricardo María Carles Gordó* (Spain) - born 24 September 1926 - ineligible to vote
Adam Joseph Maida* (United States) - born 18 March 1930 - ineligible to vote
Vinko Puljić (Bosnia and Herzegovina) - born 8 September 1945
Juan Sandoval Íñiguez (Mexico) - born 28 March 1933
Ersilio Tonini* (Italy) - born 20 July 1914 - ineligible to vote
Jorge Medina Estévez* (Chile) - born 23 December 1926 - ineligible to vote
Darío Castrillón Hoyos* (Colombia) - born 4 July 1929 - ineligible to vote
Lorenzo Antonetti* (Italy) - born 31 July 1922 - ineligible to vote
James Francis Stafford* (United States) - born 26 July 1932 - ineligible to vote
Salvatore De Giorgi* (Italy) - born 6 September 1930 - ineligible to vote
Serafim Fernandes de Araújo* (Brazil) - born 13 August 1924 - ineligible to vote
Antonio María Rouco Varela (Spain) - born 24 August 1936
Dionigi Tettamanzi (Italy) - born 14 March 1934
Polycarp Pengo (Tanzania) - born 5 August 1944
Christoph Schönborn; OP (Austria) - born 22 January 1945
Norberto Rivera Carrera (Mexico) - born 6 June 1942
Francis Eugene George (United States) - born 16 January 1937
Marian Jaworski* (Ukraine) - born 21 August 1926 - ineligible to vote
Jānis Pujāts* (Latvia) - born 14 November 1930 - ineligible to vote
Agostino Cacciavillan* (Italy) - born 14 August 1926 - ineligible to vote
Sergio Sebastiani* (Italy) - born 11 April 1931 - ineligible to vote
Zenon Grocholewski (Poland) - born 11 October 1939
Crescenzio Sepe (Italy) - born 2 June 1943
Jorge María Mejía* (Argentina) - born 31 January 1923 - ineligible to vote
Walter Kasper (Germany) - born 5 March 1933
Ivan Dias (India) - born 14 April 1936
Geraldo Majella Agnelo (Brazil) - born 19 October 1933
Pedro Rubiano Sáenz* (Colombia) - born 13 September 1932 - ineligible to vote
Theodore Edgar McCarrick* (United States) - born 7 July 1930 - ineligible to vote
Desmond Connell* (Ireland) - born 24 March 1926 - ineligible to vote
Audrys Juozas Bačkis (Lithuania) - born 1 February 1937
Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa (Chile) - born 5 September 1933
Julio Terrazas Sandoval (Bolivia) - born 7 March 1936
Wilfrid Fox Napier (South Africa) - born 8 March 1941
Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga; SDB (Honduras) - born 29 December 1942
Bernard Agré* (Côte d'Ivoire) - born 2 March 1926 - ineligible to vote
Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne (Peru) - born 28 December 1943
Francisco Álvarez Martínez* (Spain) - born 14 July 1925 - ineligible to vote
Cláudio Hummes (Brazil) - born 8 August 1934
Jorge Mario Bergoglio; SJ (Argentina) - born 17 December 1936
José IV Policarpo (Portugal) - born 26 February 1936
Severino Poletto (Italy) - born 18 March 1933
Cormac Murphy-O'Connor* (England & Wales) - born 24 August 1932 - ineligible to vote
Edward Michael Egan* (United States) - born 2 April 1932 - ineligible to vote
Lubomyr Husar (Ukraine) - born 26 February 1933 – will be ineligible to vote
Karl Lehmann (Germany) - born 16 May 1936
Jean Marcel Honoré* (France) - born 13 August 1920 - ineligible to vote
Roberto Tucci* (Italy) - born 19 April 1921 - ineligible to vote
Angelo Scola (Italy) - born 7 November 1941
Anthony Olubumni Okogie (Nigeria) - born 16 June 1936
Bernard Panafieu* (France) - born 26 January 1931 - ineligible to vote
Gabriel Zubeir Wako (Sudan) - born 27 February 1939
Carlos Amigo Vallejo (Spain) - born 23 August 1934
Justin Francis Rigali (United States) - born 19 April 1935
Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien (Scotland) - born 17 March 1938
Eusebio Oscar Scheid* (Brazil) - born 8 December 1932 - ineligible to vote
Ennio Antonelli (Italy) - born 18 November 1936
Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson (Ghana) - born 11 October 1948
Telesphore Placidus Toppo (India) - born 13 October 1939
George Pell (Australia) - born 8 April 1941
Josip Bozanić (Croatia) - born 20 March 1949
Jean-Baptiste Phm Minh Mn (Vietnam) - born 5 March 1934
Philippe Barbarin (France) - born 17 October 1950
Péter Erdő (Hungary) - born 25 June 1952
Marc Ouellet (Canada) - born 8 June 1944
Agostino Vallini (Italy) - born 17 April 1940
Jorge Urosa (Venezuela) - born 28 August 1942
Gaudencio Borbon Rosales* (Philippines) - born 10 August 1932 - ineligible to vote
Jean-Pierre Ricard (France) - born 25 September 1944
Antonio Cañizares Llovera (Spain) - born 15 October 1945
Nicolas Cheong Jin-suk* (South Korea) - born 7 December 1931 - ineligible to vote
Seán Patrick O'Malley (United States) - born 29 June 1944
Stanisław Dziwisz (Poland) - born 27 April 1939
Carlo Caffarra (Italy) - born 1 June 1938
Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun* (Hong Kong[10]) - born 13 January 1932 - ineligible to vote
Seán Brady (Ireland) - born 16 August 1939
Lluís Martínez Sistach (Spain) - born 29 April 1937
André Armand Vingt-Trois (France) - born 7 November 1942
Angelo Bagnasco (Italy) - born 14 January 1943
Théodore-Adrien Sarr (Senegal) - born 28 November 1936
Oswald Gracias (India) - born 24 December 1944
Francisco Robles Ortega (Mexico) - born 2 March 1949
Daniel DiNardo (United States) - born 23 May 1949
Odilo Pedro Scherer (Brazil) - born 21 September 1949
John Njue (Kenya) - born 1944
Estanislao Esteban Karlic* (Argentina) - born 7 February 1926 - ineligible to vote
Medardo Joseph Mazombwe* (Zambia) - born 24 September 1931 - ineligible to vote
Raúl Eduardo Vela Chiriboga (Ecuador) - born 1 January 1934
Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya (Democratic Republic of the Congo) - born 7 October 1939
Paolo Romeo (Italy) - born 20 February 1938
Donald William Wuerl (United States) - born 12 November 1940
Raymundo Damasceno Assis (Brazil) - born 15 February 1937
Kazimierz Nycz (Poland) - born 1 February 1950
Patabendige Don Albert Malcolm Ranjith (Sri Lanka) - born 15 November 1947
Reinhard Marx (Germany) - born 21 September 1953
José Manuel Estepa Llaurens* (Spain) - born 1 January 1926 - ineligible to vote
George Alencherry (India) - born 19 April 1945
Thomas Christopher Collins (Canada) - born 16 January 1947
Dominik Duka; OP (Czech Republic) - born 26 April 1943
Willem Jacobus Eijk (Netherlands) - born 22 June 1953
Giuseppe Betori (Italy) - born 25 February 1947
Timothy M. Dolan (United States) - born 6 February 1950
Rainer Maria Woelki (Germany) - born 18 August 1956
John Tong Hon (Hong Kong) - born 31 July 1939
Lucian Mureșan* (Romania) - born 23 May 1931 - ineligible to vote
Baselios Cleemis (India) - born 15 June 1959
John Onaiyekan (Nigeria) - born 29 January 1944
Rubén Salazar Gómez (Colombia) - born 22 September 1942
Luis Antonio Tagle (Philippines) - born 21 June 1957

Jean-Louis Tauran (France) - born 3 April 1943
Renato Raffaele Martino* (Italy) - born 23 November 1932 - ineligible to vote
Francesco Marchisano* (Italy) - born 25 June 1929 - ineligible to vote
Julián Herranz Casado* (Spain) - born 31 March 1930 - ineligible to vote
Javier Lozano Barragán* (Mexico) - born 26 January 1933 - ineligible to vote
Attilio Nicora (Italy) - born 16 March 1937
Georges Marie Martin Cottier*; OP (Switzerland) - born 25 April 1922 - ineligible to vote
Stanisław Nagy* (Poland) - born 30 September 1921 - ineligible to vote
William Joseph Levada (United States) - born 15 June 1936
Franc Rodé (Slovenia) - born 23 September 1934
Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo* (Italy) - born 27 August 1925 - ineligible to vote
Albert Vanhoye* (France) - born 23 July 1923 - ineligible to vote
Leonardo Sandri (Argentina) - born 18 November 1943
Giovanni Lajolo (Italy) - born 3 January 1935
Paul Josef Cordes (Germany) - born 5 September
Angelo Comastri (Italy) - born 17 September 1943
Stanisław Ryłko (Poland) - born 4 July 1945
Raffaele Farina (Italy) - born 24 September 1933
Giovanni Coppa* (Italy) - born 9 November 1925 - ineligible to vote
Angelo Amato (Italy) - born 8 June 1938
Robert Sarah (Guinea) - born 15 June 1945
Francesco Monterisi (Italy) - born 28 May 1934
Raymond Leo Burke (United States) - born 30 June 1948
Kurt Koch (Switzerland) - born 15 March 1950
Paolo Sardi (Italy) - born 1 September 1934
Mauro Piacenza (Italy) - born 15 September 1944
Velasio de Paolis (Italy) - born 19 September 1935
Gianfranco Ravasi (Italy) - born 18 October 1942
Elio Sgreccia* (Italy) - born 6 June 1928 - ineligible to vote
Walter Brandmüller* (Germany) - born 26 January 1929 - ineligible to vote
Domenico Bartolucci* (Italy) - born 7 May 1917 - ineligible to vote
Fernando Filoni (Italy) - born 15 April 1946
Manuel Monteiro de Castro (Portugal) - born 29 March 1938
Santos Abril y Castelló (Spain) - born 21 September 1935
Antonio Maria Vegliò (Italy) - born 3 February 1938
Giuseppe Bertello (Italy) - born 1 October 1942
Francesco Coccopalmerio (Italy) - born 6 March 1938
João Braz de Aviz (Brazil) - born 24 April 1947
Edwin Frederick O'Brien (United States) - born 8 April 1939
Domenico Calcagno (Italy) - born 3 February 1943
Giuseppe Versaldi (Italy) - born 30 July 1943
Julien Ries* (Belgium) - born 19 April 1920 - ineligible to vote
Prosper Grech* (Malta) - born 24 December 1925 - ineligible to vote
Karl Becker* (Germany) - born 18 April 1928 - ineligible to vote

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Non habemus papam...papa quieti...We don't have a pope...the pope quit

Unless you can’t fog glass, you probably know the pope will resign at the end of February.  Among other things he said in his resignation speech, “Attamen in mundo nostri temporis rapidis mutationibus subiecto et quaestionibus magni ponderis pro vita fidei perturbato ad navem Sancti Petri gubernandam et ad annuntiandum Evangelium etiam vigor quidam corporis et animae necessarius est, qui ultimis mensibus in me modo tali minuitur, ut incapacitatem  meam ad ministerium mihi commissum bene  administrandum agnoscere debeam.

If you’re like me, you read that and probably responded “No kidding!” 

What?  You say you didn’t understand the pope’s statement?  Is Latin not consubstantial with your language skills? 

Well, for those whose Latin skills are rusty, the pope’s Latin statement means, “However, in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.”

And, in case you thought “the barque of Saint Peter” referred to his favorite brand of root beer, please note that a “barque” is a sailing ship with three or more masts. 

In a language not spoken in the vernacular for over a thousand years, comparing the Church to an 18th century form of transportation, the pope said he’s not up to the task of leading the church in a rapidly changing society.  And to that, I respond, “No kidding!”   

The statement, read in its entirety in Latin says so much.  We’re living in a world where people communicate in cryptic slang via social media outlets, sending messages almost at the speed of light.  The modern translation of his three paragraph Latin statement can be rendered down to a text or tweet, “Bros, coupla thangs… trifecta on some saints + am old, tired + outta touch so am OOH (out of here),  LYLAB (love you like a brother) … BXVI.”

Don't misunderstand me.  I think more people should study Latin due to its academic significance.  But Jesus was all about walking with the people versus talking over their heads.  You can't connect with people if you don't speak their language.

Also, don't misunderstand me in that I greatly value the wisdom of the elderly.  I don't care if the pope continues until he dies or resigns but I respect his decision to go.  And, unlike most pundits, I wasn't at all surprised by his resignation due to his scandal wracked papacy and a possible pending indictment in the International Criminal Court due to his role in the pedophile mess.    

O.K. the pope is going so the next question is “Who are the ‘papabili’?” the people who are considered pope candidates.  Well if someone will strike up a rousing rendition of “Spanish Flea”, we can review the prospective candidates: (I do recommend you listen to "Spanish Flea" while reading the candidates; I believe it enhances the experience with a little ambiance.)

Bachelor number 1 is a 71 year old conservative Caucasian Italian Cardinal with ties to the Communion and Liberation uber-conservative group, with a soft spot for immigration.  Welcome, Cardinal Angelo Scola.

Bachelor number 2 is a 70 year old conservative Caucasian Italian Cardinal who believes denying same-sex unions will help strengthen heterosexual ones.  Welcome Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco.

Bachelor number 3 is a 69 year old Caucasian Cardinal of Italian descent (seeing a pattern here?), with Latin American ties and is a whale of an administrator without any pastoral experience.  Welcome Cardinal Leonardo Sandri.

Bachelor number 4 is a 68 year old conservative Caucasian Austrian of noble birth, speaks lots of languages, and has a couple hundred openly disobedient priests running around in his country who think the church is out of touch.  Welcome, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn OP.

Bachelor number 5 is a 68 year old conservative Caucasian Canadian Cardinal, speaks six languages, has a soft spot for Latin America but not for women impregnated by rape.  Welcome Cardinal Marc Ouellet.

Bachelor number 6 is a 63 year old conservative Caucasian American Cardinal, calls himself “the American pope”, loves photo ops, politics, yelling “religious liberty” indignantly and topics related to women’s pelvic regions.  Welcome Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

Bachelor number 7 is a 70 year old moderate Caucasian Italian Cardinal, who not only knows about but uses social media and wants the church to be relevant in the modern world.  Welcome Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi.  (Ask St. Jude to pray for you, because you sound like a long shot amid this sea of conservatives, ultra-conservatives and uber-conservatives.)

Bachelor number 8 is a 64 year old somewhat moderate African Ghanaian Cardinal, is a Methodist convert with lots of pastoral experience who loves a good joke but not the use of condoms to stop the spread of AIDS.  Welcome Cardinal Peter Turkson.

Bachelor number 9 is a 63 year old moderate Brazilian Cardinal of German descent with pastoral and academic experience who leads the world’s largest Catholic diocese.  Welcome Cardinal Odilo Scherer.

Unfortunately, in this version of “The Dating Game” nobody gets to ask interview questions - not even hokey ones.  Rather than have any input from the laity, these bachelors and their brother bachelors, will sit in their matching red hats and dresses, and vote for each other until two-thirds of them agree on which bachelor gets to be the next pope.  Then that guy trades in his red hat and dress for white ones accompanied by red shoes designed by his personal cobbler.

The conclave to elect a pope begins with the statement, “extra omnes” (“Everybody out!”).  With over 76% of Catholics already abandoning the church, have the conservatives, ultra-conservatives and uber-conservatives adopted this as their motto?  Will it matter who is elected the next pope?

The pope admits he's out of touch with today's world and can't keep pace.  Are any of the Cardinals in touch with it and will the ones who aren't elect one who is?