From Crux Post
Pope Francis is poised to change Catholicism forever
John L. Allen Jr.Associate editor @JohnLAllenJr
John L. Allen Jr., associate editor, specializes in coverage of the Vatican. FULL BIO
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‘With his appointment of 20 new cardinals from all over the world, Pope Francis is challenging both the Western domination and the clericalism that have long been among the defining features of the College of Cardinals. (AP Photo)
By John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor February 13, 2015
ROME — Because he’s such a beguiling media personality, Pope Francis says and does lots of things that get spun as revolutionary but really aren’t. Saying Catholics don’t have to breed “like rabbits,” for instance, is irresistible as a sound-bite, but remarkably old-hat as official teaching.
Saturday, however, shapes up as the real deal, perhaps the most revolutionary day so far in Francis’ two-year run.
By creating 20 new cardinals from all around the world on that day, this first pope from the developing world is poised to change Catholicism forever — not in terms of the ideology of left v. right, perhaps, but definitely in terms of the geography of north v. south.
Equally consequential, this is the second consistory of Francis’ reign, meaning the ceremony in which new cardinals are inducted, and it cements impressions that Francis has overhauled the criteria for making these all-important picks.
It used to be that one rose through the clerical ranks and won a job that automatically came with a cardinal’s red hat, such as becoming the archbishop of Venice or Paris or Chicago. Today, however, Francis is skipping over those traditionally entitled venues to lift up eminences from smaller dioceses and essentially random places, literally all over the map.
The consequences of that shift are essentially unknowable, but seem destined to be profound. There’s almost nothing any pope ever does that’s as consequential to shaping culture in the Church as naming its senior leadership, and cardinals are the most important papal selections of all.
In one fell swoop, in other words, Pope Francis is challenging both the Western domination and the clericalism that have long been among the defining features of the College of Cardinals.
By now, Francis has acquired a reputation as more progressive than other recent popes, and so it’s natural for people to wonder if his picks for new cardinals are intended to drive the Church in a particular political direction.
In reality, it’s tough to find a clear ideological pattern in this group of 20, 15 of whom are under the age of 80 and thus eligible to vote for the next pope.
There are a couple of well-known moderates, including John Atcherley Dew of New Zealand and Ricardo Blázquez Pérez of Spain. Yet there are also conservatives, such as Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, who signed a letter backing a constitutional ban on homosexual activity. He was also part of an inter-religious task force in Ethiopia that called homosexual behavior “the pinnacle of immorality.”
In all honesty, it’s unlikely Francis even knows much at the level of detail about the political outlooks or backgrounds of many of these prelates. When he announced their names in early January, it was clear he was unfamiliar with many of them, and some of the cardinals-to-be have already acknowledged that they’ve had almost no rapport with the pope prior to this appointment.
Bishop Soane Patita Paini Mafi of Tonga, for instance, told Crux that he’s met Francis exactly once before in his life. That was last fall during the Synod of Bishops, and then only to explain to him where Tonga is located.
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Yet if it’s not clear what the impact of these appointments may be politically, it’s fairly obvious in terms of geographic representation.
With this crop, Francis is spreading the wealth in terms of cardinal’s red hats, bringing places into the mix never represented before while bypassing the traditional centers of power.
There are three places that have never had a cardinal that now will have one: Myanmar, Cape Verde, and the Pacific island of Tonga. Even within countries that are long accustomed to having cardinals, Francis has skipped the usual suspects in order to lift up long-neglected secondary venues, such as Agrigento and Ancona in Italy.
There’s only one Vatican official in the mix, French Archbishop Dominque Mamberti of the Apostolic Signatura, and among the new voting-age cardinals, only five are Europeans.
When Francis was elected in March 2013, Africa and Asia each had 9.6 percent of the vote. After Saturday, Africa will have 12 percent and Asia will have 11.2 percent, both of which are essentially all-time highs. Overall, the developing world will now make up almost 41 percent of the College of Cardinals, its highest share ever and significantly up from the 35 percent it represented just two years ago.
All this, of course, is nothing more than bringing the leadership of the Church slightly more in life with its demographic realities at the grassroots. Of the 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in the world today, two-thirds now live outside the West, a share projected to reach three-quarters by the end of this century.
Americans put out by the fact that Francis passed over the United States for the second time in a row in distributing new cardinals might ponder the fact that the 70 million Catholics in the country account for just 6 percent of the global Catholic population, but the 11 US cardinals are almost 9 percent of the college.
As of Saturday, in other words, Catholics everywhere will be living in a bit more of a global village, with a crop of new leaders taking the Church in unpredictable new directions. It may not come with a cool sound-bite, but it’s the stuff of which revolutions truly are made.’
One can always Pray ~ Wish ~ Pray †
The word beguiling (in truth) needs to be ditched ~ It reeks!
Homosexual debate ~ Wake up and smell the coffee!
Where are the women that were in Jesus’s inner circle? ~ You are Lacking ‘Substance’ !?
Where are the married men (like Peter)! ?
Come on Papa ~ Make the changes that will change Catholicism Forever . . . . . !
Yeah . . . Yeah . . . Yeah . . .
. . . Yawn . . .
Did you forget/overlook the Rock, upon which His Church was to be built?!!!
It says in the Gospel of John 1:42
‘And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).’
It then goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 9:5
“Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas?”