Tuesday, 24 November, 2020

Matteo Matzuzzi talks about a break with the previous balance in the choice of Cardinals.

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Newsdesk (October 27, 2020 5:15 pm Gaudium Press) Matteo Matzuzzi (Editor-in-chief of Il Foglio) has made some timely considerations following the Pope’s announcement at the last Angelus: the creation of 13 new cardinals on November 28th.

The chief editor of the Italian newspaper expressed that the creation of nine cardinals who share “the agenda imposed in 2013 by Jorge Bergoglio” evidences the will of the Pontiff to “ensure the future Conclave,” and his intention to “demonstrate cohesion.”

“And this is the element that characterizes the Pontiff’s choice of the composition of the College of Cardinals.”

Matzuzzi pointed out that the Bishops of very important dioceses, usually destined to be cardinals, such as Los Angeles (whose Head is President of the American Episcopate), Paris or Milan, were not in the list. Those Prelates should naturally receive the red cap. Instead, they will not receive it because they belong to currents, not partaking the Pope’s agenda. It would seem that the Pope wants to favour “the peripheries”; however, almost half of the new Cardinals chosen are Italian.   In turn, he suggests that this new tendency has broken “the criteria of balance that his predecessors always sought to follow: giving the cap (cCardinal) to Bishops with a pastoral orientation opposed to that of the reigning Pope.” He illustrates his point with examples from previous pontificates such as the elevation to cardinalship of bishops like Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich, by Benedict XVI; or like Cardinals Kasper and Lehmann, by St. John Paul II.

“In the past, it was sought to ensure the widest possible representation of the diverse currents present in the Church, making the arguments and confrontations during the general congregations of the pre-conclave both lively and dynamic. Now a different, licit, but breaching path has been chosen: only those in agreement with the papal agenda can access the College of Cardinals.”

This situation of “rupture” would impoverish the plenum of those called to choose Francis’s successor. In other words, it would not represent the Church, which is universal by nature.

Who has been created Cardinal and by whom

On November 28, the Church will have 232 cardinals: 129 will be Cardinal-electors, and 103 will not vote. 

Of the electors, 16 were chosen by St. John Paul II, 39 by Benedict XVI and 73 by Francis.

In total, Benedict XVI – with 8 years of government – created 90 Cardinals. Francis has created 101 Cardinals in his 7 years as Pope.

Rumours seem to reveal in a low voice that the next Pope already has a name: Francis II. Others suggest following the wise proverb: “he who enters the conclave as Pope, leaves as a Cardinal…”

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