Friday, April 08, 2005

The Papabile

There have been many articles written on the papabili. The following is my own roundup of the papabili, with a link for each if you want to find more information. My personal favorites are italicized and on top.

Please note that it is very likely our next pope will not enter the conclave as a papabile. John Paul II himself never appeared on anyone's list (correction 4/14/2005: he appeared on one list, according to one of our readers)! As the old saying goes, "He who enters the conclave as pope, leaves it as a cardinal."

Update 4/14/2004: I have been informed by a reader that the correct plural of papabile is papabili, so I've corrected that everywhere except the title (I can't change the title, because that would change the URL).

Cláudio Hummes, Archbishop of São Paulo (Age 70) - Wikipedia

Miloslav Vlk, Archbishop of Prague (Age 72) - Wikipedia

Ivan Dias, Archbishop of Mumbai (Age 69) - Wikipedia

Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament (Age 72) - Wikipedia

Geraldo Majella Agnelo, Archbishop of Salvador, Brazil (Age 71) - Wikipedia

Godfried Danneels, Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels (Age 72) - Wikipedia

Giovanni Battista Re, Cardinal Bishop, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops (Age 71) -

Dionigi Tettamanzi, Archbishop of Milan (Age 71) - Wikipedia

Oscar Andrés Rodríguez, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras (Age 62) - Wikipedia

Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna (Age 60) - Wikipedia

Angelo Scola, Patriarch of Venice (Age 63) - Wikipedia

Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Archbishop of Cape Coast (Age 56) - Wikipedia

Angelo Sodano, Cardinal Bishop, Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals (Age 77) - Wikipedia

Alfonso López Trujillo, Cardinal Bishop, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family (Age 69) - Wikipedia

Norberto Rivera Carrera, Archbishop of Mexico City (Age 62) - Wikipedia

Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster (Age 72) - Wikipedia

Lubomyr Husar, Ukrainian Rite Major-Archbishop of Lviv (Age 72) - Wikipedia

Tarcisio Bertone, Archbishop of Genoa (Age 70) - Wikipedia

Dario Castrillón Hoyos, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy (Age 75) - Wikipedia

Crescenzio Sepe, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Age 61) - Interview @NCR

Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity (Age 72) - Wikipedia

Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, Archbishop of Lima (Age 61) - Wikipedia

José da Cruz Policarpo, Patriarch of Lisbon (Age 69) - Wikipedia

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires (Age 68) - Outside the Beltway


Anonymous said...

I've really appreciated all the coverage of the Pope on your blog, but I'm not sure what to make of this extensive list, which includes some admittedly unlikely candidates but ignores Ratzinger, who has been widely mentioned as a possibility in recent days. He can't very well have been left off this list because of age, because Sodano (age 77) is there. An oversight, perhaps?

Anonymous said...


The omission of Ratzinger was by no means accidental. The U.S. media often cites him as papabile, but more educated Vatican watchers usually consider him to be a Grand Elector, instead. That is, he is unlikely to be elected pope, but he is likely to have much influence upon the other Cardinals.

Jimbo said...


Boney, you are absolutely correct. I'd like to further add that while the media, "analysts," "experts," and global political leaders can talk all they want about who the next Pope should be, we believe as Catholics that the decision takes place outside the realm of mere politics, or "what Americans (or insert your nationality here) want to see in the new Pope." Rather, the decision is a choice of the electors guided by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it should not be surprising that the elected Popes of late were not included on the temporal "papabile" lists drawn up by those outside the conclaves (i.e. the media, etc.).

John said...

Personal strikes from the list of papabile:

Daneels - Too liberal for the Cardinals, I think.

Husar - US Passport, which means it could be geopolitically difficult. Also, Eastern Rite, which would make becoming Pope (who is also Patriarch of the West) theologically odd.

Bertone - He's seemed to advertise himself, lately. Bad, bad sign.

Castrillon Hoyos - Two Words: "American Problem". That was his reaction to the clerical sex abuse scandal in the US, in a press conference, or at least how he came off. His election would turn off a lot of Catholics in the US.

Actually, scratch all of the candidates below 65. They're quite likely to be considered too young by the Conclave.

My personal favorites, however unlikely:

Arinze - There may be resistance to a black Pope (from Europeans, not Americans, believe it or not), so he's actually an outshide shot. But it would be interesting.

Schornborn - He Wrote The Book. (The Catechism, in this case...And he edited it, but that's just details.:-)) He seems interesting. Unfortunately, he's apparently pro-Israeli, which may not play well among those Cardinals who support the Palestinians.

Scola - He drafted lots of JP2's encyclicals on bio and bioethical issues. By all accounts, he seems generally saavy regarding modern issues in science and technology, which would be very helpful.

Tettamanzi - He's been a bit too forward about wanting to be Pope, but..."That Wee Fat Guy". C'mon, admit it. The silly side of you just wants him elected, just so that permanently enters the history books.:-)

Now, what I would love to see in a Pope:

1. Someone who understands science and technology: This is *vital*. I wait and pray for the day we find a Pope who can figure out the basics without the intervention of handlers. Occasionally, it's seemed like there's just very little actual experience with technology and science at the Vatican, and that's not a good thing. I love my Church, but it gets hard to accept decisions where there seem to be so many holes on technology and science.

2. Someone who can be flexible: Not on doctrine, but on how it's applied. There's an argument, on a practical level, for the Church to say: Condoms are bad, *but* the prospect of AIDS wiping out a generation or more of Africans is worse. If you can't keep to chastity, at least be responsible. It may not be accepted by anyone, but the next Pope should at least give such ideas a hard look.

3. Know where you have no credibility: Such as, say...on military affairs. Does the Vatican have anybody that's seen a modern battlefield (as in, within 20 years) and is conversant with the way modern warfare works? It didn't seem like it at times during Iraq...Like the Vatican was still thinking of war as it was 60 years ago, without an idea of how it worked in the real world, now. A similar argument could be made w/ counterterrorism stuff...The Vatican, if it was informed, could be wonderful. But the ignorance of military and intelligence matters, while understandable, shows at times; That makes it very hard to grant the Vatican credibility when it tries to speak on such issues, which means that, frankly, I tend to ignore it when it speaks on geopolitics, military affairs, and the like. They just don't show that they know what they're talking about.

Anonymous said...


It worries me that many people disrespect Pope John Paul II's teachings on war. I think it is very unfair to say that the Vatican has no experience with war - Ratzinger was an Army deserter, and the pope himself saw his homeland ravaged by war as a young man.

It is a bit sophomoric to believe that warfare has changed in terms of its MORALITY in the modern time; if anything, it is even more morally reprehensible, since we now have copious recent examples of peacemakers achieving revolution and wielding great power through non-violent means.

Aside from new technologies (that is, new instruments of killing), is not war the same? Is war not still people killing other people on behalf of a nation or government? The only real difference is that the scale is much larger these days.

You haven't made a clear case on how exactly the Vatican is ignorant in reference to war. I think they have a very clear understanding on what war is (be it modern or otherwise): a stain on humanity, a disrespect for the sanctity of human life, a bad option for solving conflicts, a way of sowing discord (not peace) and a source of great happiness for Satan.

If you ask me, neither George W. Bush nor Osama bin Laden sees war for what it is. In the words of the Pope: "War is a defeat for humanity... [it cannot] be morally or legally justified."

Anonymous said...


Well, I am the original commenter on Ratzinger, and I still don't think excluding Ratzinger from this list makes sense. You dismiss U.S. media speculations, but in fact most of your list reads almost like a compilation of the different media lists I have seen out there, except without Ratzinger. Naturally I have heard the whole "Grand Elector" theory about Ratzinger too, but the whole thing about powerful "Grand Electors" in any voting setting is that it is not so uncommon for people who have that much influence to end up getting chosen themselves, even if they do not want it themselves and even if it was not widely expected before the voting started. I agree Ratzinger is certainly not the most likely candidate, and perhaps could justifiably be omitted from a shorter list of just several favorites, but the whole point is that your list is quite extensive, and includes some candidates who I think an objective person should acknowledge are more far-fetched than Ratzinger. Of course, it's your blog, and anyway it doesn't really matter in the end who you or I think may be elected, but I'm just saying I don't buy your explanation for excluding Ratzinger from your list. Thanks for responding to my comment.

Anonymous said...

And thanks for your comments, you do make a good argument. But I still think I'm right :)

Immortalis said...

I would love to see Arinze, personally. An African pope would go a great way to healing some of the racial divisions that still haunt us. Also, though I understand his position on condom use was in line with JP's, he would definitely have a great platform from which to speak to the world about the HIV/AIDS problem in Sub-Saharan Africa.

However impractical or unlikely, I do hope the conclave would choose to highlight one of the regions with growing Catholic populations -- Latin/South America or Africa -- rather than going back to the Italians. Stability is great, but how often do you get a chance like this to follow up one great symbol with another?

Anonymous said...

I agree. I'm not a Cardinal, so I'll leave it to them. But I sure do like Arinze!

Dennis said...

About Husar: I don't beleive he has a US Passport. Though he was born in the US to Ukrainian parents, explicitely renoucnecd his US citizenship when he returned to the Ukraine. Still, he's a highly unlikely choice for the other reasons mentioned above. Also, I think it unlikely that JPII's successor will be from another former Soviet-bloc country.

If I were picking just on names alone, though, I think I'd have to go with Cardinal Sin! Yet another reason I am not a Cardinal.

Dennis said...

Tettamanzi seems like he's been campaigning a bit too much since he was appointed to Milan. Plus, honestly, the "wee fat guy" reminds me too much of John XXIII -not a good thing in my book.

If the Papacy goes to an Italian again this time, let it be Scola or Ruini.

John said...

Boney: You're right, in some respects.

However, the technological and tactical manner of war has changed. The fact that war can be accomplished with what would even 30 years ago be seen as an eye-poppingly small number of civilian casaulties does matter. It's easy to say "all war is bad". The problem is that that is irrationally naive; wars very rarely happen because of intent, and policymakers don't live in that sort of Utopia, anyway. Also, the precision of weapons is such that while civilian casaulties happen (and are unavoidable; a perfectly-accurate weapon is impossible, and frankly, when one deals with (for example) aerial-delivered weapons, the wind will always mean that some weapons miss), they're significantly less.

Similarly, the factor of training does matter. Does the Vatican have an intelligence service? Intelligence analysts?

If it were given intelligence by friendly governments, could it know what to do with it?

By all indications, the answers are no, no, and no.

So...The Vatican doesn't have the intelligence the governments making the decisions do. If it did, it wouldn't have the analysts to turn it into anything useful. If it *gets* intelligence, it has no idea what to do with it.

To back that up, the Vatican personnel making the decision have no idea how *modern war works*. In the modern world, most reasonable people expect that anybody else commenting on such matters has such, or they're usually ignored. The Vatican is no different.

As it stands, they're as uninformed as the rest of the planet, but are refusing to acknowledge that.

To correct that, would they need a CIA? An army? No.

But they *do* need advisors. People with training and experience in those fields, with first-world forces (so they can speak with a clue on how the major players work) and first-world intelligence agencies. I don't expect a Pope or Cardinal to have military or intelligence training. I don't expect a President to have either, either.

I would expect that if either speaks on such matters, though, they have people who do know about such things, who can tell them knowledgably "This is what you could do", "This is what you can't do", and "This is what happens if you do X" in the military sphere, or "This is what we have, and this is what it might mean", "This is what is likely to occur, this is what may occur, and this is what is unlikely", when it comes to intelligence.

If you don't have that, you have no standing beyond what I or any random idiot has. When that is the case, I really do not feel a moral obligation to listen to you. You probably have no idea what you're talking about.

If the Vatican wants me or others to listen, they *cannot* rely simply on position. They have to do like everybody else in the modern world, and prove they know what the hell they're talking about.

Next...As I recall, issues of competence, of the availability of intelligence (or its equivalent), and the like...Are why war is a *prudential* decision, according to just war doctrine. That's not changed since Aquinas time, it's just that technology's advanced. Sovereigns in Aquinas's time had to face the same issues (more or less), with the same questions.

While I can understand *why* the Church speaks...They're armchair quarterbacking. They neither know what goes into the decisions, nor do they have to face the consequences. They aren't, as it were, "writing letters home". Thus, they really have no room to comment with any authority.

Also...Ratzinger served in a rear-area Antiaircraft unit, and later guarded a POW camp. Not exactly frontline experience, or much actual training. By November 44, when he was drafted, it's an open question whether he would have actually recieved *any* training.

Anonymous said...

A fascinating 24. My list of 21 can be found

I'm updating it several times every day.

We share nine candidates:
Arinze, Bergoglio, Castrillon H., Dias, Hummes, Husar, Rodriguez M., Scola and Tettamanzi.

The names highest on my list which don't appear on Boney's are:
DARMATMAADJA the Indonesian
NAPIER the South African
PHAM MINH MAN the Vietnamese
POLETTO the Piemontese
TURCOTTE the Quebecois
ZEN the Chinese.

Of which, ZEN is clearly the most interesting as he isn't an elector. Any comments?

Anonymous said...

Clearly the one that would be best to have for the world is Danneels. He is extremely smart and forward thinking. He speaks 6 languages fluently and is a good diplomat.

He has been the only one openly 'criticising' respectfully some Vatican viewpoints :
- He wants more collegiality
- Thinks condoms should be used within a married couple where one has aids and they cannot withstand the temptation
- Feels a pope should be able to stand down before dying when he becomes too old to properly execute the function

He deserves to be it because he has been the only one that has an outspoken vision that is universally acceptable and modern. Moreover cardinals that have shown no vision clearly lack the necessary leadership.

Anonymous said...

The next Pope has to look good on the media and exude warmth and holiness as well as having a powerful intellect. John Paul II transformed the way the world looks at the pope. If his successor has none of his charm and charisma he will not be able to maintain the attention of the fickle media which now drives so much world opinion. John Paul II had a global appeal for young and old, rich and poor. When he appeared, people looked and listened. While we have to accept that kind of magnetism does not come in a bottle, the new man at least has to have more than a trace of this magic.

After more than of a quarter of a century with an extraordinary human being at the helm of the ship the church must build on his legacy. It cannot go back to having an inward looking Pontiff buried in the Vatican. If there is no man of the required stature in the current College of Cardinals then a transitional Pope would surely be the best alternative.

In this context Ratzinger must be a leading contender. He has a towering intellect and, with his distinctive mass of silvery hair, his appearance has a certain cuteness factor. He photographs well and is probably the most recognisable of the Cardinals. His emotion while delivering the funeral homily showed him to be far more human than he is sometimes portrayed. As a close collaborator of JP II he could be considered the keeper of his legacy.
He would have to win the media and the people over with a softer, more user-friendly image. He is reputed to have a gentle charm. With a little practice he might even start kissing babies. Winning over the liberals would be a battle too far, but liberals had little time for Wojtyla.

Anonymous said...

Ratzinger is strong but would not be good for the church. He would be too centralised and has to my knowledge had little involvement in interreligious relations. Everybody agrees on the challenges ahead :
- Poverty and aids in Africa
- Challenging alternative religions in Latin America
- Secularisation in Europe
- Credibility of church leaders in the US
- Role of the women in the church

All of these will need to be embodied by 1 person. This is very unlikely.

If one checks the achievements of the various 'candidates', then I think you will come to a pretty short list of people :
- The one from Honduras or Brasil
- The one from Austria or Belgium
- One of the two most quoted Italians
- The Indian cardinal

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Desert_Writer said...

I enjoy the speculation. A piece of caution I still have the audio tape I made of the annoucemment of the John Paul I and John Paul II off the TV (in those days there weren't video tape recorders readily available in homes and I was a grad student. The surprise of the announcers at the rapid election of JPI was nothing compared to the shock the election of JP2 (the poor reporter flubbed it and called him Stefan Woyjtila (clearly mixing up the two Polish cardinals at the times names). So the lesson is that predcting is fraught with peril.

I think Tettamanzi might make a neat looking pope but the problem is that he only speaks Italian.

I thought of Ratzinger as Grand Elector but I am less certain that he is not a viable candidate - especially after orchestrating the gag rule, showing he has considerable influence and strength, even though he really has no power since JP2's death except as Dean.

Hummes is the perfect compromise in many aspects -- even fulfills the Malachy prediction by being a Benedicitne, but I think they will stick to Europe at least for this go round.

Most of the other Pope's seem to be selected by the American media based on some sort of sense of balance.

The real question is where will the cardinals see the greatest challenges for the church - Islam? Other Christian movements? The need to stem secualrism?

I think, in the final analysis that each cardinal will consider the impact of the potential candidates on his local area (at least for the non-curial candidates) and how that candidate will respond to or react to his local concerns and issues. A US cardinal is concerned about dropping atendance and falling voxcations; those are not the concerns of a Nigerian cardinal faced with an proselytizing and hostile Islam. that's the key - and hard as it to tell on TV many of this men are charismatic and "holy" - intangibles that play roles we don't see from the 5 second film clips.

Desert_Writer said...

Most of the other Pope's seem to be selected by the American media based on some sort of sense of balance.

I onbviouly meat tht to read "Most of the other Popes-to-be seem to be selected"....

Sorry about that - I have been working in Saudi Arabia for far too long :)

Anonymous said...

Tettamanzi a neat looking pope? You have got to be kidding! The world has moved on since the time of John XXIII. People work out now and TV makes a guy look 40 lbs heavier than he is. Short, bald and fat will not cut it, especially for someone following the athletic alpha male which was John Paul II. It’s true he was physically diminished by Parkinson’s as he aged, but the way most people remember him is the way he was at his zenith, and he never lost that powerful aura. The Papacy is not a beauty parade, but I agree with some of the comments above - appearance can’t be ignored in such a visual age.

Anonymous said...

Those who regard Hummes as a Benedictine will be shocked to hear that he is actually a Franciscan. It will be recalled that Liberation Theology in South America in the 70's and 80's was much favored by Franciscans. This may be guilt by association, but Cardinals sometimes do things for odd reasons.

Also, Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, sometimes touted by 'progressives' is a Jesuit, and no Jesuit has reached the papal throne in 450 years.

Jimbo said...

A post made by BdeB123 on 4/15/2005 4:52 PM was deleted due to a formatting issue. I have reformatted the post and the entire original unedited post is below. I apologize for any inconvenience. - Jimbo.

BdeB123 said...
Isn't it rather extreme to claim Ratzinger would be "bad for the church?" Is the implication that he would not tackle the essential issues, or is it that he would not approach them a way acceptable to some groups? Ratzinger seems to get a lot of unjustified negativity. He was blamed for initiating the ban on Cardinals talking to the press. It transpires that this was not true – on the contrary, he upheld the right of individuals to speak out.

For those who favor taking the church in a totally different direction from the course set by JP II, the most suitable candidate would appear to be the one most likely to do this. JP II clearly did not please everyone, but before he blazed onto the scene only practising Catholics and Vaticanistas paid any attention to what the Pope said or did. Paul VI and Humanae Vitae was a brief exception, coming as it did at the height of the sexual revolution and the wide availability of the contraceptive pill.

The successor to JP II must of course focus on essential issues, but for maximum impact he must also be a universal pastor with some telegenic charisma. This is not a gift with which many of the candidates seem to be over endowed. In an age of global mass media, the power of the image is paramount. Recall the moment at the end of Ratzinger’s homily when he raised his arm to point at the empty window of the Apostolic Palace. It was a simple but profoundly eloquent gesture and the huge crowd responded. He has learned something about communication from his years at the side of Karol Wojtyla.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone here comment knowledgeably on the Italian news reports that some 40-50 cardinal electors are behind Ratzinger?

Anonymous said...

Please could you all stop using the word papabile as a plural adjective? The correct plural form is papabili. I wish your knowledge of Italian grammar was as extensive as your insights as to whom the Holy Spirit will choose to lead His church!

Anonymous said...

Whew, tough crowd. I'll fix it up, ok??

Anonymous said...


As for this:

"While I can understand *why* the Church speaks...They're armchair quarterbacking. They neither know what goes into the decisions, nor do they have to face the consequences. They aren't, as it were, "writing letters home". Thus, they really have no room to comment with any authority."

I couldn't disagree more. First of all, I believe the Pope has much authority, as the alter ego of Christ on Earth.

Secondly, I believe it is war-mongerers who "don't face the consequences". They push the button, make the orders, pull the trigger, whatever... but they don't clean up the mess very well afterward, do they?

The war hawks aren't really doing too much for war-ridden Africa last time I checked. Last time I checked it was Catholic Charities who was the driving force of peace and hope there, feeding the hungry and giving basic hospice to those who are dying. Our last Pope did more on the "ground level" than any military leader or intelligence officer that I've ever heard of.

I, sitting on my duffus blogging in America, certainly have no authority. But I know in my heart, and in my head, that the Pope does.

Der Tommissar said...

I'm all for Cardinal Danneels as well. After all, he's done such a bang-up job in the Netherlands. The Faith is making such a dramatic comeback, he should be allowed to spread that magic throughout the world. Mass attendence is booming, conversions are through the roof...

Oh wait...nevermind.

Anonymous said...

John: sorry i missed your reply before.

I do not understand your insistence on the Pope "understanding modern warfare."

The Pope has seen war. More than most of us have. Meanwhile, how do technology and intelligence change the moral questions involved? I don't believe they do. How does intelligence change the moral questions involved in killing a human being? Does technology change the science in death itself, or affect the instrinsic value of human life?

Finally, in light of your sneering at idealism, I would like to point out, that Jesus Christ was a pacifist. (Turn the other cheek). His ideas weren't very sensible or practical, were they? He certainly didn't rid society of war; instead, he lost his life and was executed for his ideas.

I don't remember the exact quote, but Mother Theresa said something to the effect of, God doesn't call us to be practical; he only calls us to be faithful.

Anonymous said...

I find Danneels very appealing. But his past health problems (heart) and his more liberal view on condoms and homosexuality may be too much of a sea change for the Church.

Anonymous said...

I feel the new pope will be between 60 and 70 years old. I also reckon that Martini and Ratzinger are not ´´real´´ candidates. Other people will emerge.

Anonymous said...

I think José da Cruz Policarpo will be pope. For these reasons, 1)the media don't have him on their lists. 2) His connections to Fatima, with his interest in inter-faith dialogue.
3) He speaks Portuguese, so would make a good bridge between Europe and Latin America.
4) He is moderate.
5) He is a prolific writer and a formidable intellectual.
6) St Malachy predicts ""Gloria Olivae" - He was a dean of a seminary in Olivais, close to Fatima, and so he may be influential in increasing vocations.

Anonymous said...

I would say that based on sheer numbers - next pope will still be european. I doubt it that he will be italian or that anyone will favour eastern european pope (as they said for JPII "he worked hard and lived long"). I do not think that new pope will come from german zone of influence (this goes for Ratzinger as well which seems like a very nice person, his downside is his position with JPII), reason for this is because germans are considered cold, administrative and conservative people and new pope will likely be more open to new ideas. So, what remains is spanish or portugeese pope and I think that it is highly likely; "latin" blood can introduce more passion into church and will surely bring more open views about critical subjects. This pope could also be considered "compatible" with latin america and africa (because of shared history). Also, do not forget that church in europe is in crisis and while I agree that all attention should be given to new centers of church growth (africa and america), new energy should be introduced in old and decadent europe.

Anonymous said...

What about the Nicaraguan Cardinal ?

Desert_Writer said...

I suppose this isn't the correct place for this since this is actually a discussion of papabili... BUT.. any thoughts on what the next pope might select as his papal name.

There had been a long string of Piuses from the beginning of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th. Ronalli's selection of John was a surprise to many (including sede vacantists - some of whome see it as a sinister choice given the anti-pope withthe same title's behaviors). Paul was in keeping with habit of looking for other names that hadn't been used and John Paul I was the first new name in several hundred years and the first double-barreled one. My understanding is that JP2 would have preferred a Polish name (I think it was Wadislaw, but can't be sure) but was talked out of it by Cardinal Wyzinski. It's hard for many people to remember that JP1 was very much admired and loved in his brief pontificate, which never gets the attention it deserves for overwhelming the Hamlet-like and emotionally sterile reign of Paul VI, who just couldn't get the crowd to warm to him)

I doubt the name Pius will be selected. I think Adrian is also unlikely since a Hadrian/Adrian VII would simply remind people of the play and book.

So, with less to go on and that the papal contender assessors - my personal guess work:

John Paul III - highly unlikely and I don';t think they ever t\had three popes in a row withthe same name.

Pius XIII - unlikely because of Pius' assoiation with the pre-Vatican II church.

John XXIV or Paul VII - again not likely - both men have a legacy that's reminded

Leo XIV - I think this has a good opportunity. Leo was a social liberal who reached out and was at 68, eected witht he ide of a relatively short papcy compared t Pius IX's longest on record. Of course as we know Leo XIII landed up withhte second longest reign, only just supplanted by John Paul II

Benedict XVI - poor Benedict XV appears to have becoem one of the most forgotten popes of the 20th century. I've never read why he chose Benedict

Gregory XVII -

Clement XV

These use the possible names selected over the past 250 years.

There are of course lots of other options, and the new Pope can choose whatever name he likes, including his own -- but it is interesting to speculate.

Michael J.W. Stickings said...

It's going to be Tettamanzi as a "third way" between Ratzinger on one side and the myriad "liberals," "moderates," and reformers" -- whatever you want to call them -- on the other. It seems increasingly unlikely that Ratzinger will secure the super-majority needed for victory. For my reasoning, see:

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Not including Ratzinger on the list looks brilliant now...

Anonymous said...

"the cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble worker in God's vineyard. I am consoled by the fact that the Lord knows how to work and how to act, even with insufficient tools"

Will there be much pruning of the vines?

Anonymous said...

Interesting choice in Ratzinger. As an 18 yr old in Germany, ww2, he failed most of the physical challenges of basic training, was most certainly an unwilling member of the Hitler Youth, and ended up a German army deserter, finding refuge from the horrors of war in the seminary. At least from his perspective, in the words of the Knight Templar from Indiana Jones III " You chose well ". He is a reminder of the past, right here in the advanced year of 2005.

At his age, he can only be seen as a temporary Pope, but he seems excited to have attained the highest position in his chosen profession. Good luck to him!

Jimbo said...

Aren't all of the Popes temporary? Heck, aren't we all temporary? All joking aside, don't assume that a 78-year-old Pope will not live long. It is certainly possible that his Papacy will be brief, but it's also possible that he could live another 10, 15, 20 years or so. Who knows?

Anonymous said...

I think Ratzinger is very intelligent and I heard he is very nice and sweet even if he doens't seem to be but he is too old .I think they should have continued the way they went when electing JPII .My favourite was Schonborn 'coz he has some of the charisma of JPII and he has most of the qualities : looks better than the others and has a kind smile (the look ,charisma factor),he seems to be opened and kind to people(the closeness factor),he is intelligent and speaks several languages and his english is beautiful(the smarts factor),he is more liberal and opened to new things(the liberal factor)and he is younger and healthy(the age factor).Also I think Maradiaga of Honduras would have been good especially for the young people.