Have a gander at this! What a piece! I personally have no problem with the idea of female cardinals but surely the Pope isn’t going to break with thousands of years of tradition to pick an Irish feminist?!
I’m not sure what the deal is with the potential of having female cardinals. Maybe because they are not clergy they wouldn’t be accountable to anyone after they were elected? (Then again you can go to a conclave as a Cardinal even if you are excommunicated as far as I know so I’m not sure they are accountable once they are chosen in any case…)
Perhaps its a bit like Saudi women not being issued driving licences despite there being no prohibition in Saudi law or Islamic law against women drivers, and I am very much in favour of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia I might add. So I can’t see what the legal restriction there could be against women cardinals? But if Pope Francis is going to take this truly historic leap he will certainly have to make sure the first ever female cardinals are better than their average male counterparts. So in other words, again, if he picks an Irish feminist I will eat my hat! (Its made of straw… so I hope it doesn’t come to that!)
The real story here is that everyone needs to understand just how many people, who do not really have a clue who Pope Francis is, are waxing lyrical with wild liberal speculation on things he’s going to change. eg he’s going to change Church teaching on divorce and remarriage or civil partnerships. Nobody knows much about this Pope mainly because he hasn’t written much. But I strongly suspect they couldn’t be more wrong.
All that these people think they know is Pope Francis might possibly be vaguely more liberal than his predecessor. Thus he has become a wishing well for all the liberal pipe dreams that have been building up over the last sixty years. Sure enough, like a game of buckaroo, he has bucked every one of them so far.
My strong suspicion is that Pope Francis couldn’t give a monkeys for the divisive and false dichotomy of liberals vs traditionalists. He cares for neither faction. More than that he seems to abhor factionalism itself. Francis will most likely know that any lurch to one side or the other will be reacted against, the best course is steady as she goes and hopefully, please God, bring some much needed reform to the curia and our lackluster Bishops in western Europe.
But this idea hasn’t reached the above mentioned sizable group, within and without the Catholic Church, who saw Benedict as a bad thing, who saw JP2 as a reactionary, and who are now getting as excited as a two year old on a sugar rush. Somebody is going to have to pour cold water over their flights of fancy surely? Or maybe watching these people get their hopes up then dashed will make for delicious schadenfreude? Either way I’m betting the rattle gets thrown from the pram before bedtime.
B16 made all the right enemies, but perhaps that’s what curtailed his papacy, I think towards the end Benedict clearly became dispirited that there was virtually nobody in Rome he could really trust, he looked over burdened with responsibility and isolated, even his private secretary was stealing his papers. Its interesting that his body language has changed markedly since becoming Pope Emeritus, he looks ten years younger for escaping the hardest job in the world.
Perhaps Francis is, in a funny kind of way, a traditionalist Trojan horse. Perhaps he’s making all the right liberal sounds, whilst his actions are still very much rooted in Catholic tradition. Maybe so that when the meat meets the metal and he begins the Herculean task of Curia reform he won’t have made too many enemies to make it stick. Maybe its me who’s now on the flight of fancy? Anyway, time will tell, its far too early to say.
Incidentally, these liberal sounds were frequently the very same sounds which Benedict himself made, eg on respecting and being compassionate towards homosexuals, but almost nobody was listening. Well bar Francis’ new Resurrexifix ferula, that Benedict probably wouldn’t be seen dead holding, and that Rorate Caeli vociferously railed against, then promptly updated their post with no hint of their objection towards said ferula… Not a blog I usually read it must be said, they seem to be a tad bitter about our current Holy Father which I find most unbecoming.
Anyway, to get back on topic, the above telegraph article is obviously an outrider piece. I’d wager the author knew it was fanciful the moment she typed it and her objective was never female Cardinals but Anglican Bishops. For decades the Anglican clergy and Bishops had been hammered into line to finally vote in favour of women Bishops. It was a campaign of ostracism of anyone who would vote against it. Then it is shot down in flames by the laity, the one group who couldn’t be ostracized for voting their conscience. Now the feministas want to flip the table and overrule the verdict…
I’m also betting she has never considered the thought that maybe Anglican church attendance is plummeting because of the introduction of priestesses? Their novel introduction signaled the departure of the last vestige of hope for sacramental theology within the Anglican Church and the final death knell of their already tenuous claim to apostolic succession. The straw that broke the camel’s back and drove many into finally swimming the Tiber. The Anglican Church went from being the Tory party at prayer to becoming New Labour at prayer, it was hard to work out what was more nauseating: Tony Blair mimicking an Anglican priest at PMQ’s or Rowan Williams’ constant double speak. Meow! saucer of milk for one! =^.^= 😀