Pope Francis’ New Camerlengo, French Jean-Louis Tauran, Has Parkinson’s.


jean-louis-tauran.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge

Some Related posts:
>> February 2015 consistory.
Pope plans to reorganize Holy See.
Francis and Ratzinger at consistory.

>> 19 cardinal designates for 2014.
>> 2014 cardinalabili list.

That Pope Francis (#267) acted quickly to ensure that Church has a valid Camerlengo within weeks of the past holder, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (one of my favorite cardinals), turning 80 on December 2, 2014, and thus becoming ineligible to participate in a conclave was admirable. The Church should always have a valid Camerlengo in case something happened to the pope. The new appointment, that of French Cardinal, Jean-Louis Tauran [b. April 5, 1943 (and thus 71 years old)], as of December 20, 2014, thus took place 18 days after Cardinal Bertone aged out. The last time around, i.e., when Bertone was appointed, on April 4, 2007, the transition took place within 4 days of Spanish Eduardo Martínez Somalo turning 80 on March 31, 2007.

So, that, i.e., the quick appointment, without unseeming delay and uncertainty, was good.

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, whose main function is that of President of Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, is well liked, highly thought of and extremely experienced; a veteran of the curia who has worked in the all important Secretariat of State. Some even thought him a papabili.

That he is French is a non-issue. The 5th known Camerlengo, way back in 1270, Eudes de Châteauroux, was French. Moreover, one of the best known and hugely popular Camerlengos of modern times, the irrepressible, chain-smoking Jean-Marie Villot was French.


Click to access 1:26 video on YouTube. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, then the Protodeacon, making the ‘Habemus papam’ announcement re. Pope Francis on March 13, 2013. Notice that the cardinal is a bit unsteady walking up to the balcony and his voice is rather strained.

There is only one thing incongruous about the selection of Tauran. He suffers from Parkinson’s and as was plainly visible to the whole world last March 2013, as shown in the video, above he is a bit unsteady.

Tauran’s Parkinson’s has not precluded him from carrying on his current duties in the curia. Interestingly, as Camerlengo he does not have to make any public addresses. He had to do the much watched ‘Habemus papam’ in 2013 because he was the senior most cardinal deacon. Since then, based on 10 years as a cardinal deacon, he opted to be promoted to a cardinal priest. So he will not have to do the ‘Habemus papam’ again. The Camerlengo has a very demanding and strenuous job during a conclave. Until there is a need for a conclave a Camerlengo does not have to do much ‘Camerlenghing’. Maybe the pope knows that there will NOT be another conclave for a few years. In which case he has time to swap Tauran out after a couple of years — after in essence having awarded him the honor of having been a Camerlengo. I have a feeling that this what it is all about. Francis giving Tauran recognition for his services HOPING that he will not be force to organize and run a conclave. Could work. Francis, given his connections, must know a bit about what the future holds.

That a new Vice-Camerlengo was also appointed at the same time, Italian Archbishop Giampiero Gloder (aged 56), was a coincidence. The prior holder, Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, was 77 and the pope is trying to make sure that most of these posts are not held by prelates older than 75. That makes sense. The Vice-Camerlengo, by definition, cannot be a cardinal elector. While the Camerlengo is in conclave, the Vice- HAS to stay outside the monitor the perimeter of the conclave to ensure that no transgressions takes place.

About Anura Guruge

See 'The Blogger' on my https://nhlifefree.com/ blog.
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