Death Of French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, The Camerlengo.
The 2013 habermus Papam delivered by Cardinal Tauran.
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, at the time the protodeacon [i.e., senior most cardinal deacon], came to worldwide prominence on March 13, 2013, when he appeared on the famous balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to announce who was to be the new pope, post Benedict XVI.
That was when most of us realized that he suffered, quite badly, from Parkinson’s — and that resonated with I since my adoptive mother (who also, coincidentally, lived in France for 18-years) had Parkinson’s for many years prior to dying in her sleep, aged 62, in 1992.
Cardinal Tauran from everything I have heard and read was much respected, liked and competent.
I was very surprised that Pope Francis, ’18-months’ into his pontificate, made Tauran his new Camerlengo (when ‘my man’) Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone turned 80 — and as such could no longer be the Camerlengo since he was now ineligible to attend a conclave. Being a Camerlengo is demanding THOUGH a Camerlengo’s real duties only start when there is a sede vacante (i.e, the absence of a pope).
I now SUSPECT that Francis may have been EXTREMELY CALCULATING in making this decision. He probably determined that Tauran may NOT be around by the time of the Next Conclave! That, obviously, was the case. So, why would be do that. Being appointed Camerlengo is a singular honor and Cardinal Tauran, though he never officiated at a Conclave, will always be listed and remembered as a Camerlengo. So, the Pope was being ultra nice to him. I am cool with that. Nothing wrong with that. No harm done.
Not having a Camerlengo is NOT a problem — though I suspect that Francis will appoint one soon. I have a feeling it is going to be Cardinal Pietro Parolin. (Though health again might be an issue!) Being Camerlengo is the perfect job for the Secretary of State. The two jobs have zero-overlap. The Secretary of State automatically loses his job at the start of the sede vacante which is when the Camerlengo steps to the fore. My man Bertone (and I truly liked him) held both titles — as has many others.
Just for the record there had not been a Camerlengo for YEARS when Pope Pius XII died in 1958. The Dean of the College of Cardinals had to appoint one after first certifying that the pope was indeed dead.
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