The Next Pope: Cardinal Leonardo Sandri As A Papabile Has 2.75 Strikes Against Him.
Guruge 2020 Papabili Series — #I
Then in December 2019 his fellow cardinal bishops elected him Vice Dean. They elected Cardinal Battista Re (b. Jan. 1934) as Dean. So, Re is already past 80 and as such will not be able to participate in the next conclave. Thus, it would be Sandri who will be the acting ‘Dean’ (the role that Re had in 2013). Being acting ‘Dean’ is certainly not a negative vis-à-vis being a papabile. Benedict XVI (i.e., Cardinal Ratzinger) was the Dean in 2005 when he was elected pope. As ‘Dean’ the electors can never lose sight of you. You are always there in the conclave — center stage, orchestrating proceedings.
But, Sandri has two definite strikes against him:
- He is another Latin American — with Francis having been the first. The electors may feel that two Latin American popes, with very similar outlooks and temperament, back-to-back might be a tad too much, particularly so in that Francis was the first from across the Atlantic. So that is Strike #1.
- Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the famous Vatican whistleblower, has explicitly implicated Sandri in the sex abuse mire by stating that he was actively involved in the coverup of the egregious sexual misconducts of the Legionary of Christ founder, Marciel Maciel. That should be Strike #2.
His age could start to become a factor. He is currently 76 and getting older.
Francis & John XXIII were elected at 76 and Benedict XVI at 78. So, he is still ‘good’ but his age could be half-a-strike against him.
Then, there is his friendship with Francis. Francis is not as popular among the electors as had been Benedict XVI or John Paul II. So, this could be a negative, quarter-of-a-strike against him.
He, despite these strikes, remains papabile.
So, do not rule him out as yet.
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