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Tag Archive | popes

Has The Dalai Lama Started Using Ordinal ‘XIV’ And Affecting A Style Of That Of A Pope?

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. Seen on Facebook today.


He is, per that school of Buddhism, indeed the 14th Dalai Lama — and really the ONLY one most of us have ever known since he has held this title since 1940!

This is the very first time I have seen an ordinal — in this case XIV (for ’14’) — used next to the Dalai Lama title. With the use of the Roman numerals it looked exactly the same as that used by popes.

Not sure whether this is official or whether it was a creation of western ‘graphic artist’ trying to be clever.

There is nothing wrong with it. I am just curious about the timing. Why now.


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by Anura Guruge


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Most Number Of “Popes To Be” Alive At The Same Time — Part I.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


I received a pseudonymously wriiten e-mail the other day asking me whether I was aware of this.

Here’s one for you: During all of 1937 and 1938, eight current and future popes were living (Pius XI to Francis)“.

I was not aware per se, in that I had not bothered to count.

BUT, I do know that I have a magical Excel Spreadsheet with data on ALL the popes for whom we have a birthdate. That is basically all the popes since 1400. See below. So, it is easy enough for me to check — provided we are talking post 1400. Prior to that all bets are off.

7 “would be popes” alive is NOT even CLOSE to being a record. Without even trying, just taking a semi-intelligent guess, I found 11 … PLUS the living pope.

Over the next few days I will try to build upon this.

Click to ENLARGE.


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by Anura Guruge

Vatican II, That Redefined What It Meant To Be ‘Catholic’, Started This Day, 55-Years Ago — October 11, 1962.

by Anura Guruge


From my 2014 “Popes: 101 Facts & Trivia”. See image below to access details of the book. Click to ENLARGE and read here.


Click to ENLARGE and admire here. This went with my Pope John XXIII book.


Click to ENLARGE and study. My ‘magic’ Excel spreadsheet on the Ecumenical Councils. First time I have shared this.


Vatican II, as most Catholics know, was a BIG deal. It still divides many Catholics and the history of the Catholic Church is now clearly demarcated by ‘pre-Vatican II‘ and ‘post-Vatican II‘. For many it will be best known as the Ecumenical Council that gave us the Vernacular Mass (i.e., the non-Latin Mass).

To I, it will always be indelibly associated with my alltime favorite Pope, John XXIII. This was his crowning achievement in a life full of many.

55-years ago. Wow. Wasn’t that long ago.


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by Anura Guruge

Errors In ‘The Next Pope’ by Peter Hebblethwaite.

by Anura Guruge


<<  <<  Transferring over from my “Popes and Papacy” Website  >> >>


‘The Next Pope’ by Peter Hebblethwaite

(revised and edited by Margaret Hebblethwaite)
 ISBN: 0-06-063777-3, 2000



Page 4: “Moreover, conclaves did not happen in the Sistine Chapel until after the collapse of the Papal States in 1870.”

Ah! I have tried to parse that statements all which ways until Christmas to see if I was missing something here. But, I am sure it says what it says!

Yes, the 1846, 1831, 1829 & 1823 conclaves were held at the Quirinal Palace and the 1800 conclave in Venice.  But the prior 38 conclaves, going back to 1484, were centered around the Sistine. During the first twelve of these, 1484 to 1559, all the cardinals were even billeted inside the Sistine. Thus, in my opinion, that statement is dead wrong.


Page 27: “In the first millennium, popes did not emerge from the college of cardinals, since the cardinals in the modern sense did not exist.”

Ah! Well YOU could play games with the caveat ‘modern sense,’ and say that the ‘College’ didn’t come to be until 1148-1150. But even with that, the spirit of this sentence is SO WRONG. Let us just refer to the 769 Roman Synod convened by Stephen III (IV) and its stipulation that popes must be elected from among cardinal priests and cardinal deacons.


Page 165: “… William Wakefield Baum …, he is the only U.S. cardinal to have ever voted in a conclave — in fact two — having become a cardinal in 1976.”

That ‘ever’ in front of ‘voted’ makes this statement false as it stands. If the caveat ‘living’ is added after the ‘only’ this would work (given that this book was published in 2000). The way it reads is misleading and wrong. James Gibbons voted in the 1903 conclave. John Murphy Farley voted in the 1914 conclave etc. Eight US cardinals participated in the August 1978 conclave and nine in the October 1978 conclave. This should have been caught by an editor. But maybe this book was not edited. That would explain all these fundamental errors.


Page 139: “And after all, the pope lives in Italy …”

This is is post-1929. The pope lives in the sovereign city-state of Vatican City — with even Castel Gandolfo falling within the extraterritorial bounds of the Vatican City. This was obviously meant to be a ‘cute’ statement, but it is inappropriate, misleading and worst of all, wrong.


Page 57: Talking about the voting process says “… the whole process is repeated …”

Not so. The second ballot of each morning and afternoon session is different from the first. For a start there is no need to elect new Scrutineers, Infirmarii and Revisers, or to take a new oath.


Page 32: There is a poem here by the Polish poet Juliusz Slowacki, prefaced by a claim that it forecasts that there would be a Slavic pope [i.e., John Paul II] in the 20th century.

I think it is more than a stretch to make that claim. It sure says, in the first line “… will not — Italian-like — take fright.” Yes, the poet was Polish. But that doesn’t mean that any non-Italian has to be Slavic. This one is not as grave as the prior two, but it still gave me pause. 


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by Anura Guruge

Is Donald Trump Limping — And I Mean Physically.

by Anura Guruge


Donald Trump in Paris today, Thursday, July 13, 2017. 

At the welcoming ceremony with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Watch as he walks — especially the views from the back.

His left leg appears to be WEAK. He is limping.

Start around the 9 minute mark in the YouTube video below.

OK? See what YOU think.



As a papal watcher over the last decade or so I have got attuned to looking for and noticing limps — both popes of that period, Benedict XVI and Francis, having had limps.

You have to watch carefully, but I am sure he is having trouble with his left leg. Yes, he is packing on the pounds again. That never helps.


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by Anura Guruge

Think – Today: Has The Makeup Of Our Atmosphere Changed Over Time?

by Anura Guruge


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2000px-atmosphere3-svgYes, you hear about the greenhouse gases, lead (from when we used leaded gas/petrol) etc., in our atmosphere. But, have you given any thought to whether the makeup of our atmosphere has changed, significantly, over the years. It is something worth thinking about. The atmosphere is pretty vital to our life. Right?


Think first, then research, then THINK again. Think for the pleasure of thinking.


Yesterday’s ‘Think’: “Fidel Castro and the nine days of mourning” — nine consecutive days of mourning, novendiale (or novemdiales) in Italian, is a very old Catholic custom that used to be regularly practiced upon the death of nobles. Typically a Catholic Mass is held on each of the nine days. These days you typically only hear about novendiale upon the death of a pope. That this Catholic tradition is being used with Castro is intriguing. Though born a Catholic he has claimed that he was a non-believer. He, however, made a point of meeting popes. As far as we know there are no official Catholic church ceremonies associated with his funeral.


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by Anura Guruge

22 Books On A Shelf.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Why 22 and not 25?

Four of my books are in Kindle only — 3 about popes and one about “4 Vesta” the asteroid.

Shouldn’t it then be 21 rather than 22?

Ah!  There is the Russian edition of my “Corporate Portals” book — i.e., the purplish cover, 6th from left, next to the English edition. I get a kick from that book. Only book of mine that was translated, so far, and it is that book and into Cyrillic.

Yes, this is an affectation — though I like to think that is one of few, and the shelf is not in a prominent location. Yes, it is nice to glance at it every once in a while to see what my life has been — and these 25 books are very much my footsteps in wet cement. {SMILE}

P.S.: I just had, totally coincidentally, my latest Royalty Statement from ‘Elsevier‘, the publisher of my “Web Services” & “Corporate Portals” books. The e-Book versions of them are still selling. Wow. Not bad given that they were published over 13 years ago!


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by Anura Guruge

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