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Tag Archive | Secretary Of State

Next Camerlengo IF It Isn’t Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


I am still fairly confident that the new Camerlengo will be the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. That is the logical pick.

But, if Pope Francis decides against Parolin here are some other viable names.

There are only two criteria that a Camerlengo needs to meet. He needs to be a Cardinal Elector and he needs to be permanently resident in Rome, The latter being why the Camerlengo is invariably a curalist. Being a seasoned curialist also helps in that the Camerlengo must know how to get things done within the Vatican.

Other than the under-80 requirement to be a Cardinal Elector there is no other age constraints. So, the pope could pick a cardinal in his mid- or late-70s. But, I don’t think that is likely to happen. But, it also depends as to when the Pope thinks the next conclave is likely to be. His unexpected creation of the four irregular Cardinal Bishops is an indication that he thinks that we will have a conclave sooner than later; i.e., within the next 2.5 years.

So, the above 6 is my first cut. I could be dead wrong on these. Basically food for thought.

Let me know what you think. Again, please remember that I think that Cardinal Pietro Parolin is, indubitably, the first pick.


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by Anura Guruge

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Cardinal Pietro Parolin Most Likely The Next Camerlengo Following The Death Of Cardinal Louis Tauran.

by Anura Guruge




Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pietro_Parolin


Whenever possible, the Secretary of State is the ideal candidate to be the Camerlengo.

Some illustrious Camerlenghi, of recent times were also Secretary of State: viz. ‘my man’ Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B. (2006-2013), Jean Villot (1969-1979) of the two back-to-back 1978 conclaves and Eugenio Pacelli (1930-1939) — who, of course, was elected Pope (i.e., Pius XII) in the only conclave he participated in!

But, PLEASE, do not get excited. Pietro is way, way, way too young to be papabile right now. He will be papabile 7 – 8 years from now.

That he is likely to be the Acting Dean if there was to be a conclave in the next few years is also NOT an issue. Jean Villot was in the same boat.

Being Camerlengo does not in reality interfere with a cardinal doing other sede vacante and conclave duties. In the case of Pietro it gets more interesting. Outside of the Conclave he will not be the most senior Cardinal Bishop and hence the Dean. He will only be Acting Dean inside the Conclave.

The Secretary of State makes the ideal Camerlengo since their duties never overlap or intersect. The Secretary of State loses his office immediately upon the start of the Sede Vacante. And that is exactly when the duties of the Camerlengo begin. The Secretary of State, essentially the Vice-Pope, is invariably the Pope’s #1 Man. So, if a Pope wants that same person to oversee the Papal transition he will also make him Camerlengo — if the ‘vacancy’ is available.

So, hence the logic. Plus the Camerlengo, by law, has to be resident in Rome (so that he is handy as soon as there is a sede vacante). The Secretary of State also has to be Rome-based. So, it all works out nicely.

One possible crimp to this scenario is Pietro Parolin’s health. In October 2013, before he became a cardinal he had some liver related surgery. This matter does not get talked about these days. So, not sure whether he still has any lingering health concerns. He looks healthy enough BUT liver problems can be serious. You only have to think Steve Jobs.

So, that is the whole story as to why it would make sense, barring health issues, for Pietro Parolin to be appointed the next Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church.


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by Anura Guruge

Pius XII (#261) And The Camerlengo.

by Anura Guruge



That Pius XII (#261) was camerlengo when elected pope on Thursday, March 2, 1939, his 63rd birthday, is fairly well known. As far as we know he is the only one elected pope on his birthday, and but just one of three on-duty camerlenghi to be elected pope. Two 13th century popes had been camerlenghi earlier in their careers but had relinquished this office by the time they were elected.

Pius XII was also the Secretary of State (S.S.) when elected. Again, just one of three that were ‘S.S.’ when elected pope.

Pius XII was pope for 7,161 days — 19 years, 7 months, 1 week, the 14th longest papacy to date.

During this fairly lengthy papacy, spanning all of WW II, he only had a Secretary of State for 27.82% of the time — and that was his childhood buddy. That was it. One S.S., for 5 years 5 months, and even that a person he had known since his childhood. When this S.S. died, he never appointed a permanent S.S.


Pop Quiz

So we have the stats for the S.S. What about the Camerlengo?

For what percentage of his 19.58 year tenure did Pacelli have an official Camerlengo (and I stress ‘official’ here because saying that Lehnert was his Vice-Pope (VP) doesn’t count). Have a stab?

9.31%. Yes, 667 days — 1 year, 9 months, 3 weeks and 6 days. That was IT. For the remainder of the 6,494 days, 17.78 years, this office was left vacant.

Ill health was a hallmark of his life. He was quite ill for the last 4 years of his life, hiccuping uncontrollably for much of this time! During this time he had many blood transfusions. But, he still did not appoint a Camerlengo to administer his funeral.

When he died, at Castel Gandolfo, with his quack physician taking pictures of the dying pope (per a commission from the French Match magazine), there was no Camerlengo!


The Dean of the College of Cardinals, the ever impeccable, French, Eugène Tisserant, stepped into the breach and performed the death verification duties of the Camerlengo — though he was probably out-of-order for doing so. What he should have done was to have a Camerlengo elected then and there. In reality they did do that, within the day, giving us then 79.3 year old Benedetto Aloisi Masella who would hold that post until he died in September 1970 aged 91.3. [He would have had to have relinquished the post in 3 months as Paul VI’s (#263), 80-year rules were about to kick-in on January 1, 1971. But, he died before the cut-off was even announced in November of 1970.]

Not appointing a S.S. or a Camerlengo does speak to Pius XII’s weak personality — not to mention his conspicuous reluctance to create cardinals. He was obviously an extremely insecure man. Who he did appoint for short stints as S.S. and Camerlengo are also telling. One was a childhood friend, the other was the Major Penitentiary. The M.P. is one office that the pope has to keep filled. So he makes that the Camerlnego too. Very strange. Very sad.

I am always perplexed when people assert that he was a ‘good’ pope. So today I checked. Richard P. McBrien in HIS ratings of the popes totally omits Pius XII. That alone speaks volumes. He doesn’t even get a mention as a historically important pope. Well in this case I am with McBrien.


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by Anura Guruge

HBO’s “The Young Pope” — Egregious Factual Errors Disturbing, Distracting & Disconcerting.

by Anura Guruge


youngpope1

Click to access the IMDb.com listing for HBO’s “The Young Pope”.


The Pope with his outspoken and conniving Secretary of State, Cardinal Voiello.

youngpope2


youngpope3

Click to ENLARGE and read here. Relevant paragraph from MY “The Next Pope 2011” book.


Yes, as is to be expected from a dramatization like this, there are a LOT of liberties taken when it comes to facts, depictions and settings.

Some are inevitable and you can live with them.

Others are just to egregious especially when certain plots revolve around them.

One such BIGGIE was in Episode 3. In that, the RESIGNATION of Cardinal Voiello, the supposed Secretary of State, figures large.

But, the Young Pope never RE-CONFIRMED Voiello as the Secretary of State — or for that matter ANY OTHER Cardinal Prefect heading up a curial ‘department’ (a so called dicastery).

All of these, as you can see from above, are AUTOMATICALLY relieved of their office and title. They have to be RE-APPOINTED by the new pope. That never happened.

So, a lot of what has gone on is fairy tales.

I am not that thrilled with this series. It is, alas, not very good.


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by Anura Guruge

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