Tag Archive | the conclave

The Next Pope: Why The Winner Needs The Backing Of A Hybrid Coalition.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Guruge 2020 Papabili Series — #V


You need a Supermajority, i.e., two-thirds of the votes cast, to be elected pope.

Coming up with this supermajority was a STROKE of genius. Yes, it sure complicates matters (and used to lead to interminably long elections) but it makes sure that the elected pope enjoyed a genuine mandate from his electorate. [It is also the case that one-thirds of the electorate can always block a candidate they do not want.]

The next conclave (unless Francis changes the 120 max ruling) is likely to have between 117 to 120 electors. Let’s, for this calculation, say 118. That means 79 electors MUST get behind the winner. [It also means that 39 can always BLOCK an election.]

Cobbling together 79 votes is not easy. Harder than most realize.

The ONLY group of electors that exceed that number is the total of active Archbishops & Bishops put together. But, they are NOT a homogeneous block that will always vote together. Geography for a start, plays a role before the ever crucial ideology kicks in.

Geography is interesting. Europe no longer can rustle up the majority and have been unable to do so for nearly (ir over) 90-years.

So, study the above chart. It gives you a good picture of the factions at play.


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by Anura Guruge

The Next Pope: Angelo Scola (78) Could Be The ‘Hail Mary’ Pick If All Else Fails In 2020.

by Anura Guruge


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Guruge 2020 Papabili Series — #IV


Angelo Scola, the eternal ‘bridesmaid’ (so to speak), will turn 79 in November, 2020. That would be another psychological strike against him though we have had two 79-year olds elected as pope, albeit both in the 17th-century.

At ’78’ he can claim ‘parity’ with (his good friend) Benedict XVI — though Benedict XVI was elected just 3-days after he turned 78.

Age, ironically, is the biggest strike against him. 78 is pushing it. If elected before he turns 79 he will be the 4th (possibly 3rd) oldest to be elected (albeit as of 1400).

Yes, there is, as is now the case with nearly all Italian cardinals, a whiff of scandal attached to him. He is supposed to have Mafia connections! Sacré bleu. He is Italian. What do you expect? I don’t think the electors will worry about that. It could even be an advantage. An Italian pope with Mafia connections.

He was papabile in BOTH 2005 & 2013. In 2013 he was extremely papabile. He was my #4 pick.

Well, in 2013, the extremely influential & well-connected ‘Italian Conference of Bishops’ issued a Press Release congratulating Scola as soon as they saw the white smoke above the Sistine! They were so sure that Scola would be the next pope.

Scola, in 2020, prior to November, will be the pope of last resort. If all other avenues does not lead to the 2/3rd majority.

Yes, he will be a caretaker a pope — hopefully for 4- to 5-years.

I think Ouellet is more papabile than Scola. No doubt. But, if Ouellet fails to get the votes, the electors might despair and decided to just go with a known, trusted entity, Scola.


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by Anura Guruge

The Next Pope: It Might Be The RETURN Of The Customary Italian Pope.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Guruge 2020 Papabili Series — #III


There is the famous adage: ‘a fat pope is followed by a thin pope‘.

In this instance it would be: ‘an unconventional pope is followed by a conventional pope‘.

Francis, by measure, was unconventional. For a start he was the first pope in centuries who had spent very little time in Rome. Francis’ exposure to Rome (and as such with the Vatican) was essentially non-existent. He did not have any education or training in Rome (or Italy) and he did not hold any significant curial roles of note. This might be a clue to why he has proved to be such an outsider within the Vatican.

Plus, he, despite his heritage, was non-European.

Francis has rocked the boat. He has not proved to be the pope that folks had thought and hoped.

It is now 42-years since the last Italian pope!

The Avignon papacy lasted 69-years.

I have a feeling that the next conclave is going to gravitate towards picking a traditional pope — at a minimum European. No exotics this time around.

But, they could go further. Go the whole hog, and opt for an Italian.

There are 22 Italian cardinal electors — as you can see.

This is my first cut. I will refine this Italian list over the next few weeks.

What are YOUR thoughts?


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by Anura Guruge

The Next Pope: Cardinal Marc Ouellet Was Very Papabile In 2013, He Is Even More So In 2020.

by Anura Guruge



Click to ENLARGE, read & admire. From page 4 of my 2011 ‘The Next Pope’ book. I picked TEN papabili. Got Francis RIGHT — albeit as last pick! #1 was Ouellet and he was much younger then.


Click to ENLARGE and read. Again from my 2011 ‘Next Pope’ book.


Guruge 2020 Papabili Series — #II


The more I think about it, the more I get convinced that Canadian Marc Ouellet is a (if not ‘the’) prime papabile.

He was young in 2013. At 75 his age is PERFECT.

He has not put a foot wrong with the Church and curia. He is golden.

Pope Francis demonstrated that he thinks highly of him by making him one of the four ‘irregular’ cardinal bishops.

Ouellet, per the leaks from the 2013 conclave, got a decent number of votes at that conclave.

The one big negative against him was said to have been his RESERVED, academic temperament. Well, in 2020, after the theatrics of Francis, that would be a virtue.

He is popular in Rome and among his peers.

He can get votes from around the globe. Put together quite the coalition.

I think he will be the one to beat.


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by Anura Guruge

The Next Pope: Cardinal Leonardo Sandri As A Papabile Has 2.75 Strikes Against Him.

by Anura Guruge



Guruge 2020 Papabili Series — #I 


Argentinian Cardinal Leonardo Sandri (b. Nov. 1943) is definitely papabile. He was papabile in 2013 and got some early votes.

His standing has gone up since. In July 2018, his good friend, Pope Francis, made him one of the four ‘irregular’ cardinal bishops. That was noteworthy, an indubitable vote of confidence by the pope.

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:

  1. 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.
    .
  2. 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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by Anura Guruge

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