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Sunday, April 17, 2005

Here and There . . .

On the Conclave . . .

  • "True Collegiality is Union with Peter". Inside the Vatican Newsflash. April 17, 2005. John Mallon contends with the notion that the Church should be "less centralized", "more democratic" and "more collegial," demonstrating why "those calling for 'collegiality' who fail to honor Magisterial teaching are in fact calling for collegiality when there is no unity."

  • Continuing with its "toward the conclave" series, Catholic World News rates the papabile. April 16, 2005.

  • Rome’s Repose: The quiet days after John Paul’s passing, by Raymond Arroyo. EWTN Host of 'The World Over'. National Review April 15, 2005.

  • Scholarly Venice cardinal intent on raising church's profile, by Catholic News Service. April 1, 2005. A profile of the papabile recommended by David Jones @ la nouvelle théologie.

  • I. Shawn McElhinney posts some reflections on the Conclave -- here and here, on Cardinal Ratzinger's qualifications as pope and other prospective candidates.

  • Cardinal Ratzinger on the role of the Holy Spirit, by John Allen Jr. (National Catholic Reporter April 15, 2005):

    Perhaps the final word on the subject should belong to the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Joseph Ratzinger. He was asked on Bavarian television in 1997 if the Holy Spirit is responsible for who gets elected pope, and this was his response:

    "I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the pope. ... I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined."

    Then the clincher: "There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit would obviously not have picked."

    (Via Amy Welborn, with additional comments).

  • Fr. Richard J. Neuhaus provides an update from Rome:

    As of this writing, Ratzinger is, according to the rumor mills, very much in the lead, with 40 or 50 electors indicating their support. The main mills are run by the Italian newspapers and especially by Corriere della Sera. It is reluctantly admitted by other reporters that the Italian papers have the edge in getting inside information, the claim being that they are on the good side of a talkative cardinal or two.

    According to Dublin bookmakers, the odds favor Lustiger of Paris and Martini, formerly of Milan, but nobody here in Rome gives their prospects much credence. One Italian daily is puffing Angelo Sodano, secretary of state under John Paul, as Ratzinger's chief rival, but that, too, is viewed as highly improbable in Rome. Yet another Italian daily claims the American cardinals are forming a bloc in opposition to Ratzinger, but I find that hard to credit since in recent years the American cardinals have not formed a bloc on much of anything, and at least a couple of them are great admirers of Ratzinger. Yesterday one cardinal said the meetings are "tranquil and cordial" while another described the cardinals as "divided and gravely concerned." Take your pick. I imagine the Holy Spirit is amused by the chattering speculation.

  • Also on that note: Holy What?!: How the papal conclave works., Michael Novak. National Review Online April 18, 2005.

. . . and other topics of interest:

  • Saints Alive. Born-again Christian Dawn Eden blogs on her experiences praying to a saint (Maxmilian Kolbe in particular):

    On the day that the troubles broke at my last job, I called a Catholic friend on my way home and asked him if he could recommend a saint.

    I was firmly opposed to the idea of addressing prayers to saints, as I believed the dead had better things to do than pray for the living, and I particularly resented the standard, seemingly preprogrammed line that my Catholic friends gave me about it: "Think of it as though you were asking a friend to pray for you."

    Big difference, I thought. My friends are alive. But there are no atheists in foxholes. . . .

    A great post.

  • My brother's musings on Divine Necessity and Divine Virginity and Virginity and Hierarchy.

  • George Weigel has published a new book: The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God. Fr. Bryce Sibley provides a review at A Saintly Salmagundi.

  • This week Episcopalian Bishop Gene Robinson rallied the faithful in support of . . . militant pro-abortion organization Planned Parenthood. Somehow I can't say we're suprised. Carl Olson responds at Insight Scoop.

  • Jiffy Shriven - Jeff Miller (aka The Curt Jester) ponders the mystery of the dwindling confessionals in modern Catholic life and "the chicken and egg question: Is the lack of use of the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation due to the fact that times are not available or is it due to the lack of instruction on the need for this sacrament?" -- coming up with a rather unique solution to the problem.

  • "Niagra Falls indoors" . . . mummified cats . . . just another day in the life of Dyspeptic Mutterins.

  • "Catholic Telegraph and XU's Fr. Overberg: Christ need not have suffered and died". "Seditious catechist" Rich Leonardi (Ten Reasons) takes issue with a column by Fr. Ken Overberg, SJ in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati's official newspaper, citing theologian Edward Schillebeeckx, O.P. and questioning the traditional interpretation of Christ's suffering.

  • BlogsForTerri is still going strong, providing news and assistance to others deemed "not fit for life." Meanwhile, Michael Schiavo's lawyer, George Felos, is "apparently seeking speaking engagements, for money of course, to further the cause of judicial homicide and social acceptance of active euthanasia." Learn more about Felos' Road Show For Death.


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Against The Grain is the personal blog of Christopher Blosser - web designer and all around maintenance guy for the original Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club (Now Pope Benedict XVI).

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