Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018

Papabili: Africa and Asia


(by Denis Greenan).
Rome, March 11 - Here are penpix of the three
Africans and one Asian touted as successors to Benedict.
The general secretary of the African Synod, 64, became the
first-ever Ghanaian cardinal in 2003 after attending a seminary
in New York and is bearing the standard of the continent where
the Catholic Church is arguably prospering the most. Seen as
the strongest runner to become the first African pope since
Gelasius I in 492. Like most African cardinals, he sees no need
to tweet.
A theological moderate with a man-in-the-street manner and a
slightly impish sense of humour, he is said to have backing with
those in the Curia and the wider Church who want innovation.
But some see him as too lightweight and liberal, and he has not
helped his chances by openly speculating about getting the top
job, a misstep which was reportedly not well received in the
College of Cardinals.
Has said, on Africa's relative lack of sex scandals: "In
several cultures in Africa, homosexuality...(is) not
countenanced in our society. That cultural taboo…has helped to
keep this out".
Archbishop of Abuja, 68, this personable spiritual leader ,
tribune of the African people, and public intellectual has been
seen a de facto voice for civil society in African affairs. He
is credited with helping save democracy in Nigeria.
With Curial opacity and careerism high on the next pope's
to-do list, he is favoured by his success in tackling his
country's systemic corruption and anti-democratic tendencies. A
Christian in a country where the political class has
traditionally been dominated by Muslims, he has been called a
"pastor with a big heart".
But some observers think his engagement with politics might
raise the hackles of cardinals who think the Church should
largely stay out of national affairs.
Has said, about endemic Christian-Muslim violence in
Nigeria, that "the cause of the violence is not about religion…
it is a matter of special interests and its cause can be
attributed to the corruption of politicians".
Archbishop of Conakry, 67, this head of Cor Unum, the
Vatican's charitable agency, is viewed as the African candidate
with the most Roman seasoning, having worked in the Vatican
since 2001.
Speaks French, English and Italian, but does not tweet.
Seen as fairly conservative and fairly low-profile, with no
record of controversial statements. Deeply traditional on the
culture wars, yet strongly progressive on social justice, he is
seen as a safe Curial hand with a reputation for getting things
But does not have a strong personality, or the salesman
skills the next pope needs if he is to be a successful
evangelizer. Has been described as warm, funny, and modest in
person, but not always comfortable playing on a big stage.
Has said that a Western "theory of gender" is trying to push
Africa "to write laws favorable to...contraceptive and abortion well as homosexuality". Africa "must protect
itself from the contamination of intellectual cynicism in the
Archbishop of Manila, 55, the youngest of the papabili, was
only made a cardinal in November. A media-savvy cleric with a
reputation as a man of the people, he is a frequent broadcaster
but does not tweet. However, he has a very popular Facebook
A strong, charismatic communicator, Asia's flag-carrier is
said to have "a theologian's mind, a musician's soul and a
pastor's heart".
But his youth and inexperience weigh against him, as does
his lack of time to forge Curia alliances and establish himself
in Rome.
Has said, on the future of the Church, that it must discover
"the power of silence" in the face of people's "sorrows, doubts
and uncertainties" and "cannot pretend to give easy solutions".

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