Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018

Papabili: the North Americans


(By Denis Greenan).
Rome, March 11 - Here are penpix of the four North
Americans touted as successors to Benedict.
Archbishop of New York, 62, this St Louis-born charismatic
conservative with Irish roots, a somewhat folksy image and a
warm personal touch was rector of Rome's North American College
and was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people
in the world last year. He has been tweeting since last May.
His record of robust management in the famously more
democratic American Church bodes well for supporters' claims
that he will show a similarly strong hand in steering the Church
away from its current rocks and shoals.
But he is penalized by never having had a Vatican job and an
inability to speak fluent Italian - at a time when the number of
Italian cardinals in the conclave is at a recent high.
Has said, on the conclave: "Please God I'll be home by Palm
Sunday (March 24)...If I'm in Rome longer, please send peanut
butter. You can't get it here".
Archbishop of Boston, 68, this Ohio-born, Pittsburgh-raised
Franciscan friar with Irish origins has experience in the global
South, especially in Latin America, and arguably the most
credibility on responses to sex-abuse scandals, both in
Massachusetts and on assignment in the Church of Ireland. He is
an avid blogger.
Conservative, anti-abortion and anti-same-sex marriage, he
also appeals to liberals as a Capuchin Franciscan - seen as the
closest religious order to the poor and ordinary people. The
Italian press have had a love-in with him, extolling his virtues
as a man of the people and spiritual heir of Italy's patron
saint St Francis.
He once criticized Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of
Cardinals, for calling the criticisms voiced by victims of abuse
"petty gossip".
But this kind of speaking truth to power may play against
him, as could his image as a fairly guileless Vatican outsider.
At Ted Kennedy's funeral, he said: "I appreciate the
Senator's work for social justice, but there is a tragic sense
of lost opportunity in his lack of support for the unborn".
Archbishop of Washington, 72, this Pittsburgh-born son of a
rail-freight worker is a consummate communicator who founded and
hosted a TV programme on the teachings of Christ in 1990 and an
accomplished academic who is the chancellor of the Catholic
University of America and head of the National Catholic
Educational Association. He writes regular columns in Columbia,
the major publication of the Knights of Columbus.
A strong advocate for confronting sexual abuse full-on, he
is seen as a theological conservative but not an authoritarian.
His management skills in organizing the 'return' of disaffected
Anglicans to Rome has bolstered his reputation as an effective
But he is handicapped by not having served in key Vatican
positions, his less-than-perfect Italian, and the possibility
that his modernizing profile may not appeal to the conclave's
vast traditionalist majority.
Has said, on the issue of whether pro-choice Catholics
should be allowed to receive Communion, "Our primary job is to
try and convince people. The tradition in our country has not
been in the direction of refusing Communion, and I think it's
served us well".
Archbishop of his native city Quebec, 68, this widely
travelled polyglot intellectual has a high profile and good
reputation in Latin America, having taught at a seminary in
Colombia. He is head of the Congregation of Canadian Bishops and
makes very frequent public speeches, but is not on Twitter.
His intimate knowledge of the Curia and personal
relationships with cardinals from all over the world are seen as
boons to his chances.
But he too has a charisma deficit, critics say, and is
perhaps too cerebral to wield the pragmatic man-management
skills needed to knock heads as pope, a job he has described as
"a nightmare".
Has said, in a controversial stance on abortion after rape,
that "A woman who has been raped has lived through a
trauma...There is already one victim. Do we need to have another

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