Rorate Caeli

Analysis - This Weigel-Magister axis doesn't seem right
Or: could "Pope Weigel" become a reality?

The Waldorf Astoria, New York
October 18, 2012

[I]t becomes clear that, as Italian Vaticanista Sandro Magister wrote recently, the new pope’s First Hundred Days ought to see a massive housecleaning and the first steps toward building a new institutional culture in the Church’s central bureaucracy, so that it becomes an instrument of the New Evangelization, not an impediment to it.

So, are we supposed to think "Pope Weigel" will become a reality? We think not.

Is an American Pope possible? Yes, eminently, this time more than ever. In this, we agree with Magister. Cardinal Wuerl's declaration that there could not be a pope from "the Superpower" indicated: first, his dislike for specific fellow countrymen of his in the College, perhaps one specific curial Cardinal, one not making any noise, whose position he wished to undermine; and also an outdated view of the relatively much weaker position of the United States in today's world.

Could it be Cardinal Dolan? There is a diffuse feeling that he, as well as some noisy American prelates, speaks through the media, and that "mainstream-media-Catholics" such as Weigel represent his views. And the boisterous, belligerent, and particularly imperious and ideological tone epitomized by Weigel and his allies make a Dolan papacy very unlikely. That is the fault of what Weigel in a fit of wrongheaded patriotism calls "Team America", but that is rather a "Team of some Americans". 

Does the Church need more noisy gestures from lukewarm sources? Does she need more instability? An American Pope, certainly, but one who is a sterling administrator and understands the need for festina lente, not presidential-like "first 100 days". Such antics, including press conferences during the period of reflection that is that of the pre-conclave General Congregations, and exclusive interviews for the favored media, are beneath the papacy. Rome is not Manhattan, and it is not Washington - and that is something to be celebrated, not regretted.


Wake Up England said...

Extremely wise words.

GQ Rep said...

The three Americans and their press conferences were an example of extremely bad taste, a lack of a sense of real seriousness of the historical event they are participating in, and in general a disrespect for then entire process of electing a new Pope.
Whatever happened to the days when the period after the death of the Pope was one of somber reflection and silence in the Sacred College of Cardinals prior to the grand ceremony of enclosing them all in a certain space in St. Peter's for the conclave. There was a seriousness and solemnity, a gravity to those old practices that precluded such circus events that Cardinals Dolan, George, and O'Malley hosted for USA viewer consumption. They brought the conclave down to the common level of the "everyman" watching the evening news after a hard days work.
Wuerl's comments reflected his own personal bias against one American Cardinals who I personally hope IS elected, and who has the true Roman spirit that most Cardinals had prior to Vatican II. Wuerl shows the self-righteous ignorance of a man who is a member of the losing team(liberals), and who knows his team was losing under Benedict XVI, and hopefully will loose even more in a new Pontificate.
Dolan,George,and O'Malley don't know it (or maybe they do now), but their antics did nothing but hurt the chances of the progressives. The more people like Scherer, Dolan, O'Malley, Turkson, Sandri talk....and the more their little crew of supporters like Magister, Weigel, and the band that flew about Rome plastering pictures of Cardinal Turkson in the pose of a "saint" all throughout Rome do these things, the more they ruin the chances of the canidates they hope to push forward.
Those candidates who look like they are promoting themselves by TV appearances, or having posters put up, are those who will be the biggest losers.
Such antics are not seen favorably among the larger body of Cardinals.
I hope and pray that when the name of the new Pope is called out from the balcony of St. Peters, that that name is none of men we have been hearing so much about (O'Malley, Dolan, Scherer, Sandri, Bergoglio, Scola, Ouelette, Maridiaga, Arinze (they've gotta be joking with this one....he's in his 81st year!!) and a handful of others.
Let us hope it is either the one and only American who has a sense of the true Catholic Church and knows how to rule ,teach, and govern(and who is probably despised by the rest of his fellow USA cardinals for his view of the Church), or another man exactly like him.

Gladius said...

In a Church where Pope Paul VI can be declared venerable, absolutely anything is possible.

Ebor said...

His Eminence's lack of courage on the big issues and his superficial, har-har public speaking style has led some of his less progressive clergy to refer to him as "Sunoco" — as in "yellow, and full of gas."

Benedict Carter said...

Rome like the David Letterman Show? And with all that "Go! America!" crap?

No, no, no.

Matt said...

"Rome is not Manhattan, and it is not Washington - and that is something to be celebrated, not regretted."

Absolutely! Thank The Lord for that.

It seems this "American Pope" nonsense is uniquely coming from Americans. We know which way this country is going and to think the next Holy Father would be an American (SAVE THAT OF BURKE--PIUS XIII?) would be disaterous and further ruinous for the Church. I may be a nobody but it's my estimation there is hardly a Cardinal in this country who can run his own diocese, theologically as well as financially, let alone the Universal Church. It's unnerving to think a Pope could have voted for the Big O in the last election...

One more thing. There are a lot of people running around spastic about this Tagle from the Phillipines thinking he's all papabile. No he's not! He's a liberal. He has weird ideas and he has no experience yet at running anything. His elevation is only recent and his cardinalature a de facto one due to his position, not because of any merit along the way.

We have to pray and pray hard because this Conclave is going to be the Coup de grace of the liberal-moderninsts, their last gasp to the death because they know there is a Traditional undercurrent on the move and these libs see theirs beginning to crumble. If a liberal ascends the Throne within the next couple weeks, we can kiss Tradition good-bye and any gesture of reconciliation with the SSPX will have evaporated. If a truly honest effort is made towards the Society then it will be truly a Providential act of God. The only trouble is which God does a liberal worship? Does he worship Jesus Christ, or does he worship his ideology? Over the past fifty years, sadly one can conclude the latter.

P.J.David said...

We hope and pray that the Holy Ghost and Mother Mary will guide the cardinals who remain faithful to the Holy Mother ,One Holy Apostolic Catholic Church , to elect a right one to be the vicar of Christ this time.

Columba William said...

I was very critical of the personal tone adopted against Weigel here last week.

This week I fully agree with what is said here (a) because the arguments are focused on Weigel's position and (b) because Weigel, along with many American commentators are bloggers, are well out of line in their desire for more and more media coverage.

There is no reason for any cardinal to speak to the media whatsoever. Any media interaction is dangerous and provides fodder which allows the media to try to shape and influence the conclave.

There are a lot of American Catholic bloggers and writers who have gone down in my estimation due to their misplaced desire for "transparency" and media interaction. Silence, prayer, mortification - these are what is needed, not interaction with the media who are looking for any opportunity to spin stories to suit their agenda.

a well-wisher said...

I too was very dismayed to read the esteemed Magister's recent article, and wondered how long it would take you to post THAT photograph.

There seems to be great fear from some quarters in the sacred College at the way the wind is blowing, (and I don't suppose Obama or his CIA are feeling very comfortable either just now), so we can expect them to use all the devices at their disposal to yield against it, (and trying to set up an alternative in this way, and in this case Cardinal Dolan, is yet another classic manoeuvre); but the Hand of Providence is also at work, indeed especially since last Easter, setting the stage. In His own way is Our Lord not reinforcing priorities, shifting consensus, preparing expectations, ensuring continuity? And as always, so wonderfully so.

His Holiness, our beloved Benedict XVI, always chooses his words carefully, and I believe that he knows who his successor is, (as I believe that Blessed John Paul II also knew who his was).

In any case, there is not long to wait until Jean-Louis Card. Tauran has the great dignity of declaring to the Church and to the world those words we all long to hear: "Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus Papam!..."

Freddie said...

You can have an American Cardinal
Cardinal Burke is the tops

I am not Spartacus said...

Over at THe Pertinacious Papist the great write-backer, Ralph, refers to Dolan as our Falstaff.

When it comes to Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the College of Cardinals would do well to remember their Cornelius a Lapide; here is the great commentary applicable to Dolan and Mengele's minion, Obama:

Lapide Matt 18:

Again, let him be to thee as the heathen, that is, let him be expelled, excommunicated and separated from the Church by its prelate, lest his crime and his obstinacy infect the faithful with its contagion; let him be considered, rather, a heathen, i.e., an infidel and a pagan, devoid of all faith or knowledge of God, of religion or the law. This implies that you must not eat with him, as Paul commands (1 Cor. 5:11), nor greet him (2 John v. 10), that he may be confounded by the disgrace, acknowledge his fault, and return to the Church. For excommunication is pronounced against a sinner, not that he might perish, but that he might amend his ways. For as S. Augustine says, “The heathens themselves we do not reckon in the number of the brethren, but still we always seek their salvation.” That this is the meaning is clear from the fact that Christ adds, Amen, amen, I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind, etc. Thus SS. Chrysostom, Hilary, Augustine, the Gloss and others passim.

But, that was then, wasn't it?

We are all so much kinder and gentler now, aren't we? We have Popes eating with Hans Kung and we have Cardinals eating and laughing with the most abortion loving POTUS in history.

Sow laxity, reap perversity.

GQ Rep said...

"There is no reason for any cardinal to speak to the media whatsoever. Any media interaction is dangerous and provides fodder which allows the media to try to shape and influence the conclave"

This is why the Vatican (probably Cardinal Bertone), told the three USA Cardinals to end their show. It was a disgrace. Dolan has as much refinement,culture and class as "Ralph Cramden" on the old "Honeymooners" TV series from the 1950's. He reminds me of him.
Wuerl reminds be of a weasel.

Maybe their purpose was to try to shape events leaning liberal before the conclave. I wouldn't put it past them.

Let us pray that this conclave and election is a suprise victory for traditional Catholicism, and a real and final defeat and disaster for the liberals.

Kathleen said...

Spot on, New Catholic.

Your conclusion summarizes it perfectly.

Dolan's abandonment of his state during the sodomite wedding debacle made his lukewarm character painfully clear.

His constant jumping at any chance to party with power brokers, despite the scandal he causes to the faithful in doing so, demonstrates his utter failure to comprehend the need for festina lente.

And may Our Merciful God spare us the curse of this crew bringing the corrupt political circus of Washington and New York (which are sucking this country dry) to Rome.

susanna said...

"Rome is not Manhattan, and it is not Washington - and that is something to be celebrated, not regretted."


Chris said...

Where to start? While I find Cardinal Dolan personality to be slightly boorish, I find the ideas advanced by my fellow commenters to be idiotic. While there is some danger to the media using the cardinals to advance an agenda - surely the correct solution is not the one we have in place now. Look, the media is not for us. But they are the means by which most Catholics get their information. So, we have a choice to make, we can either say 'to hell with the media, this is beneath us, they are all modernist pro-homosexualists whatever' or we can use the media for what they are. Nothing damaging came from the Cardinals press-conferences - they were simply an exercise in the American cardinals allowing themselves to direct the gossip. Heaven forbid we have Churchmen concerned with their perception in the world - Does this mean I want vanity seeking hogs - no. But to communicate with the media, to give interviews, to address secular questions is not tantamount to renouncing dogmas of the Faith. If it was imprudent, fine, I would rather we try and be imprudent then we bury our heads and not even attempt to reach Catholics through the media, fallen though it is.

Mar said...

I will take the Christian Order perspective over the Catholic Difference perspective any day.

Prof. Basto said...

Agreed. Dolan is not a good name.

But Tornielli seems to think that, among the Americans, O'Malley is a more likely candidate than Dolan.

In his recent article for Vatican Insider (, the Cardinal of Boston is the only american named.

I am not Spartacus said...

I find the ideas advanced by my fellow commenters to be idiotic...

Dear Chris. Well, consider that there may be excellent reasons you have not even considered.

Here is New Catholic writing at Creative Minority

New Catholic said...

No, your first, instinctive, reaction was the right one, the Catholic one. Weigel's, in true form, is the wrong one.

A conclave is not a synod or a conference, or a liturgical celebration, in which there is a need to make all information as freely available as possible. The pre-conclave, the General Congregations, work as a mild retreat, with presentations and discussions, at the end of which there is a strict retreat atmosphere (the conclave), and the election. It is not supposed to be a media circus, a moment of the external forum, but a moment of reflection, of the internal forum. Naturally, the media will report it, and will try to grab information, but it is not supposed to be media-centered, as arranged by the USCCB media apparatus in agreement with US TV networks and papers that hate the Church, but Christ-centered.

It also shows how badly advised certain American Cardinals are, with their Walshes and their Weigels. God help us.

MARCH 7, 2013 AT 7:25 AM

Pertinacious Papist said...

In light of your post, check out "Why we need a badass pope": Why we need a badass pope".

Alan Phipps said...

Amen, Chris. Amen, you speak for more of us than you know.

Further, I predict that if Burke is elected, he will be quickly disowned and denounced as a liberal by this crowd when he doesn't move to impose censure or excommunicate everyone this crowd doesn't like.

JB said...

Not Pope Jolly Guffaws, please God. If it is to be an American, Burke is head and shoulders above the crowd.

Jim B said...

Thank you New Catholic. This was beautifully written.

Moe said...

But I want an American (and I'm from Argentina): Cardinal Burke, Pope Leo XIV

JBJ from STL said...

Great Article New Catholic and very true.
A personal request to some of your readers: We may not like some of Cardinal Dolan's personality traits, and perhaps we even have a right to charitably question some of his decisions, perspectives, or actions.
But please, don't personally attack him. I have met him. He is from my native city. He is a kind and, albeit in his JP II way, faithful man. If you disagree with him or dislike him, please pray for him.
As for his papabile status, even His Eminence said in an interview last week that anyone who thinks he'll be elected pope is smoking marijuana. So maybe Weigel and Sandro Magister have been passing the peace pipe. see article here:
That being said, as a native Saint Louisan, I'm praying for another Cardinal with ties to my city to be elected - the kindest, humblest, and courageous man I have ever met - and I don't mean Cardinal Rigali.

Christine said...

Nicely written, New Catholic.

Mar said...

A Pope like this bad ass rabbit perhaps?

Gratias said...

The notion of a first 100 days to clean house is un-Catholic. The new Pope or parish priest should wait or about a year to put his changes in place. This provides continuity, and is what Benedict XVI did.

sacerdoseinaternum said...

If an American gets elected, it'll be His Eminence, Cardinal Burke!

Christine said...

"He is a kind and, albeit in his JP II way, faithful man."

Yes, we must speak of a Prince of the Church with respect--but I question Cdl Dolan's "kindness" when he refuses to enforce Canon 915 against Gov. Cuomo (even in light of his recent radical proposals to extend the law to protect partial-birth abortions), allowing the governor to receive Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin on a regular basis, which not only desecrates the Sacrament, but also causes scandal to the flock, seemingly decreases the seriousness of the crime of abortion, not to mention brings greater judgment on the soul of Gov. Cuomo himself. There is nothing "kind" in that.

Nor is it "kind" to confuse and scandalize millions of already-confused Catholics by giving a radically pro-abortion, pro-gay agenda President waging a vicious war against the Church via the HHS Mandate a seat of honor at a highly publicized Catholic event, thereby lending him credibility and securing for him the Catholic vote.

Nor is it "kind" to refuse to condemn the obviously pro-gay St. Francis Xavier Church in NYC, where the priest has admitted he leaves it up to his parishioners' "consciences" whether or not to live a homosexual lifestyle.

Kindness is much more than personal demeanour; kindness is evident in actions.

JBJ from STL said...

Quite so, Christine. I hope you'll join me in offering up our rosary and sacrifices for Cardinal Dolan today. Poignant observations. I just mean that I have met the man and he has always been kind in person, and it hurts a little to see such comments about him, yet, it also hurts that he has actually done some of those things.
Here in STL I often hear people "bashing" Cardinal Burke, a man I know and truly love (brotherly), and consider a friend. It makes me angry when people speak ill about him without knowing him or really understanding what they are talking about.
Not that I am as close to Cardinal Dolan, and not that you don't have some valid points, but it does irk me when people "bash" him, a man I also have met and like. Charitable questioning - go for it. Trashing and bashing any prince of the Church - not for it.

Kathleen said...

QUOTE: Prof. Basto

But Tornielli seems to think that, among the Americans, O'Malley is a more likely candidate than Dolan.

If anything the idea of O'Malley is even more horrifying.

The sodomite priests of the Boston Archdiocese participated, (openly in many cases, virtually openly in others) in a book ("Since My Last Confession: A Gay Catholic Memoir") promoting the sodomite agenda through their accounts of their "blessing" of sodomite weddings, etc, and NOTHING has been done about them.

One has to wonder if O'Malley's massive PR effort recently is related to damage control. Boston Catholic Insider has been covering the matter.

Ed said...

GQ Rep
"Arinze (they've gotta be joking with this one....he's in his 81st year!!)"

So age is important with Popes? Our 85-year-old Pope was right to leave office.

Donnacha said...

Dolan's constant "yukking it up" does not give him the refinement needed for higher office. Frankly, in light of that, some wonder how he made it this far! We need somebody who is not only orthodox but also polished!

Anonymous said...

100 days? What's the rubbish? Do they think they are the CNN talking of the White House?

Good Lord...


Common Sense said...

Two freaky misfits, one psychopath marxist, follower of Saul Alinsky, the ather freelanse catholic.So isnt that true that zombie mob voted for this wacko 'president' on one hand and the same mob is happy with bishop Dolan as secondant. Apart from small minority,with passing of time people become only as good as their leaders. History prooves, that whomever commoes havn't manadged to wipe out,compromising religious leaders completed the rest in most cases, so now they are all equal. Look at N. Korea.Obviously the rank and file folk can not be blamed for it.For trdition to survive, we need competent leaders. It starts with the fathers within the family first,right thorough to the top. Courage. revolution is running out of ideas also.

Prof. Basto said...

Tornielli: Scola becomes "papabile" again: The Americans are also with him.

Full article:

OnEaglesWings said...

What I would love to see from these media darlings "papabili" is to see them call for a media ROSARY conference. It would go like this: they waltz in to the podium, get their rosary out and pray it with all the reporters who show up... questions follow...

I guarantee it that next time, just a few, if any would show up....

i know it works with Jahovah Witness folks and the Mormon Missionaries. Every time they come to the door, I invite them in for the rosary. They never come back after that invite!

So, you see, I can envision a public conference called by those who seek publicity... so why not make it to praise Jesus, through Mary, event.

Aphrahat said...

"Team America"? More like "Team Americanism".

Gratias said...

The photograph tells the entire story. Cardinal Dolan was a great help in getting Barack H. Obama elected president of the United States. Shame on him.

Murilo said...

A little story about Cardinal Scherer.

In 2011, when an artist created an image of the Virgin Mary titled "Our Lady of Crack [Cocaine]" and put it on public display in his Archdiocese (, Archbishop Scherer told a reporter that he saw "no profanation" in that work of art, according to this story (in Portuguese):

I found no English translation of Scherer's statement, so I'll translate it myself:

"I saw [the image] and I was moved by it. The tragedy of drug addicts cannot make us indifferent. They are human, they are brethren, they are children of God. Our Lady of Crack, pray for them... and for us too!"

Barbara said...

I know my opinion on who I'd like to see as our Holy Father is of no account as nobody from the Vatican has contacted me about the matter recently - but here it is for what it's worth (which ain't much):

Heaven help us should Cardinal Dolan be elected Pope (He is too jolly Old St. Nick type!) OH! NO!

A Pope who knows how to smile but doesn't smile at the drop of a hat (in these most serious godless, times) PLEASE! Someone dear Lord who doesn't give a hoot about the mass-media - offending "political corrects" and who does not need to trot all over the globe to be Pope.

But the American Cardinal from St. Louis would be worthy, dear Lord. You know, the one who loves Your Sacred Heart and is not afraid to be devotional despite being intellectually astute and most qualified.

Cardinal Scola is very nice. But if I remember correctly there was an article here at Rorate - that quoted this good Cardinal as saying on Italian TV that he didn't see the crisis in the Church after the VATII as serious as so many depicted - and that wherever he went the Churches were always full.

Of course they were! The people came to see him - Cardinal Scola! He also has a very roundabout way of speaking and preaching...

Above all we need a man who is fearless about confronting this world gone stark raving mad with greed and corruption...he will be hated anyway by the world's mass-media - and so might as well follow the Master's style completely!

And we faithful Catholics will sustain this Man after Your Own Heart, Dear Lord with our fervent prayers and sacrifices (did I say sacrifices?) and avoid cricising him to death should he not move quickly enough according to the standards of so many traditional Catholics!

It's great to be a Roman Catholic at a time like this - anytime for that matter! Yes!

c'mon said...

If Dolan becomes Pope, he should take the name Hilarious!

Non Nobis said...

The picture should show Romney, or else it becomes a political statement.

Magdalene said...

I must admit to a shudder to think of C. Dolan or O'Malley as Pope. I do not see strength to do the housecleaning needed from either of them. Boston is still a shambles and NY continues to promote grave immoraities with essentially no comment from the bishops of that state.

C. Burke? Oh, yes. THERE is a holy man who has been speaking out--and as ignored as the Holy Father by most bishops in the U.S.

C. Ranjith? Ok. And perhaps a few more to continue with the liturgical direction of our Pope Emeritus and then to attend to the house cleaning. May all the practicing sodomite cardinals be turning in their resignations shortly.

Yet we cannot expect this earth to ever be a heaven until the end of time comes. No, the spirit of judas will always be present. But I say to the Lord: that was one of the twelve and nowadays it seems like 11 of 12 cannot be trusted.

Dear Lord! Grant us the man we need and not the man we deserve!

RJHighland said...

I'm with you Magdalene. That is my prayer every day, Lord, grant us the pontiff we need not the one we deserve. We need a man like Peter to right this ship. A real man and real leader. Peter was not a theologian or a politician he was a fisherman that God made the Rock, the foundation of His Church. Peter was not perfect but he was strong and passionate and people followed him. He was a real man a man other men would look to for strength, guidance and correction. We need a pontiff that wields a sword not a bouquet of flowers. Someone that is straight and to the point, without all the flowery nuances. I can't stand the Vatican II speak where you state what the Church has always taught then you soften it with theological mumbo jumbo. Salvation is only through the Church, unless....., Mary has perpetual virginity, but... Christ is truly present in the Eucharist if.... enough already. We need a Pope to plant the flag and say this far and no farther it is time to take on the posture of the Conquistador and not the conquered. Let us put on the armor of God and take this battle to Satan and his minions. The Church is again at Lepanto. We know because the current Pope knew he was not strong enough to deal with this conflict (from with-in and without) so we pray Lord you give us the Shepherd that can lead us in this fight. If it be an American there is only one Cardinal strong enough for the battle, the others would run like little girls or ask the Evil One over for dinner. Lord grant us the pontiff we need and not the one we deserve.