April 13, 2005


German cardinal ahead in pre-conclave politicking (Tom Heneghan, Apr 13, 2005, Reuters)

Conservative Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has gained strong support among Roman Catholic cardinals seeking a successor to Pope John Paul but many of them are still undecided, a Church official said on Wednesday.

The German theologian, the Vatican's doctrinal watchdog for 23 years, is the frontrunner for now while moderates were considering a symbolic candidacy for Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, the former archbishop of Milan, the official said.

But this was only the line-up for the first round of voting, often a formality gauging strengths of different camps, rather than a sign of who might end up as pope. Voting conclaves can last several days and often produce surprise results.

In an unexpected move, Ratzinger published a book in Germany on Wednesday arguing that Europe must reclaim its Christian heritage. Open campaigning for the papacy is frowned upon and it was not clear what effect the book would have.

Europe is a lost cause--look South.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 13, 2005 3:06 PM

Check Tim Blair's blog. The Australian cardinal is looking good. Next best thing to an American.

Posted by: erp at April 13, 2005 3:13 PM

Pell's great, but not a realistic choice. No constituency.

Posted by: oj at April 13, 2005 3:17 PM

"In an unexpected move, Ratzinger published a book in Germany on Wednesday..."

Is it really possible to publish a real book in a matter of days? Or was this publication date set well in advance, like most books, and this was just a coincidence, or was the date pushed up to take advantage of current events? And aren't publishers the one to make these decisions, not the authors?

So this statement is either incompetent reporting, or an attempt to insert the reporter's biases.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 13, 2005 3:21 PM

FWIW, tradesports.com is on the case.

For some reason this cracks me up, but their guess is as good as the pundits.

Posted by: JAB at April 13, 2005 4:21 PM

This whole discussion seems so..so.. sacrilegeous.

Having said that what is the present payoff on Ratzinger? I wouldn't mind taking the long-shot from Nigeria at say 50-1.

Posted by: h-man at April 13, 2005 4:27 PM


Tim Blair says Pell's a soccer fan. That pretty much disqualifies him, no? ;-)

Posted by: Matt Murphy at April 13, 2005 4:39 PM

Well, if it's not an American he's going to be one, isn't he? Sad thought for the day: there'll never be a pope who doesn't throw like a girl.

Posted by: oj at April 13, 2005 4:48 PM

The May Poles will not be happy.

Posted by: ghostcat at April 13, 2005 5:07 PM

Matt - No, I think Blair says he's an Australian footballer (i.e. rugby) - and the Europeans took that to mean soccer player.

I checked out Tradesports and Ratzinger has tripled, from 6% to 18%, in the last few days. Tettamanzi is crashing and Arinze sliding. Hummes and the Field are rising on a report that JPII stated that his preferred successor would be Dias, Hummes, or Scola.

Posted by: pj at April 13, 2005 5:30 PM

Oh, if it's a reference to rugby then I'm down with it. Supposedly he's an athletic guy and he used to play the game (he was dogged by a sex abuse scandal but it sounds like the charges were bogus). Here's what Tim Blair says:

Pellís unique papal qualifications include that he was the football tipster on a radio show I co-presented a few years ago. Match that, Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi!

Tell me that's not cool.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at April 13, 2005 5:41 PM

Australian Rules Football is neither soccer nor rugby--it's really cool. That would be tolerable. Though he'd still throw like a girl.

Posted by: oj at April 13, 2005 5:47 PM

What's wrong with throwing like a girl?

Posted by: erp at April 13, 2005 5:50 PM

Nothing, as long as you are one.

Posted by: oj at April 13, 2005 6:26 PM

Australian Rules Football or 'footy' is one of the great team sports ever invented. The successful player needs speed, strength, athleticism, toughness and a high degree of athletic intelligence.

Given the disclosures of the last couple of decades, I would think much of the American hierarchy do more than just throw like girls.

Posted by: bart at April 13, 2005 6:28 PM

Do cricket bowlers throw like girls? I wouldn't think that they would.

They seem to like cricket down under.

Somewhat on topic:

When the Pope died one of the local channels here interviewed a woman from a southside polish parish where the Pope had spent several summers in the 1950s I think.

A buddy of his from seminary was a priest there. This woman said she'd see JP (or KW as he was then) out in the street in playing baseball with the local kids:

So maybe we've already had a pope who didn't throw like a girl!

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at April 13, 2005 7:24 PM

Anybody listing odds on the next pope's name? I would expect the leading contender would be John Paul III, especially if it's Ratzinger or somone else who is in his 70s and wants to be seen as continuing current policies. Although... Sixtus VI has a certain appeal. Say that aloud without lisping.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 13, 2005 9:30 PM

I've occasionally been able to watch ARF and it seems like a great game. I'd ride the wave if it ever caught on in America.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at April 13, 2005 10:05 PM

We used to watch Aust. Rules Football all the time in college...great game.

I'm sticking w/Leo in the name game.

Posted by: Dave W. at April 13, 2005 11:39 PM

It is the Christian duty of African ministers to bring the Gospel to the heathens of Heathrow and the pagans of Paris.

It's a funny world.

Posted by: Noel at April 14, 2005 1:00 AM
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