Have you thought about the next papal election yet?

December 23, 2008

You and I may not have, but Anura Gurugé has. He’s even set up two websites on the papacy — one on papal elections — Papam – All About Papal Elections — and another called Popes and the Papcy with his latest list of the next papabili.

This all seems quite early. Pope Benedict seems in good shape despite his years. It’s never too early to speculate, though. Gurugé’s top three for the next head of the Roman Catholic Church are Brazilian Odilo Pedro Scherer of Sao Paulo, Italy’s Ennio Antonelli, President of the Council for the Family (Roman Curia) and Canadian Marc Ouellet of  Quebec.

After Gurugé flagged his website to me, I went to the main  “let’s get in on the speculation early” site, that of the Dublin bookmaker Paddy Power. They don’t agree — their top three are Venice’s Cardinal Angelo Scola, Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras and Christoph Schönborn of Vienna.

(Photo: Cardinals file into Sistine Chapel to elect a new pope, 18 April 2005/Osservatore Romano)
4 comments

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Tom,
Paddy Power, as I stated categorically on page 5 of my book and on a couple of Web postings, showed uncanny prescience in 2005 both in terms of who would be elected as well as the name that would be assumed by the new pope. I readily tip my hat to Paddy Power. Plus, as I point out to many folks, they are dealing in real money when it comes to these predictions and entertained 8,000(+) pope related bets in 2005. So they have a great incentive to get it right. I am also acutely aware that I flirt with fallibility on a daily basis and predicting on papabili is a dangerous game (which I also acknowledge, along with the anecdote from John Paul II’s reign how the current pope tends to outlive those that spent time speculating about the next pope).
All this said, I have been keeping a CLOSE eye on the Paddy Power papabili list for the last 6 months. I have even had a couple of e-mail correspondence with them. (One of them was to ask them to omit the name of a cardinal, alas, who was no longer with us). What I have noticed, and I could be wrong, is that their list appears to still reflect c. 2005 thinking. We have had some NEW cardinals since then. I spent 3 months recently studying the last 9 conclaves in as much detail as I could. One thing I found, with the exception of Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II, cardinals who have never attended a prior conclave appear to have a better chance of getting elected.
Also, there is the ‘new’ demographics of the College of Cardinals not to mention that 40(+)% of the world’s Catholic population now lives in Latin American countries. <>
So the five (5) key criteria I used in compiling my list, which might explain why it differs from that of Paddy Power, were:
1/ New pope will be young, 65 or younger, when elected.
2/ Next pope is unlikely to be from the U.S.A.
3/ Next pope is unlikely to be from Germany or Poland.
4/ There is a HIGH PROBABILITY of a non-European pope.
5/ A new cardinal, who was not a papabili in 2005, may have a better chance (i.e., ‘no conclave baggage’).

All this said, I want to again stress, I could be 100% wrong. Many thanks for your time.

Have a a Very Merry Christmas and may you all have a great 2009.

Anura Guruge

Links:
1/ College of Cardinals demographics:
http://papam.wordpress.com/2008/12/19/co llege-of-cardinals-representationsize-of -constituency/

2/ Paddy Power getting it right in 2005:
http://papam.wordpress.com/2008/07/18/th e-next-pope-after-pope-benedict-xvi/

Anura, this is very interesting. I covered the 2005 papal transition and so many journalists were talking with Paddy Power that they sent someone over to Rome to keep up with the latest in the final days before the conclave. Ratzinger was high on lots of lists, so that was not a surprise, but they showed some real insight in guessing his name.

I agree a non-European, especially a Latin American, could have a good chance at the next conclave (whenever it comes). But his supporters will have to organise if they want it, as the Central European cardinals did for John Paul II in 1978. That apparently didn’t happen in 2005. That’s not to say the Latin Americans could have outvoted the pro-Ratzinger camp, but they could have done better in the voting rounds.

It’s true there is little liklihood of an American pope, or of a successor coming from Germany or Poland (possible exception — Dziwisz?). But Scola and Schönborn are still heavy hitters, as is Rodriguez Maradiaga. Paddy Power may not have focused yet on the current college of cardinals, but their default names aren’t bad right now.

Anyway, keep in touch. The conclave may not come anytime soon, but it’s never too early to speculate about it. If I remember the quip correctly, JP2 didn’t say he’d outlived the speculators, but the papabili they named in their speculative lists.

Posted by Tom Heneghan | Report as abusive

[...] to Rome to keep up with the latest in the final days before the conclave. … fique por dentro clique aqui. Fonte: [...]

I have had a very unique experience while I was participating in a mountain bike race in Juarez Mexico in Oct 2008 (I have written about it in my website http://www.jrcarri.com/aboutus.html ). A particular Cardinal by the name of Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga was in El Paso Texas in mid Sept 2008 and was no longer in the area when I saw him calling me by name. At the time I did not recognize him but I knew that it must have been a paranormal spiritual experience because I do not know any one in Juarez, this cardinal, whom I didn’t know it was him at the time, was as if he didn’t know I was participating in a race, I tried very hard to know who it was because he knew me by name. After the race a picture of Cardinal Rodriguez in the Rio Grande Catholic newspaper kept looking like the person I saw, as I read he was in El Paso in September. I am very much aware of and have read about Saints having the ability to bilocate. The experience was so unusual that about three weeks later I decided to write it down in my journal while still fresh on my mind and while I was proof reading the entry I had this overwhelming feeling come over me where I felt that I knew this person as “Peter, it is you Peter” I then had need to write the following down, “I feel that cardinal Rodriguez will be Pope one day, the first and the last, alpha and omega, before Christ returns. This is all beautiful but am I insane?” I also received prophetic insight which I have written and turned into our Bishop. I have also done some research on Saint Malachy’s prophecy where the next pope and last will be Petrus Romanus. I do not doubt he will be next Pope Peter because I know that it was the Holy Spirit that I felt. My website goes into detail about my experience http://www.jrcarri.com/aboutus.html

Hi,
Can I please provide you with an update on my efforts on the next pope. I just published a 322 page book (150,000 words) called “The Next Pope — After Pope Benedict XVI”. It builds upon the work I started on the blog mentioned in this article.
There is a permanent, home page for the book at:
http://www.popes-and-papacy.com/popes_an d_the_papacy/next-pope-after-benedict-xv i.html
Thank YOU. All the best.
Anura Guruge
Grace, and may peace be with you.

Posted by aguruge | Report as abusive