2013 Papal Conclave : Images and Resources on the Conclave, what will happen, where it takes place, who will be there, and others

http://www.catholicnews.com/jpii/images/conclave.pdf

Image on the details of the locations to be used in the upcoming Papal Conclave (Domus Sancta Marthae, Sistine Chapel). The image is the same one as the one used for after the death of Blessed Pope John Paul II and preparation of the conclave that elected our Pope Benedict XVI, now Pope Emeritus.

Image

A concise image containing the summary of most you need to know about the conclave, the location, the procedure, and the rough summary of the Cardinals, which country has the most, and what happened when a new Pope is elected (and how to know if he is elected – fumata bianca/white smoke), and length of some past conclaves.

Why did Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI relinquished the Papacy? (My personal opinion)

In my personal opinion, why our beloved Pope Benedict XVI, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, had decided to step down from his position and relinquish the Papacy, is because of three main factors and events that potentially play major roles in shaping his decision. All of these factors are tied to the first factor, that is his health.

 

Here are the three factors and events that in my opinion made our Pope Emeritus did what he had done :

 

1. Health : The Pope’s failing health due to his old age is likely the main reason why he had decided to relinquish the Papacy. Although indeed, he is now at 85 being much more vigorous as compared to Blessed Pope John Paul II’s last years, but as the Pope has great tasks to be done, for the sake of the Lord, and His people, Pope Benedict chose humility and step aside for someone else to take over the good works he had started.

He realised that his increasing difficulty in walking, most likely due to osteoarthritis and the problems with his vision will eventually impair him and preventing him from exercising his ministry as the Bishop of Rome. It has also been reported that Pope Benedict too suffers from Parkinson’s, although likely a mild one or one that is still at an early stage. This disease is well known for the one that debilitated Blessed Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict, being very close to the previous Pope, would really want to avoid another of many years of debilitation, where the Pope instead of leading directly the Church, had to delegate most of his works due to his disabilities. It is a matter of choice of course. Blessed John Paul II chose to persevere to show us how suffering for the sake of the Lord is like, and our beloved Benedict XVI stepped down to show us what humility and virtue is like.

 

2. WYD (World Youth Day) 2013 : The World Youth Day has been scheduled to occur in July 2013. It would have been in 2014, but because it will be held in Brazil, which will host the World Cup event in 2014, it was decided to hold the World Youth Day a year earlier. As the Pope’s health has made doctors to advise him strongly against transatlantic and difficult journeys, which would have limited him from visiting any countries outside of Europe, or even Italy in the coming years.

In 2012, his visits had been limited to Mexico, Cuba, and Lebanon, with only two major visits as opposed to the usual four or five visits per year, a clear sign that the Pope’s health is increasingly frail to travel far beyond Rome. As the World Youth Day 2013 will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, it is also possible that our beloved Benedict XVI chose to step aside that a more capable and vigorous new Pope can go instead to the event, that the new Pope can fully lead the event without the disabilities that increasingly had debilitated our beloved Benedict XVI.

 

3. Asia, the Church in Asia : Although Pope Benedict XVI had been known as someone who is particularly very attentive to the problems that the Church is facing in Europe and the West in general, which resulted in his numerous visits to the countries mostly in Europe, but he has also made several visits to countries in Latin America and Africa. Many would have criticised him for leaving out Asia, as although Middle Eastern countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Israel had been visited rather often in his short pontificate, but he had yet to visit South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia, where the Church, just as in Africa, had been growing very, very rapidly.

The Pope in fact, loved the Church in Asia, particularly the Church in China, which he had tirelessly worked at, in order that the believers in Christ there can be fully reintegrated into the One Body of the Universal Church, free from any form of external and governmental interventions.

Azerbaijan in Central Asia, was the last country in Central Asia visited by a Pope in 2002. But to truly look into Asia, we should go deeper into South Asia, that is India, and further east. The last time a Pope visited India and South Asia was in 1999 or 14 years ago, and the last time a Pope visited Southeast Asia was in 1995 (World Youth Day 1995, Manila, Philippines) or 18 years ago; and for East Asia, the last Papal visit was to Korea in 1989 or 24 years ago.

Several countries in Asia such as Singapore, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines, and some other Asian countries had also been graced with Papal visits only once or twice in the entire history of the Church, also owing to the recent expansion of the Church to Asia and that only beginning with Pope Paul VI, that the Pope began to travel again outside Rome and Italy after quite some time. Therefore, due to Pope Benedict XVI’s love for the Church, both in the elder Europe and the younger Church in Asia, and already that his debilitation had made him difficult to make transatlantic visits, including the upcoming World Youth Day in Brazil, but a travel plan to Asia would have made it much more difficult.

A younger and healthier Pope therefore will be able to visit Asia (South, Southeast, East Asia) perhaps as early as this year or next year, 2014. This is however not to say that an Asian Pope will be elected, just yet. The time has not come yet in this election for an Asian Pope. Only in the next election, which hopefully will be held in about a decade from now or more, that the first Asian Pope may be possibly elected.

 

In the end, it is Pope Benedict XVI’s love for God, and God’s people in the Church that made him to decide to step aside for the good of the Church and the good of God’s mission in this world. However, this is not at all interpreted that it will be permanently so or that such a stepping down will be customary for the Popes. The Papacy is not an office, and not an institution, which for example like the Archbishop of Canterbury of the Anglicans, which is rotated after every number of years in manner akin to the secular and the worldly prime ministers and presidents. No, the Bishop of Rome’s position, as Christ’s only Vicar on this world is far beyond that. Only the Pope himself can decide when and if he will resign at all, and only in extreme cases should this be done.

Let us all pray therefore for our beloved Pope Emeritus, His Holiness Benedict XVI, that God will continue to look after him in his retirement, that through his new life dedicated in prayer, he can lead the Church with the new Pope, his successor, whom we also pray for, to fight against the evils of this world. We also pray for those who attack the Pope, the institution of our Church, and those who attack the faithful in Christ, that first we forgive them, and ask the Lord to enlighten their hearts, that they will learn the truth about His Church and its teachings, that they too will believe and be saved through the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

May God bless all of us, bless His One and Universal Church, and bless the whole world. Amen!

How the Conclave proceeds : A very nice and concise animation!

http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/come-si-elegge-il-papa/

Go and visit this site, which offers a very good and detailed though simple explanations on the way a Conclave proceeds. Not only that it is easy to follow, step-by-step from the beginning of the Conclave to after a new Pope is elected, I believe it’s quite neat too, with all the animations they did for the occasion. Good job Vatican Insider!

Papabili for the 2013 Papal Conclave (List) : My summary and opinions

Cardinal Angelo Scola : My favourite to be the next Pope. The leading Italian candidate, Archbishop of Milan, and former Patriarch of Venice. He is also a spiritual and intellectual disciple of our beloved Pope Benedict XVI, with similar views on the liturgy. Best person to continue the work that has been started by Pope Benedict XVI on ‘reform of the reform’ and other issues of the faith and the Church.

View his videos, homilies, activities, and Masses at his site : http://angeloscola.it/ and the Youtube page of Archdiocese of Milan at : http://www.youtube.com/user/itleditore

Cardinal Marc Ouellet : Canadian, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, former Primate of Canada and Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus of Quebec. My second favourite and alternative to Cardinal Scola to be the next Bishop of Rome, and also widely regarded as the top non-Italian and non-European candidate. He is also close to our Pope Benedict XVI in his views and intellectually as well, though may be not as close as Cardinal Scola is. He has done a great job at the Congregation, and has seen the appointment of bishops who are not just good administrators, but also good in intellect and faith as well.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi : Italian, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, well-known for his activity in engaging the media and the new media, particularly through the Internet, via Twitter and other social media in the approach for new evangelisation, and also has done great works among the youth, who are the Church’s future. May have chance if Cardinal Scola’s candidacy does not make it. Drawback is that he has less experience, being only less than 3 years as a Cardinal and about 6 years as a bishop, with little experience outside the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone : Italian, Cardinal Secretary of State. The prime Cardinal in the Roman Curia, the second hand of the Pope. He is seen as a strong leader, but many has seen that he is a rather dominating persona, which may be incompatible with the office of the Papacy, and he is also rather too old at 78 going 79 at the end of this year. As Pope Benedict XVI was elected just on his 78th birthday, just like Cardinal Arinze, who is already above 80, the chance of the College of Cardinals to elect someone too old is getting more remote, especially considering the reason for Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to retire and renounce the position as the Bishop of Rome.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan : American, Metropolitan Archbishop of New York. Jovial and lively, reminds me much of Blessed Pope John XXIII. Conservative in issues and outlook. However, being a Cardinal from the world’s only superpower and also the troubles in the American church makes his chances rather slim. However, his youth, his charisma, and his position as the President of the US Catholic Bishops’ Conference may boost his chances to be elected.

Cardinal Raymond Burke : American, Prefect of Supreme Tribunal of Apostolic Signatura (or the Supreme/Chief Justice of the Holy See). Relatively young and traditional, worn the traditional Cardinal dress (galero and cappa magna) and one of the more-traditionally minded Cardinal in the College. Often celebrated the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. May be a good choice for those looking for a more traditional candidate as the next Pope, to continue the ‘reform of the reform’ of Pope Benedict XVI.

Cardinal Christoph Schonborn : Austrian. Metropolitan Archbishop of Vienna. Long seen as the contender for the Papacy, even since the 2005 election. Still rather young at 68 (even younger during the 2005 conclave). However, he is a controversial figure, often recorded with the liturgical abuses (he himself may not mean so, as his funeral Mass for the late Archduke Otto of Austria was done very reverently and liturgically correct), such as the youth Mass with rock concert/party style-Mass and not-so-traditional types of worship, and then with a German currently as the Bishop of Rome, it is less likely that the Cardinals will elect another German as Pope, even though he came from neighbouring Austria.

Cardinal Francis Arinze : Nigerian, Former Prefect of the Congregation for the Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Often touted recently in the media with Cardinal Peter Turkson, another African (Ghana), due to the intense media bias on the possibility of having an African Pope in this Conclave. Not to be biased, but what the media often reported is not what is the actual happening on the ground. Main problem is, according to Universi Dominici Gregis, although it specifically state that he cannot vote as elector because he is already above 80 of age, he may still be elected, but considering that Pope Benedict XVI has resigned at the age of 85 going 86, the Cardinals will likely want to elect someone in their early 70s like Cardinal Scola or late 60s like Cardinal Ouellet.

Cardinal Peter Turkson : Ghana (Africa), President of Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Seen by many as a strong contender, but with main issues regarding his frequent gaffes and improper comments regarding Muslim-Christian relations, which is a very important and delicate matter in the Church indeed. He was also censured somewhat for his screening of a clip that showed the rise of Islam in Europe last year, which quite a few Cardinals saw as fearmongering. In addition, his name, Peter, may bring about intense speculation on Petrus Romanus (Peter the Roman) in the Prophecy of St. Malachy on the Popes. Petrus Romanus, being the last Pope, will come at the time near the end of time, heading the Church in the time of persecution (as perhaps told in the Book of Revelations). As this last prophecy is not numbered, it is most likely that St. Malachy purposely did so / the vision given by the Lord purposely did so such that we know what’s going to happen, but not the exact time when the Lord will come again, so that we will always be ready for His coming. So, no, most likely we won’t have a Peter or Pope Peter in this time round. (Addition : Cardinal Turkson has also openly announced that he is ready to be elected if he is. Normally this is frowned, as this is seen as ambition, and incompatible with the will of the Holy Spirit. Remember that the papal conclave is not the same as the US presidential elections or any other secular elections, it is far above that).

Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle : Filipino (Asia), Metropolitan Archbishop of Manila. A young and new Cardinal appointed by the Pope at his last consistory last November. This may be seen by some as the Pope appointing his ‘successor’ but it is actually not so. I myself hope that he will be elected Pope, but not this time, maybe after the next one, and he can have the chance to be the 268th Pope instead (we are electing the 267th Bishop of Rome in this conclave). First is his very young age, and his relative lack of experience in both as a Cardinal and the Archbishop of Manila. I have very high opinions on Cardinal Tagle and was very glad when he was named a Cardinal last year, but to me, let Cardinal Tagle do great works first in Manila for many more years, and then, with all those experiences, then he can become an even better Pope next time.

This list is still incomplete, and I will post additions from time to time. In any case, it is not man to decide who’s the next leader of the Universal Church, the Vicar of Christ. It is Christ Himself, through the Holy Spirit, and thus through the Cardinal-electors inspired by the Spirit who decides. Pray for them, and for the entire Universal Church, and for the whole world. Amen.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops : My only other alternative as the potential new Pope

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, former Metropolitan Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada, who is now the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops is my only other choice for the potential next Pope in the Conclave, besides Cardinal Angelo Scola, the Archbishop of Milan.

Cardinal Ouellet is the top non-Italian and non-European in the Roman Curia, and represents the Roman Curia side of the candidacy, just as Cardinal Angelo Scola represents the non-Curial side of the candidacy. Cardinal Ouellet is a great theologian and has done many work in the field of theology and Catholic education. He has also done a great job in the Congregation for Bishops, and strongly committed to the cause in defense of life and the orthodoxy of the faith of the Roman Catholic Church.

He is my only other choice other than Cardinal Scola, who has the best chance of being elected in my opinion. Let the Holy Spirit decides who will be the worthy 267th successor of St. Peter the Apostle, on whom Christ entrusted the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and built His Church.

Pray for both Cardinal Scola and Cardinal Ouellet too, may God be with them, and the rest of the College of Cardinals. Amen!

When will the See of Rome become vacant around the world? Let’s pray then!

To all Catholics around the world, my brothers and sisters in Christ, the See of Rome will be vacant as of Rome time (CET/UTC+1), 8.00 pm on 28 February 2013, which corresponds to these times :

Los Angeles / PST / UTC-8 : Thursday, 28 February 2013 at 11.00 am

New York / EST / UTC-5 : Thursday, 28 February 2013 at 2.00 pm

London / GMT / UTC : Thursday, 28 February 2013 at 7.00 pm

Jakarta, Bangkok / UTC+7 : Friday, 1 March 2013 at 2.00 am

Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Beijing / UTC+8 : Friday, 1 March 2013 at 3.00 am

I do not think many will be awake or stay awake, or at work, and busy at this time, but if you are awake or available, let us make this hour an hour of prayer, for our current Pope Benedict XVI, his to-be-elected successor, and for the whole Church.

Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan : My personal choice as the next Pope

My personal opinion on who will be the next Pope? Cardinal Angelo Scola, former Patriarch of Venice and now the Archbishop of Milan. I have been watching his Masses and homilies at Youtube, and they were great. He does have the potential to be a good Pope.

http://www.youtube.com/user/itleditore (from the Archdiocese of Milan)

Nevertheless, it’s up to the Holy Spirit to decide who will be the 267th successor of St. Peter as the Bishop of Rome. We can pray now for the Holy Spirit to descend on all the Cardinal electors. May God be with them, especially during the Conclave session.