Saturday, January 7, 2012

Odd observation in this year's first consistory

The Catholic blogosphere is abuzz with the announcement of the new cardinals soon to be created in consistory.  Filipinos in particular are expecting Archbishop Jose Palma to be named a cardinal since the See he is heading is a cardinatial see, Cebu.

But Pinoy Vaticanistas are one in observing that it is not the usual practice of this Pope to name a sitting diocesan archbishop to the cardinalate while his predecessor who is a cardinal, is still living. Perfect example is Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, archbishop-emeritus of Manila who was named cardinal in 2006, a few months after the death of his iconic predecessor, Cardinal Jaime Sin.

But this year, that was not the case.

Among those be named for this year's consistory are two sitting diocesan bishops.

John Tong Hon of Hong Kong will be named a cardinal even though Cardinal Joseph Zen is still living.  Cardinal Zen will lose his voting right on January 13 of this year.  Timothy Michael Dolan of New York will be receiving the red hat as well even if his predecessor, Cardinal Edward Egan is still living and will have voting rights in the next conclave until his 80th birthday on April 2.

In the case of our very own Jose Palma of Cebu, his predecessor, the eminent and revered Cardinal Ricardo Vidal turned 80 last year and already lost his right to join the next conclave.  Palma, by the way, is only 61 years old.  So, I think the red hat will still be his in the future.  Dolan of New York was always expected to receive the red hat in every consistory ever since he was assigned in New York, but was passed by several times.  So, sit tight beloved Cebuanos.

In Tagle's case,  Rosales will lose his voting right on August 10 of this year.  Tagle is only 54 years old, a very young high-ranking prelate.  Will he get the red hat too?  I guess he will though I shudder in the reality.  His die-hard fans want it ASAP.  John Allen, of the National Fishwrap, who never set foot in the country, went as far as to declare him a papabile.

Why not call him prefertiri like what Dan Brown did in Angels and Demons?

Dream on Allen!  All Catholic men are eligible and there are a hundred men inside the Sistine Chapel who are all eligible.

But I digress...

Papal appointments, like those named to the cardinalate, are all under the Pope's discretionary power.  If you think that the Pope does not favor much the Pinoys, think again.  He might have better plans for us, you know.

Just continue praying for the Holy Father.  The reforms he is doing in the Church are more important.


  1. I don't see any thing surprising here if the Pope wouldn't elevate a Filipino to the cardinalate in the forthcoming consistory of because of the following:

    1. The Archdiocese of Cebu is NOT a cardinatial See per se, that is even if there is a precedence that Cebu Archbishops are elevated to the cardinalate this is not always the case and is automatic. Technically the only cardinatial sees in the world are the Suburbicarian sees of Ostia, Valletri-Segni, Porto- Santa Rufina, Frascati, Palestrina, Albano and Sabina-Poggio Mirteto who's see are always given to Cardinal Bishops of the Sacred College.

    2. Being a cardinal is a "pontifical privilege". That is only Popes have the power and decision who to elevate as cardinals of the Roman Church. Its a personal choice of the Supreme Pontiff who he wanted to become cardinals.

    3. I don't see any good reason for elevating Archbishop Palma and Archbishop Tagle to the Sacred College. May be the Curia noticed the "rumblings" within traditionalist and conservative circles regarding the record of the new Archbishop of Manila that's why caution must have been advised to the Pope. But who knows the real score? Regarding Archbishop Palma, this must be in deference to Cardinal who is still living but this is only a wild guess.

    Though it is sad to see that no compatriot is to be made a cardinal I think the Pope had his reasons, some very good reasons for doing so.

  2. Correction, the Pope won't name a Cardinal from an Archdiocese if his predecessor is still under 80, not if his predecessor is still living.