Our beloved Holy Father
It has been a long time since an address given in Latin has created such a stir around the world. But some of the dust has begun to settle after the colossal stirring up created by the Holy Father's announcement of his resignation to be effective at 20.00 hours on 28th February.

Of course for the mainstream Media and their coterie of dissident clerics and former clerics the event is grist for their mill. Their first pre-occupation is to see how quickly they can get "women priests", "sex abuse"  and homosexual "marriage" into the one sentence as if these were relevant matters. So CNN and here in Australia the ABC begin their anti-Church campaign, as do the braying folk on morning Television.No doubt they will come forward with their preferred "Pope"in due course - just as they always used to trot out Cardinal Martini in times past.

But after ex- Priest Paul Collins and ABC darling Father Frank "See my non clerical attire"Brennan have had their trivial contributions aired - "the next Pope must be computer aware"or some such, some serious comments are getting through the settling dust.

It has been announced officially that the Holy Father, immediately his resignation becomes effective will move to Castel Gandolfo until his permanent accommodation has been completed in an enclosed Convent in the Vatican Gardens, where he will live his life of prayer.

The redoubtable hermit Father George Byers of Holy Souls Hermitage in the USA ( and its companion Blog) has made the point that in so doing the Holy Father will himself become a hermit, dedicating his life and prayer to the needs of the Church.No one can know those needs better than him.

One question that seems so far, to have gone unaddressed, is how Pope Benedict will be referred to/addressed after his resignation. After his death in due course he will be referred to as Pope Benedict XVI , but after his resignation one wonders if he will not revert to being called Cardinal Ratzinger. He will not of course be a Cardinal Elector - if for no other reason than that he is, at 85 yrs of age past  the 80 yrs age limit for Cardinal Electors. 


The mainstream Media delight in novelty , and are continually talking up the idea of an African Pope.And, save for his age - 80 yrs - the great Igbo Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria  would certainly fill the bill. But I doubt that the Media would, on closer acquaintance, find His Eminence congenial . He is staunchly orthodox, has no time for "spirit of the Council"nonsense and is liturgically conservative though not any sort of advocate of the Extraordinary Form.There is no doubt that His Eminence would shake up the Curia. Equally , if he were Pope he would be guaranteed an extraordinary weight of Media coverage, simply on account of his being an African. Personally, I would love to see him as Pope for I have long admired him since his time as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. His direct , no nonsense letters were marvellous and cleared the way for much of the reform we enjoy to-day.

Another African gaining media attention is Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson (born 11 October 1948) Archbishop of Cape Coast in Ghana and President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. However, the Media will no doubt take umbrage at the fact that His Eminence showed to the recent Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelisation, a video on Mohammedan immigration to Europe which made the case that Europe would in due course cease to be a recognisable Christian region at the present rate of that immigration. This was generally thought to be not a politically correct thing to demonstrate.(!)

It seems  very clear that the Conclave will take place promptly, there being plenty of advance notice, and no mourning time as usually required following a Papal death. So that one might expect the Conclave to be held in mid March and the new Pope to be elected and perhaps even in place before Holy Week which begins on Sunday  24th March, 2013.

Liturgically, the enthronement of the new Pope during Lent might be unusual , but not impossible , one would think, as long as it avoided Holy Week.

One thing seems certain : the tailors at Gamarelli's clerical outfitters will already be at work with their customary small,medium and large options ready for use on the day of the election.! 


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