Ratzinger for pope?

Ratzinger for pope?

A Washington Post article profiles Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and discusses his powerful presence in the Vatican, which has only grown as the Pope has grown more feeble. It’s an okay piece, although it does veer off the track of believability when it says that Ratzinger could be the next pope.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the German Juggernaut and I would love to see him clean house after being elected, but that’s precisely why he wouldn’t be. No one with any experience watching the Vatican has him on their lists of papabile because he’s just too polarizing a figure. As many cardinals as there would be for him, there would be more against him. That’s not to say that he wouldn’t be influential. In fact, Cardinal Ratzinger might be the most influential man in any conclave.

Of course, the Holy Spirit blows where He wills, and if God decides he want Ratzinger as pope, then that’s what will happen. I’d love to see it, but I’m not holding my breath.

  • There’s a (Latin) axiom that goes, “He who goes into the Consistory with a white hat comes out with a red one.”  A German Papa Joe would be fantasic, IMHO, but speculative media coverage pretty much dooms the possibility.  And dontcha love worries about him being too polarizing a figure?  Ol’ What’s His Name from 2000 years ago was hardly a nice, moderate politician.

  • All that and the panzerkardinal is just too old.  He is what 78?  There will be a younger one elected. 


  • I wouldn’t bet too heavily on that. There is some sentiment that having the same pope for two decades plus is too long and that shorter reigns are better. I’m not saying I agree, just that there is that sentiment out there.

  • Dom,

    “There is some sentiment that having the same pope for two decades plus is too long and that shorter reigns are better.”

    I don’t think that anyone who was in the ‘78 conclave expected the current Holy Father to live as long as he has.

    I agree with the basic sentiment, however, while it is not unprecidented, electing an aged cardinal to the See of Peter is probably not going to happen, precisely because of what Pope Blessed John XIII did in the ‘60s.  No one wants a Vatican III or major conclave right now….and I think that too many may feel that an aged pope may feel that that there is a sense of urgency toward that type of end.

    For those “opinion hounds” out there, that one is totally mine.  But I think that it is a fairly accurate one.


  • On the plus side, if he becomes Pope, then my Cardinal Ratzinger Fanclub mug increases in value!

  • It’s not that anyone expected the pope to live as long as he has; that’s the point. Cardinals generally don’t like long pontificates. It consolidates a particular viewpoint for too long and can cause ossification in the Vatican.

    You’re entitled to your opinion, of course, but you’re disagreeing with most people I know. I don’t think an aged pope generally means big actions; that’s precisely why John XXIII was elected. Everyone thought that because he was so old, he wouldn’t do anything drastic. Then he surprised them with Vatican II.

    But if a young Pope is elected, I wouldn’t mind seeing Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Vienna in there.

  • My dream is for Ratzinger to be elected on the first ballot just so I can watch Richard Mcbrien’s head explode on NBC.

  • “But if a young Pope is elected, I would mind seeing Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Vienna in there.”

    We totally agree about Christoph Cardinal Schoenborn.


  • Actually I’m in favor of Cardinal Chaput…

    Huh? He’s not a cardinal yet…?

    Damn – that is to say, darn!

    But that can be fixed, right…?