ANALYSIS: Pope Francis’ cardinals point the way to Catholicism’s future

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Cardinals listen during Pope Francis' grandiose inauguration Mass on Tuesday (March 19) at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican. RNS photo by Andrea Sabbadini

Cardinals listen during Pope Francis' grandiose inauguration Mass on Tuesday (March 19) at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican. RNS photo by Andrea Sabbadini

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(RNS) A church for the poor, a church of the Southern Hemisphere, a church not focused on hierarchical perks, and a church led by pastors and doctrinal moderates: In naming his first batch of new cardinals on Sunday (Jan. 12), Pope Francis made some surprising choices that confirmed where he wants Catholicism to go in the future.

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  • Doc Anthony

    Then again, left off the list was Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who has been a powerful voice for combatting clergy sexual abuse. Victims’ advocates lamented his absence.

    Okay. Would one of Pope Francis’s fans please explain why Archbishop Martin got snubbed? Was this another of Francis’s “Who am I to judge” moments?

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  • Tradtionalforlife

    I looks like the 19 (despite being from other counties) are “CONSERVATIVE IN DOGMA” This means NO to women priest, THIS MEANS NO to Same Sex Marriage!!!This means NO to ABORTION and a WOMEN’s Rights to Choose. Who AM I to Judge means we “love everyone-even homosexuals and Charles Manson-BUTTTTTTTTTTTT we don’t approve of one’s conduct.

    These men for the most part are TRUE to teaching-Catholic TEACHING. No Rembert Weaklands, No Cardinal Deardens, No Cardinal Obriens,..


    Happy New Year and HOORAY

    Signed Tic Toc Traddy.

  • mikemm

    Snubbed? Doc Anthony shows that he has not understood what Pope Francis said in his letter to the new cardinals. And why should there be a cardinal in Dublin. The Catholic Church is a lot bigger than little Ireland. Many other countries have worthy bishops who have not had to repair the colossal scandal the Irish have done to the Church. And can someone explain why the Irish have produced so many sexual abusers compared with the rest of the world: is it something in the water?

  • George zook

    why do people treat the actions of the pope like a sporting event or a diplomatic seating arrangement … his decisions are what he believes is best to spread the love of god to the world and I salute him for it

  • Shaman

    I’m told Jesus took a bullet for me, that He sacrificed his life for me.
    That He is someone I should thank – and worship.
    Thus Jesus is the “Savior” who gave us a chance to escape Hell.

    But who was firing the gun at me in the first place? God, apparently.

    Atheism is the only honest answer to such nonsense. God may exist, but there is no reason to believe it is true.

  • John McGrah

    Three possible reasons:

    1. Most Irish bishops have their knockers knackered against Martin. The Pope may have wanted to stay out of that conflict – for now.

    2. There may be something official about the sex scandal and the obligation of all clergy to protect children and the innocent from predators working its way through the Vatican for the pope to use, perhaps in an Encyclical. There may even be an adjustment in Cannon Law obligating bishops to inform the civil authorities of accusations. Of course in some places this could mean swift death for any accused priest.

    3. He may be planning some sort of synod of bishops to discuss the problem. Form there a number of actions could unfold, including naming Martin a cardinal. The pope may want his handling of this issue to be broader than rewarding certain bishops for their forthright stands, something more built into church structure.

    All of this is speculation of course.

  • Duane Lamers

    Doc, consider: Ireland is losing its Catholics, at least as measured by church involvement. Same is true for many of the other European and American dioceses. Note, too, that Ireland already has a voting cardinal up at Armagh in the north of the country; he’s only 74. LA and Philly didn’t get new red hats, either, and their last bishops are retired but are cardinals who still have voting rights.

    Terribly unrepresented in the College of Cardinals are those parts of the earth where Catholicism is making its gains, and these are the places where Francis is giving a nod of recognition. It’s overdue.

  • Duane Lamers

    Shaman, take a close look at your concluding sentence. If you even agree that God may exist, you’re taking an agnostic position not an atheistic one.

    In any event, both believers and atheists make judgments not on fact but on belief. Do you want to get caught in the bag, then, of saying “My belief is better than yours”?

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  • Shaman

    Atheism is about NON-BELIEF.
    Agnosticism is about NOT KNOWING.

    I do not claim God is impossible. But I absolutely do NOT believe in it.
    I am also an Agnostic because I do not know.

    But if someone has the intelligence to say they do not KNOW (agnostic)
    They should have the courage to admit they do not BELIEVE (atheist)

    I am an Atheist. I do not believe in God.
    I am also Agnostic. I do not know if God exists.

  • Shaman

    For the record, my NON-belief in a God
    Is on much more solid footing
    Than someone else’s belief in a God.

    There is no convincing evidence for a god.

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  • Ben Abah

    Shaman is entiltled to his atheistic belief from the point that he is first agnostic. But feel the pulse on your wrist and wonder what powers the heart to produce that rhythm. That’s God at work. Now you know, then believe and be saved!

  • John

    Francis is a manifest heretic, far from Catholic.

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