Are American Cardinals an endangered species?

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Cardinals enter "Pro Eligendo Pontifice" Mass at St. Peter's Basilica on March 12, 2013 at the Vatican. RNS photo by Andrea Sabbadini

Cardinals enter "Pro Eligendo Pontifice" Mass at St. Peter's Basilica on March 12, 2013 at the Vatican. RNS photo by Andrea Sabbadini

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The U.S. church not only marks the passing of Cardinal Francis George this week, but also the 80th birthday of Cardinal Justin Rigali -- which means American representation in the College of Cardinals is significantly diminished, and at risk of declining further if Francis doesn't act.

  • opheliart

    Let’s talk straight, David … (unless it is the case that you don’t serve my kind) …
    are you expecting your Pope to change the thinking on Roman Catholic Doctrine of the Faith? Under your pope, will there be any significant change in RC Doctrine? Be honest … please.

  • James Carr

    There can never be a change in Catholic Doctrine, no matter how many liberal or conservative Cardinals exist. Only the manner in how Doctrine is taught could be emphasized. America is the primary source of income for Rome, so maybe the Pope is overlooking that fact and raising more faith-oriented bishops to the Magisterium, bishops that represent the world outside of the West.

  • opheliart

    Thanks for responding, James C.

    What do you mean by “only the manner in how Doctrine is taught …” ? Please provide examples.

  • James Carr

    The first example that comes to mind is the off despised statement that the “Catholic Faith is the one true Faith” in the world.

    Educated in Catholic school years ago, we were taught this as a rigid belief….that all non-Catholics were going to Hell. No debate even allowed.

    Since Vatican II, the Doctrine remains true as to the primacy of the Catholic Church in matters of Faith and Morals, but it is understood that valid truths exist in many of today’s relations…..though not the “fullness” of the Truth. Ergo, participation in non-Catholic services is allowed as long as one does not participate in any part that contradicts Catholic Teachings, such as Communion. Catholics believe that the Bread and Wine DO become Christ at consecration, all others believe it is just symbolic. Participating gives the impression of acceptance, which we cannot do.

  • opheliart

    Hmm … I know all too well what the RCs were taught in their schools/catechisms. I grew up in a predominantly Catholic area. I recall the time my friends were to receive their Holy Communions, they asked me: what are you? I wasn’t totally sure what they meant but given the topic, I replied, Orthodox Presbyterian. They responded: oh, so you are a Protestant (said in a tone like I was of lesser worth in their God’s eyes). I told my mom what they said, because I had in mind that a Protestant was someone who believed in God but did not have a place that they attended church 🙂 I could tell my mom was not pleased with what was being taught to the RC children.

    You can claim anything you want, James C regarding fullness of truth, but your valor rests in DOCTRINE, and Holy Scripture states:

    Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. JAMES 6.4

  • opheliart

    The Dictatus papae (collection of 27 short statements dealing with the Roman primacy) *just a few:
    1. That the Roman Church was founded by God alone.
    2. That the Roman pontiff alone is rightly to be called universal.
    9.That the pope is the only one whose feet are to be kissed by princes.
    12. That he may depose emperors.
    17. That no chapter or book may be regarded as canonical without his authority.
    19. That he himself may be judged by no one.
    22. That the Roman Church has never erred, nor ever, by the witness of Scripture, shall err to all eternity.

    “Considering the shadowy status of the papacy before 1046, the forceful and outspoken character of these claims is remarkable.”
    Papadakis/Meyendorff (The Christian East & the Rise of the Papacy … )

    Pretty darn full of themselves wouldn’t you say, James C?

  • James Carr

    It sounds “full of themselves” in secular terms, yes, but the Church has to define its role authoritatively , not in humble terms that could sound ambiguous. It would be like Christ saying He is the Son of God, well, sorta……
    The deposing of emperors and princes kissing his feet comes from the times the Church ruled supreme and the Pope was monarch of all aspects of life. Of course, these traditions are moot, and they had nothing to do with the Faith anyway.
    Still, the Church must speak frankly and assuredly of its place in the world and its eternal commitment to the Truth. There is no benefit in looking wishy-washy, or weak in matters it is sure of.

  • James Carr

    Our Doctrines are rooted in Scripture and Tradition, they are not created from an empty source.

  • opheliart

    Secular terms? That’s exactly the point! Your Institution was built with the intent of becoming a Political Magistrate, while claiming itself Authority on God … the reason for all the brutality, burning at the stake … Inquisition … for the purpose of POWER, CONTROL … gaining numbers (bedding and breeding women to have large families and silencing them in all this, except where a nun might profit their Institution through “holy” writing often edited to satisfy the demands of church doctrine) … sheesh, James C … you are indoctrinated. You were taught to think one way, and you have ingested this exclusively and have no knowledge outside the dogmatic strain of your Institution’s desires for ITSELF. It is your choice to belief in this manner, but your Institution needs to make a decision on WHAT it is. It can’t impose itself on others in the manner it has for so long. It’s time is coming to a close. It will divide. Much change coming.

  • Fran

    Yes, its time is coming to a close, no doubt about that! It should also be remembered that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, showing the great humility he possessed which he learned from his Father, God. That is a quality we all need to work on.

  • Jane

    I predict that Pope Francis might name Archbishop Cupich a cardinal in 2017, the earliest. I think Archbishops Chaput and Gomez would be named as cardinals in the same ceremony, possibly 2018 at the earliest. Archbishop Chaput would become the first Native American cardinal and Archbishop Gomez would become the first Hispanic cardinal.

  • Greg

    Fran, Faith needs leadership, otherwise it wanders without direction. That is why our Lord gave us the office of Peter (Matthew 16:18), so that we would always be sure of what it means to be Christian. The only reason we even have a Bible today is because the Church–through her authority–determined which books belonged in it, and has preserved it down through the ages. So when you quote Sacred Scripture, you should keep in mind where that book came from.


    The only one here who got what the article was about is Jane. What opheliart and James Carr were ranting about has nothing to do with the story. Maybe they just like to complain.

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  • James Carr

    Thank you, Carlos, and say “hello” to your wife, Jane, for me.

  • James Carr

    The Church had no plans to become a political institution. When the Roman Empire fell, only the Catholic Church existed as a focal point for law and order. Western Civilization was held together by the Church through the Dark Ages, not by design, but necessity.

  • opheliart

    CarLOS …

    We know where your feet are.

  • opheliart

    You see, James, any group can claim itself a church, or even “the church” … with enough money and attendees (and force) … People make all kinds of claims. Let’s let CARLOS in on a little secret: the RC Transubstantiation Theory will change (in Theory) according to the Vatican elites. They will blame the priests for not “fully” understanding what ‘they’ meant. 😉 all these years …
    Now, think about why they would do this.