SPECULATIVE ARTICLE: “F” to Appoint Woman “Cardinal”???

Again, this is media speculation but it is getting international press….

elpais.com/elpais/2013/09/23/inenglish/1379952868_934748.html

[Wiki reports that El Pais is a major Spanish daily newspaper]

It’s not a joke. It’s something that Pope Francis has thought about before: naming a woman cardinal. Those who know the pope, both before and after he took over from Ratzinger, say that the first Jesuit pontiff is not only surprising people with his comments, but also with his actions. And this has been happening throughout his first six months in the role.

Those who think that Francis – who has all the simplicity of a parish priest – is a naïve man are wrong. This pope isn’t an ordinary pope. He has come to St. Peter’s with concrete plans for the Catholic Church: he wants to revive Christianity by taking it back to its origins.

The symbolism of his actions began when he first appeared on the balcony at St. Peter’s, calling himself “a bishop” and asking the people to bless him. Since then, he has wasted no time in making unexpected decisions, which have shocked those both inside and outside the Church.

And he will continue to do so, especially with his plans to appoint a female cardinal. He knows that a woman’s role in the Church is an unresolved issue that cannot wait any longer. He was clear about this during his interview with La Civiltà Cattolica last week. “The Church cannot be herself without the woman and her role,” he said. “The woman is essential for the Church. Mary, a woman, is more important than the bishops. I say this because we must not confuse the function with the dignity.”

Some would argue that women are not allowed to be deacons as they were 800 years ago

In other words, it was as if Pope Francis was saying: “The Church isn’t complete because the woman’s role is missing.”

How can he introduce that essential component? He answered the question himself during the interview: “We must therefore investigate further the role of women in the Church. We have to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman.”

And that theology, according to the pope, cannot be construed within the Vatican’s walls.” The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions,” he said.

He may pave the way with discussions that urgently put the issue of a woman’s role in the Church on the table, or better yet, “in front of the altar.” And one of those gestures could be the naming of the first female cardinal. Is that feat impossible? No, because canonical law states that cardinals don’t have to be priests, they can be deacons.

Some would argue that women are not allowed to be deacons as they were 800 years ago among the first Christian communities. But this is one of the reforms that Francis has in mind; it is not based on any dogma. A woman could become a deaconess tomorrow if he so desired.

As Phyllis Zagano of Loyola University in Chicago, an expert on the issue, wrote: “A female deaconess is not an idea for the future. It is an issue for the present and today.”

Zagano brought up the matter with Cardinal Ratzinger before he became pope. “This is something that is being studied,” he told her. Pope Benedict XVI did not follow through but Pope Francis might.

The Armenian Apostolic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church, which have close links to the Vatican, both have deaconesses.

Any woman who is appointed deaconess can indeed become a cardinal without having to change canonical law.

Cardinals serve as advisors to the pope and their primary function is to elect a new pontiff.

“Knowing this pope, he wouldn’t hesitate before appointing a woman cardinal,” said one Jesuit priest. “And he would indeed enjoy being the first pope to allow women to participate in the selection of a new pontiff.”

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4 comments on “SPECULATIVE ARTICLE: “F” to Appoint Woman “Cardinal”???


  1. She’s tanned, rested, and ready.
    She knows what to order in Italian restaurants and agrees with the Pope on toning down on abortion and the marriage debates.

  2. You know, in fact, get this, and I’ve heard it from more than one person that one time somebody said to Pope Francis, “you should make an imam a cardinal” … And the pope said, “I asked one, he turned me down because he’d have to fatwa himself.”

  3. The 1917 Code of Canon Law decreed that from then on only those who were priests or bishops could be chosen as cardinals,[4] thus officially closing the historical period in which some cardinals could be clergy that had only received first tonsure and minor orders.

    The same rule is repeated in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which adds that those who are not already bishops are to receive episcopal ordination.[5] In theory, any priest who has been nominated for the cardinalate may ask for dispensation from the obligation to be ordained to the episcopacy before being created Cardinal, but in practice it is usually Jesuits who ask for and are granted this dispensation. For example, the dispensation was requested by the celebrated theologian, Father Avery Dulles, S.J. , upon being named cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 2001 who granted it. Subsequently invited to a meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in 2002, Cardinal Dulles at one point asked for recognition to speak to the bishops from the floor. His quip that he was there “under false pretenses” was greeted by much laughter.

    The same dispensation was granted to Father Roberto Tucci, another esteemed theologian from the Society of Jesus: he was created cardinal in the consistory of 21 February 2001 by Pope John Paul II, whom Tucci had also successfully petitioned not to be ordained to the episcopacy.

    With the motu proprio Ministeria quaedam of 15 August 1972 Pope Paul VI ended the conferral of first tonsure and laid down that entry into the clerical state would instead be by ordination as deacon.[6]

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