Monday, February 18, 2013

The role of the Spirit in the election of the Pope: B16 stated his opinion.

Joe Allen, at the National Catholic Reporter:
Before we begin, let me say a word about the traditional Catholic conviction that a conclave unfolds under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In 2005, this idea was summed up by Cardinal Ennio Antonelli of Florence, who said God already knew who the new pope was, so it was simply up to the cardinals to figure out what God had already decided. 
Some pious souls take that to mean that it's inappropriate, even borderline heretical, to suggest that politics are involved. Yet Catholic theology also holds that "grace builds on nature," meaning that the spiritual dimension of a papal election doesn't make it any less political. 
Anyway, one shouldn't exaggerate the role of divine inspiration. As one cardinal put it to me after the election of Benedict XVI, "I was never whapped on the head by the Holy Spirit. I had to make the best choice I could based on the information available." 
Perhaps the classic expression of this idea belongs to none other than the outgoing pope, Benedict XVI, who as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was asked on Bavarian television in 1997 if the Holy Spirit is responsible for who gets elected. This was his response:  
I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope. ... I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit's role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined. 
Then the clincher: 
There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked

Read everything here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


   Have mercy on me, O God,
   according to your steadfast love;
   according to your abundant mercy
   blot out my transgressions.
   Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
   and cleanse me from my sin. 

   For I know my transgressions,
   and my sin is ever before me.
   Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
   and done what is evil in your sight,
   so that you are justified in your sentence
   and blameless when you pass judgement. 

   Indeed, I was born guilty,
   a sinner when my mother conceived me. 

   You desire truth in the inward being;
   therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
   Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
   wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
   Let me hear joy and gladness;
   let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
   Hide your face from my sins,
   and blot out all my iniquities. 

    Create in me a clean heart, O God,
   and put a new and right spirit within me. 
    Do not cast me away from your presence,
   and do not take your holy spirit from me. 
    Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
   and sustain in me a willing spirit. 

    Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
   and sinners will return to you. 
    Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,
   O God of my salvation,
   and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance. 

    O Lord, open my lips,
   and my mouth will declare your praise. 
    For you have no delight in sacrifice;
   if I were to give a burnt-offering, you would not be pleased. 
   The sacrifice acceptable to God* is a broken spirit;
   a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 

    Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
   rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, 
    then you will delight in right sacrifices,
   in burnt-offerings and whole burnt-offerings;
   then bulls will be offered on your altar.