A Bishop with some Balls

When Pell became archbishop of Melbourne in 1996, Catholic Lite was the order of the day throughout the country, with the usual results: goofball liturgy (one bishop celebrated Mass made up as a clown); dumbed-down catechesis; a collapse in religious vocations and seminary applications; the Church bureaucracy joined at the hip to the hard left in Australian public life. Reversing this drift toward theological and moral incoherence and public irrelevance was going to be very hard work. Then Pell caught a break: when his seminary faculty threatened to resign en masse because he insisted that the seminarians attend daily Mass, Pell called their bluff, accepted their resignations, filled the seminary with new faculty — and never looked back.


Pell is considered a lightweight in theological and philosophical terms.  But, I think Suzanne is right.  It can’t hurt to have a lunch bucket Pope who is not afraid to mix it up and get his fingernails dirty.  We’ve had two great philosophical and theological giants, JP2 and Benedict, the Wayne Gretzkys and Sidney Crosbys of the Catholic Church.  But maybe it’s time to bring in the muscle from the Bench, and shake somethings up.

Socon or Bust thinks that Pell would be a great choice, but we’re still behind Burke who has a lot of the same qualities, but his game is two-way.  He can mix it up and get tough, but he can also score theological and strategic goals.

It will indeed be an exciting time to see who brings the Faithful to their feet.

Et la première étoile- da first star – ????????????

12 thoughts on “A Bishop with some Balls

  1. John, in case you were not aware, Street Called Straight is up and running again, and i have put forth some of the scuttlebutt coming down about the various papabile.

    I like pell, for many of the same reasons Suzanne does, and have left some detailed comments on her post.

    I also like Burke, but from what I am given to understand, the chances of an American Pope-ANY American Pope- are slim to none, and Slim just left town. Last thing the Bishops will do is choose someone from the most powerful country in the world. So chances are Burke is out, as deserving as he is.

    The name that is consistently on everyone’s list is Cardinal Ouellet.

    My thinking is we need an evangelical pope, and two names that are cropping up fit that bill: The first is Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi of Italy who has said that he’d like to see all priests called in and taught how to give proper homilies that can really fire people up for the new evangelization. He’s a theological conservative too. The other name is Caerdinal Odilio Scherer of Rio de Janiero, who is also a proponent of evangelizatioin, and has spoken about what he sees first hand, ie how evangelical protestants are ripping people away from teh Catholic Chgurch in latin America at an alarming rate.
    I would give Scherer the advantage, since i believe there is some resistance to handing the Papacy back to the Italians.
    The talk has been about a Third World pope, and Scherer may be it.
    I have noticed Turkson’s name coming up less and less, which would help Scherer. Another South American contender is Leonardo Sandri of Buenos Aires.
    Another name that I like is Stanislaw Dziwisz, JPII’s long time confidant and assisitant. If the church wants someone who knows how to work through the vatican and can hit the ground running, Dziwisz is the man.
    Still Ouellet’s name uis the most consistent name on all lists, so we shall see what happens. He’s north American, but not Amwerican. He speaks a mean Spanish, and may be able to counter the Evangelical protestants in latin America. and he might be able to re-ignite the Church in Quebec and Canada. I know of at least one Bishop in Joliette who would not be too happy!

  2. Yeah, Pell is not going to write a thesis encyclical like Pope John Paul did, but when he does write one, people won’t need to read it twice to understand his message. 🙂

    If it is God’s will that he be elected, he will tell all the Catholic Haters — inside and outside the Church– where they get off.

    And oh yeah. He’s a member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Wonder what he’d do about Development and Peace. 😉

  3. Speaking of D&P, isn’t it normally the first Sunday of lent when they come into the churches and pitch their eco-socialist mantra?
    There was no pitch from them at my church last weekend…
    Could it be that we have them on the run?

  4. Sorry, this picture of Pell is baseless. He accepted the resignations of the Melbourne seminary staff, largely because he had no choice but to do so if he was to preserve any authority. In his time at Sydney he has done nothing to correct the disastrous abuses that reign there. He makes orthodox noises – when he is travelling outside Australia – in order to get a constituency. Fortunately he is not a serious candidate.

    • John L, what you say might be objectively true, but let me tell you, once you consider his actions about that seminary to what we experience here in Canada, my friend, ye don’t knoweth that ye are born, as my post today announcing the cancellation of a V2 Conference I was hoping to organize will show.

    • I understand he imposed an oath of fidelity on Catholic school principals and teachers and redid the RE texts.

      Just the fact that he confronts his dissident detractors is excellent.

      I do think he has spine.

      And here’s a question: which cardinal has ridden his diocese of widespread abuses?

      Nul n’est prophète dans son pays. Nobody is a prophet in his own country. 🙂

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