The following comes from a July, 2011 story by John Allen in the National Catholic Reporter. It appeared just after Pope Benedict appointed Cardinal Angelo Scola as the new archbishop of Milan.
…I published a profile of Scola ahead of the Milan appointment in NCR. For those unfamiliar with him, here’s what you should know: If you like Benedict XVI, you’ll love Scola; even if you don’t, you’ll find it hard not to be charmed. He’s an extroverted, optimistic, remarkably authentic, Italian-speaking version of the pope.
(In a rather clumsy effort to express that point, The Telegraph in the
U.K. ran the headline, “Pro-Vatican cardinal to head Milan church.” I
know what they mean, but I can’t help asking: Who, exactly, would be
the “anti-Vatican” cardinals?)
The congruence between Scola and Benedict goes back at least four
decades, to Easter of 1971, when the two men first met at a restaurant
on the banks of the Danube River.
At the time, Scola was studying at the University of Fribourg, while
Ratzinger had recently joined the faculty at the newly-founded
University of Regensburg in Bavaria. The two men shared a passion for
Catholic thinkers such as Hans Urs von Balthasar and Henri de Lubac,
who had helped inspire the broad progressive majority at the Second
Vatican Council (1962-65), but who worried afterwards that the
ecclesial baby was being tossed out with the bathwater. Scola would
later publish book-length interviews with both figures.
Ratzinger was a co-founder of the theological journal Communio, with
Scola serving as the Italian editor. During the 1980s, Scola became a
key consulter to Ratzinger at the Vatican’s Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith, while also teaching at the John Paul II
Institute for Marriage and the Family at Rome’s Lateran University. By
that time, Scola was established as an internationally recognized
scholar on moral anthropology.
Another connection between Scola and Benedict runs through the
Communion and Liberation movement, founded by the late Italian
Monsignor Luigi Giussani. For decades, Communion and Liberation was
seen as a conservative rival to the liberal establishment in the
Italian church. Scola was among Giussani’s early disciples, and rumors
have long suggested that Scola left the Milan seminary to be ordained
in the small diocese of Teramo in 1970 because of controversy around
The legendary Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete, the public face of Communion
and Liberation in the United States, met the movement through Scola in
1993. He said Scola struck him as a remarkable blend of doctrinal
orthodoxy and zest for life.
“I had met lots of priests who were alive, free, spontaneous,
understanding, wanting to share people’s lives in all their aspects,
but they had problems with the teachings of the church,” Albacete said
in a 2005 interview. “On the other hand, I found priests who accepted
the teachings of the church, but in a subservient way. They were
rigid, boring and afraid.”
In Scola, however, Albacete said he found what he had been seeking.
“He was not rebelling against the church,” Albacete said. “Yet he was
the freest and most spontaneous priest I ever met.”
For his part, Benedict XVI has always had a special affection for
Communion and Liberation. He saw Giussani’s deep Christological faith
as an antidote to a tendency in the 1960s and 70s to turn Christianity
into a political force inspired by Marxist ideology. Signs of papal
esteem are almost ubiquitous, including the fact that the consecrated
women who run Benedict’s papal household are drawn from Memores
Domini, a group affiliated with Communion and Liberation.
As a result of their shared history, Scola has long felt a special
loyalty to Benedict XVI. When the pontiff was under fire from the
global media in 2010, related to his role in the sexual abuse crisis,
Scola publicly referred to those attacks as an “iniquitous
humiliation.” (Just to make sure no one missed the point, his press
person sent around an English translation of the cardinal’s remarks.)
* * *
Yet if Benedict and Scola breathe the same intellectual and
theological air, they are nonetheless different personalities.
For one thing, Benedict grew up in a fairly homogenous Catholic
environment in pre-war Bavaria, while the milieu in which Scola came
of age was more diverse. His father was a truck driver and a
Socialist, who encouraged his son to read L’Unità, a secular left-wing
Italian daily that’s often considered fairly anti-clerical. (To this
day, Scola credits L’Unità with introducing him to the life of the
As a young man, Scola studied under Emanuele Severino, Italy’s most
important contemporary philosopher, at the Catholic University of the
Sacred Heart in Milan. (In the philosophical guild Severino is
considered a “neo-Parminidean,” which I’m not even going to try to
define.) Over the years Severino repeatedly clashed with church
authorities, and in 1970 the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith declared his thought “incompatible with Christianity”
because of his belief in “the eternity of all being” — which, among
other consequences, renders the idea of a Creator God obsolete.
Despite all that, Severino recently recalled Scola as a brilliant
student who earned the top marks he could award, and he warmly
described various encounters with the cardinal over the years.
“He’s a man who can arouse enthusiasm, and I say this with conviction:
Beyond being an intellectual of enormous ability, he has traits of
simplicity and naturalness which aren’t easy to find among the men of
the church,” Severino said.
(By the way, Severino brushed off suggestions that Scola’s ties to
Communion and Liberation will be a problem in Milan: “Frankly, I don’t
see him closed in as the animator of a movement, with all due respect
for that movement. His intellectual stature is superior, and goes
beyond,” he said.)
To this day, Scola’s interests range remarkably wide. For instance, he
says that by far his favorite book is the modernist novel The Man
Without Qualities, by the early 20th century Austrian writer Robert
Musil. Set amid the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the book
is often compared to works by Franz Kafka and Thomas Mann — certainly
not, in other words, the usual pious fare.
In terms of temperament, Scola is more of a “hail fellow well met”
than Benedict XVI. Among other things, he has a keen media savvy.
Scola’s top media aide, a laywoman named Maria Laura Conte, is
well-known among the Vatican press corps for her cheery and proactive
style, often volunteering to make her boss available — a striking
contrast to the wariness with which many prelates and their minions
view the press.
Across political and theological divides, Scola has a reputation for
being un-clerical, unpretentious, and not at all aloof. In Venice, for
instance, he set aside Wednesday mornings to meet anyone who wanted to
see him, whether or not they had an appointment.
Over the years, Scola’s priorities as a leader have also tended to be
fairly ad extra, meaning engaged with the world outside the church.
One signature cause has been his “Oasis Foundation”, launched in 2004
to promote solidarity among Christians in the Middle East and dialogue
with the Islamic world.
To be sure, Scola doesn’t play to universally positive reviews. A
prominent liberal Catholic movement in Italy, Noi Siamo Chiesa, issued
a statement on his move to Milan expressing “bitterness and
disappointment among those who believe in reform of the church.”
“This appointment is a product of an imposition from on high, which
leaves a large part of the diocese disconcerted,” the statement read.
“We see a bishop returning who wasn’t accepted here as a priest.”
(Given the historic rivalry between Communion and Liberation and the
progressive currents in Milan under Martini, the Scola appointment is
an especially bitter pill for many Milanese liberals. They seem to
feel a bit like Red Sox fans when they see the American League pennant
slipping away: “Please, God, anyone but the Yankees!”)
Scola’s nomination, the statement asserted, “confirms the scarce
spirit of ecclesical communion of those who now guide the church, who
want to impose a single line everywhere and at whatever cost. It’s the
line of those who want to put the Second Vatican Council into a deep
Love him or hate him, however, Scola is now firmly ensconced as the
Crown Prince of Catholicism. Regardless of what might happen in a
future conclave, it will be fascinating to watch how he chooses to
spend that political capital in the here-and-now.
To read entire story, click here.
I hope it’s Tim Dolan, Marc Ouellet or Peter Turkson.
Turkson is a socialist, liberation theology type.
He wants a one-world government, and publically stated that all money should be under a one-world committee.
Why are we advertising articles from the heretical National Catholic Reporter?
Better be sure about that. I would be triple-cautious against rash judgments about an Apostle, regarding whom our Lord said, ”He who hears you hears Me.”
But Turkson’s statement on HIV and condoms is a bit ambiguous for one who is expected to received Papal Infallibility in Magisterial pronouncements on Faith & Morals.
You can find this on the internet regarding Cardinal Turkson – – – –
” In October 2011 Cardinal Turkson called for the establishment of a “global public authority” and a “central world bank” to rule over financial institutions that have become outdated and often ineffective in dealing fairly with crises.
The document, Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of a Global Public Authority was very specific, calling for taxation measures on financial transactions.
It notes that “The economic and financial crisis which the world is going through calls everyone, individuals and peoples, to examine in depth the principles and the cultural and moral values at the basis of social coexistence,” it said.
The document condemned what it called “the idolatry of the market” as well as a “neo-liberal thinking” that it said looked exclusively at technical solutions to economic problems. “In fact, the crisis has revealed behaviours like selfishness, collective greed and hoarding of goods on a great scale,” it said, adding that world economics needed an “ethic of solidarity” among rich and poor nations. ”
Cardinal Turkson did not include: Commutative Justice – do not spend what you can not pay back, or Subsidiarity from the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition.
I think he is a very dangerous choice.
This Cardinal sticks his nose in the prudential judgement of the Laity.
His job is to save souls, not solve financial issues of individual countries.
Then Cdl. Turkson is out. Moving for a global government is a hobby of tyrants.
Dear R.B. : Turkson??? What are you thinking? The man is to the left of Obama! He is of one mind with the Occupy Wall Street Movement. How he ever becme a prince of the Roman Church is a mystery to me.
The two men shared a passion for
Catholic thinkers such as Hans Urs von Balthasar and Henri de Lubac, who had helped inspire the broad progressive majority at the Second Vatican Council (1962-65)…
That says it all!!!!!!
Just pray we don’t get the Pope we deserve.
But barring an intervention from heaven, the present, utterly disastrous course will be followed, and we will be assured over and over again of how wonderful things really are.
Yes it does!!!!! There were a lot of men in that crowd of Bishops who knew that the church could not continue down it’s current path. It had to change. And now, we have a bunch of unhappy Cardinals trying to take things back to where it was. Shame on them.
Let the race begin… Pope Scola has a nice flavor to it….
Nah, Cdl Scola has a happy face … not a good sign of reality awareness.
Cardinal Raymond Burke — a most holy son of God
Ain’t gonna happen — and it’s not because he’s an American either.
Why don’t people understand that Cardinal Burke, like the Cardinal from Boston were both “promoted” to Rome to get them out of the States where they were trouble makers. That is how Italians handle such matters. They don’t fire people, they promote them to positions where they won’t have much influence.
As for any Cardinal who is “running” for office of the Pope, they are usually never elected. One of the best ways to ensure that a person is not elected is for another influential Cardinal to say that the person should be considered. This is going to be a wide open conclave. Anyone elected over 60 years old will be a bad choice.
Bob One, you have previously slammed Cdl Burke, but you never say why … and you won’t this time either.
Skai, I have not slammed him, but simply said what I have been told by “reliable scources. I have no doubt that he is a holy man and does what he can, to the best of his great abilities, to bring the church into strict conformity to its teachings. That causes people to leave the church, results in “bad” news coverage for the church and puts other Bishops on the defensive. It is much easier to have Bishops who go along to get along. So, they get him “promoted.” Cardinal Law of course had to be gotten out of the country because he was a criminal. So, he was promoted to Archpriest of one of the pilgrimage parishes in Rome, out of the way of public view.
Face it, Bob. You wouldn’t like St. Paul either. You would find him — let’s say — kind of “touchy”, meaning too much a disciplinarian. As Skai put it, you prefer “smiley faces”.
Somewhere there has to be someone in between a cock-eyed optimist and a downright depressing pessimist in the crowd to please us all. O Lord, please save us from ourselves.
Bob One, He is the head of the Apostolic Signatura. That is like Supreme Court in the Church.
Every cardinal has a parish in Rome or in one of the suburban diocese.
Cardinal Burke was NEVER a trouble maker.
He is a Canon Lawyer and true to Church teaching.
He was asked to go to Rome to become the Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
Bob One, Cardinal Burke is a holy man.
Cardinal Raymond Burke is a person who lives by the law but is also one of the warmest, most caring, Christ-like individuals. He is not a troublemaker. He is a staunch defender against secularism in the Church. He is a canon lawyer and for people who think canon law is hooey, he’s a thorn in the side. When he was bishop, there were conflicts in the Archdiocese from people who didn’t like the way he ran it. They were used to doing what they thought best and he wanted things done his way. He had so many problems with the media there because he was so outspokenly pro-life and pro-Church. The media is not kind to the Catholic Church. Being Pope is a job that nobody wants. It is a crucifixion.
Wow, K, what an excellent and truthful post. My feelings exactly.
Bob One, You don’t know Cardinal Burke, I do. Putting him in charge of the Apostolic Scriptura (I think that is what it is called) sure did not diminish his good influence on the Church Universal.
I personally know a priest who’s sister was at one time very involved in San Diego News Notes amongst others. The Archbishop Burke save his vocation. You would not like that priest either, too Catholic!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Let it be Cardinal Burke or Cardinal Ranjith, both great friends of Tradition and the TLM.
Janek, I like those two cardinals also, but there is a very orthodox and traditional African cardinal named Robert Cardinal Sarah who is being considered. He seems to be ecumenical in the right way and would probably bring in many of the African Anglicans. He is in his late seventies, though, so he is probably too old to win.
Cardinal Bertone is a tad old but very energetic and loves offering mass. He is someone to watch.
He has been steadily moving up in the odds making.
Cardinal Bertone is considered one of the reasons the Vatican has been in constant turmoil during this Pontificate. He is not considered a good administrator. The Sec. of State is really the one who runs the Vatican, as much as it can be run. Too many mistakes under his “leadership”.
Omit the Vatican bureaucrats from consideration; they’re the problem, not the solution.
Because she was founded by Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church is guided by the Holy Spirit. Let all Catholics fervently pray to Almighty God that His Holy Spirit may inspire the cardinals to elect another great pope. Let us, as faithful Catholics, pray novenas that our Church may become renewed in holiness, so she can enlighten and inspire the world to follow Christ. The devil wants chaos and mass confusion, so the truth must be explained, and order restored to the Church. Under great and holy leadership, hopefully the Catholic Church can regain souls that have left the Church. Thus the Mystical Body of Christ can be nenewed in holiness.
God is doing His part, so to speak; it is man who is not doing his part all that well that is the problem.
Of course, Fr. Karl, in all our speculation, you are the one who is right in all this — that we need to let the Holy Spirit choose the right man for the right time. God bless you.
Since NC Reporter isn’t Catholic, according to its Ordinary, can’t we stop with the John Allen stories on Papabili? Surely we can quote an outlet with more regard for truth than NC Reporter. How about Sandro Magister in the English translation (by EWTN’s own Matthew Sherry) of Chiesa Espressonline?
Nowhere on these pages, either in comments or in National anti-Catholic Reporter, John Allen’s in-crowd list, do I see names on Chiesa EspressOnline, Sandro Magister’s Feb 14 article ”Who Will Take Up the Keys of Peter”, names such as Italians, Bognasco or Moraglia, or the young Philippino Tagle.
(Two days ago, I asked Patrick Coffin, Al Kresta and Colin Donovan, ”Since the National ‘Catholic’ Reporter ISN’T, can’t we just disregard John Allen on Papabili?”.)
Well, it is kind of like what Dr. Alice von Hildebrand once humorously said, “I see how my opponents vote then I vote just the opposite.”
No “Catholic” should ever give the REPORTER an interview.
Regarding the “National Catholic REPORTER” –
Send links of the following to your Diocese Bishop:
1) ” Bishop Helmsing charges Heresy: Text of Condemnation of NCR (Reporter not Register);
2) “The Bishop’s Role in Fostering the Mission of the Catholic Media” Catholic Key – written by Bishop Finn, which includes all the Codes of Canon Law that the “NC Reporter” is violating.
There is also a petition to the USCCB on the internet –
“USCCB – Please De-Credential National Catholic Reporter – PetitionBuzz”.
We must stop heresy, schism and fraud where-ever we can.
I hope everyone checks out the petition and signs it.
And sends the info on the REPORTER to their Diocese Bishop and Parish Priests.
We must all do what we can do.
Be careful on how much you attribute to certain so called Catholic Commentators. I have personally caught at least one of them in glaring error and confirmed that it was error from the late Bishop Mark Hurley.
Dr. Alice Von Hildebrand, like her late husband, is an outstanding Catholic Lay Theologian.
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Gotta love her thinking!
I need to add that I am sure Dr. Alice von Hildebrand was using hyperbole, an exaggeration, and knew the virtues and good points as well of the character defects of the persons for whom she voted.
I’m in favor of Francis Cardinal Arinze for pope. “Some priests are banalizing, sacralizing” the Mass.
“Altar girls are a mistake.”
Cardinal Arinze is courageous in the face of liberals. His books are available at Amazon.
Unfortunately, he appears to be favorable toward “ecumenism.”
Several YouTube Channels feature Cardinal Arinze.
Cdl Arinze is too old, over 80.
Not all “ecumenism” is bad! However he is too old, but if the Holy Spirit wants him, he could be over 100!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Please answer why the CCD is promoting the heretical and schismatic “National Catholic REPORTER”.
We should not be dealing with them at all — yet alone giving them free advertising on this site.
Their Diocese Bishop has stated in Jan. 2013 that the “Reporter” is not to use the name ‘Catholic’.
In 1968 the then Bishop of that Diocese condemned the Reporter, and this condemnation has never been lifted.
On the net see: The Catholic Key — “The Bishop’s Role in Fostering the Mission of the Catholic Media”
where the current Bishop makes his pronouncement.
Mike, Bishop Finn is probably not an impartial observer when it comes to the National Catholic Reporter. In September the National Catholic Reported called for Bishop Finn to resign after he was convicted of a criminal misdemeanor charge of failing to report suspected child abuse. The bishop not only violated civil law but also Church law. So in this matter it would seem that the bishop has an ax to grind.
Mark from PA do not mix issues.
Bishop Helmsing of that Diocese condemned the NC Reporter in 1968, and forbid them to use the name “Catholic”.
The condemnation has never been lifted by any Bishop of that Diocese.
The Reporter has always been heretical, schimatic and fraudulent.
Their use of the name “Catholic” is fraudulent so they can ask for donation and subscription money from unsuspecting Catholics. They must not be supported in any way.
On the internet, search: “Catholic Key – The Bishop’s Role in Fostering the Mission of the Catholic Media”.
For the text of the Oct 16, 1968 condemnation of the Reporter by Bishop Helmsing, on the net search: “Bishop Helmsing charges Heresy” by greenspun.com .
PA, you meant to say “criminal law”, not civil law, right? Bp Finn violated criminal law by not reporting child abuse.
Mike: Our diocesan paper (the Valley Catholic) quotes the National Catholic Reporter routinely as a source of Catholic News. Many people confuse it with the National Catholic Register. I would use the former only as a liner for my budgie cage. The two NCR’s are emblematic for what Pope Benedict recently called “deep divisions” in the Church. I fear at times that they are irreconcilable. The rot is deep and festering.
Anton, send your Diocese Bishop (with a copy to the US Papal Nuncio in Washington DC), a copy of Bishop Finn’s January, 2013 statement, and a copy of the original condemnation by Bishop Helmsing.
The support of women’s ordination, heretical and schismatic politicians, etc., etc., etc., is not Catholic.
The Reporter does not adhere to Church teachings in the CCC.
You are right that the National Catholic REPORTER is heretical; the National Catholic REGISTER is true to the Catholic Faith.
I’ll take a pass on Scola. I am going to be praying for the second coming of Joseph Sarto, not the second coming of Joseph Ratzinger.
Seraph, Count me in with Giuseppe Sarto (Pope St Pius X) – the Church desperately needs a Holy Priest as Pope like this great Catholic Saint – we are in crisis and can’t take any more intellectual and theological meanderings – God Bless
Remember that when Cardinal Ratzinger derided the “filth” in the Church at a Mass after the death of John Paul II, the media experts were unanimous – UNANIMOUS! – that he stood no chance – NO CHANCE! – of being pope.
If they tried to get rid of Cardinal Burke for making trouble as you say…..
The trouble was that he is too good and too orthodox, tells it like it is!
If I could vote I would vote for Cardinal Burke and second Cardinal Oulette from Canada, a longtime friend of Pope Benedict, and very much on the ‘same page’ in thinking!!!
i’ll take even money that the next pope is not on the current ‘top ten papibile’ list. the old adage is that ‘he who enters the conclave a chosen pope usually returns a cardinal.’ but what difference does it make. all eligible electors have been chosen by the then sitting last two popes.
so the general theme, better or worse, is pretty much set
I commend wholeheartedly Pope Benedict for the courage of his decision. Of course, I don’t know the private details of his health. Only almighty God knows the day or the hour. I’m not suggesting mandatory retirement. Only that the individual’s decision be respected.
If I had a vote, I’d give it to Bishop Fellay.
Ew. Even the sound of his last name is rather vulgar. Not to mention him recently calling Jews “the enemies of the Church.” What does the poor creature think Jesus, Mary and Joseph were — Lutherans? From Sweden? Give me a break!
I think he would be eligible since he is not formally in schism, now. It would be interesting to find out.
Mackz, even though you do not like him, his name is not vulgar. Think of it as fillet (fal lay), a beautiful word in crochet and lace making, instead of a gutter word. He would not be my pick, at least not now, but his name deserves to be respected.
As far as Bishop Felley’s comment on Jews, it was unfortunate. I have not had the chance to read it all, and it should not be taken out of context, but it seems to me that he should have said that SOME Jews have been the enemies of Christians down through the times, but many have been or ended up our friends.
This comment from Fellay about Jews is one reason they are not reconciled with the Roman Catholic Church yet — they are furious with the Ecumenical Council’s decree of religious freedom.
They were probably equally scandalized that Blessed John Paul II had Jewish friends right up until his death — and that he never pressured them to be baptized!
Mackz, your last sentence is speculation on your part. We must remember that not all Jews and not all Christians are always innocent when they are disliked. If a Christian runs off with a Jewish man’s wife or a Jewish man runs off with a Christians man’s wife, or a person of one religion commits a crime against a person of the other religion, and no one of the other religion defends the victim, it will often cause the person to hate members of the other religion. Quite often such people who think they have been unjustly treated by a person of another religion will find like-minded people and turn on all the members of the other group. It is not right, but it is understandable to a certain extent. Unless a Christian comes to the defense of a Jewish victim or vice versa, it causes bad blood between the two groups. I have read articles by Jewish men who despise one of our ex presidents because they believe he seduced a younger Jewish woman and destroyed her reputation. Although she was not totally innocent, I can understand why they dislike him. If some Christians had not admitted he had done wrong, they would despise us too, and rightly so. So you see what I am saying here? I am saying that when we think someone is anti-Semitic or anti-Catholic or whatever, we really need to get all the facts and get to the source of why someone might feel that way, and then try to solve it, and not condemn the whole group.
Anne T., it’s not that I don’t like him (he doesn’t even have the pleasure of KNOWING me) — it’s just that his last name, unfortunately, sounds very much like a vulgar sex act that I won’t describe.
We have a very nice Filipino priest here in the Archdiocese of San Frnacisco who always goes by his first name, Father Eugene, because his last name, in some Filipino dialects, means “rear end.”
Wells, Mackz that is up to the person. I have known a Mr. Butts and a Dr. Butz during my lifetime, but I did not suggest they change their names unless they wanted to do so, and the name Fellay sounds nothing like the word I think you are suggesting. Any way, enough of that. I don’t think it needs to be discussed any further.
Burke should be slamed for covering up child molesting by Fr Timothy Svea and the breaking of the seal of confession by Fr Brian Bovee of the Institue of Christ the King. The Institute also covered for Svea and Bovee.
Matt, I looked that up, and so far it seems that the Institution took care of the situation right away with Timothy Svea. What are your sources? We should not be just passing around rumors on any of these bishops, etc., but we should get the facts.
“Son of a socialist truck driver?”
I never realized there was even such a THING as socialist trucks! What one doesn’t learn on this blog…
Mackz, you’ve seen them but not noticed. They’re little trucks that drive around, with the drivers honking rubber bulb horns, as depicted in the great comedy “Hellzapoppin” with the Marx Brothers. Those are socialist trucks, with Marxist drivers.
Oops — when I said “they” are not reoncilced with the Church, I mean Fellay’s group, not the Jews.
Betcha — if Cardinal Scola gets elected as Supreme Pontiff, some crafty Italian in Rome will immediately invent a drink called “Coca Scola” and make millions! :)