Entries in Cardinals (7)


Papal Porta-Potties in the Sistine Chapel?

Franco Origlia/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- Among the more intriguing traditions of a papal election is the little stove installed in the Sistine Chapel to burn the ballots and send out the smoke signals about the results.

But one mystery never really discussed is how 115 voting cardinals locked in a room deal with, ahem, waste of a more mundane nature.

Papal porta-potties, it turns out.

“They are installing chemical toilets inside the Sistine Chapel,” Antonio Paulucci, the director of the Vatican Museums told Italy’s Il Messagero newspaper Wednesday.

There are public bathrooms nearby -- just one floor down -- but the cardinals won’t be able to venture out of the chapel to use them.

The Sistine Chapel is under undergoing a transformation before the vote.

The Raphael Rooms will remain open, but the Borgia Apartments will be closed as will Pope Paul VI’s collection of contemporary church art.

The museum has also closed the doors of the Sistine Chapel to all tourists.

The Sistine Chapel is the museum’s biggest attraction, with 5 million visitors a year. Now even pre-paid private tour groups are cancelled or postponed until after the new pope emerges.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Cardinals Prepare to Elect a New Pope

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- Roman Catholic cardinals are scheduled to meet Monday in Rome to begin the process of selecting the next pontiff in the wake of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

The meeting will not be the official conclave, but simply a gathering to discuss preparations for the election of the next pope.  The preparations include the installation of a stove in the Sistine Chapel where the cardinals will hold the conclave behind locked doors.  The stove will be used to burn the ballots, with the smoke communicating the election results.

Most Vatican observers say the new pontiff will more than likely be a European because half of the electors involved in the process are from Europe.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Cardinal Keith O'Brien Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Franco Origlia/Getty Images(ROME) -- Britain's most senior cardinal, Keith O'Brien, is stepping down following published reports that he made unwanted sexual advances toward four priests in Scotland in the 1980s.

"Approaching the age of seventy-five and at times in indifferent health, I tendered my resignation as Archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh to Pope Benedict XVI some months ago.  I was happy to know that he accepted my resignation ‘nunc pro tunc’ -- (now -- but to take effect later) on 13 November 2012.  The Holy Father has now decided that my resignation will take effect today, 25 February 2013...," O'Brien, who will retain the title of cardinal, said in a statement Monday.

He also added that he has decided not to participate in the upcoming papal election.

"I do not wish media attention in Rome to be focussed on me -- but rather on Pope Benedict XVI and on his Successor," O'Brien, 74, said.

The Scottish cardinal is the latest voting member of the College of Cardinals to be tainted by scandal but the first to recuse himself from the conclave.

O'Brien has been accused of committing "inappropriate acts" in his relations with three priests and one former priest from the diocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, British newspaper The Observer reported on Sunday.  The cardinal has been an outspoken opponent of gay rights.

He denied the allegations over the weekend.

Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles and Ireland's Cardinal Sean Brady have also faced pressure to bow out of the conclave on the grounds that their moral authority has been compromised because of the church sex-abuse scandal.

Documents from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles show that Mahoney covered up for pedophile priests.

President Obama's former ambassador to the Holy See, Miguel Diaz, this weekend called on Mahony to bow out of the conclave.

"Just like everyone else, Cardinal Mahony should reflect on the example set by the pope," Diaz told La Stampa's Vatican Insider.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Archbishop Timothy Dolan Elevated to Cardinal

Franco Origlia/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- It was a ceremony with all the sobriety and ritual usually associated with the Catholic Church. But as the sun pierced the windows of a very chilly St. Peter’s Basilica, one man’s smile warmed the crowd.

Pope Benedict XVI added 22 new members to the elite College of Cardinals today, many of them old, frail and formal in manner. Which is why the casual demeanor and schoolboy smile of the archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan stood out.

There he was bounding up the steps of the altar in his scarlet robes to accept the three-pointed hat and ring from the pope. The two men exchanged brief words and the pope could be seen to crack a smile. The newly-minted cardinal casually descended and embraced each of the more than 200 cardinals who had assembled for the occasion.

An hour later Cardinal Dolan stood on the steps of the Pontifical North American College (one of the Vatican seminaries) and spoke with American journalists. He was asked what prompted the papal smile.

“I don’t know what, I just, he (the pope) said, ‘Well, thank you again for yesterday.’ and I said, ‘Well, thank you for this!’ I guess that is what made him smile. I am the one that is grateful, he doesn’t have to be thanking me,” Dolan said. “And you run out of words to say. He said, ‘Well, thank you for your conference yesterday,’ and I said, ‘Well, thank you for making me a cardinal.”

At that conference on Friday then Cardinal-designate Dolan was given a rare opportunity to address the entire College of Cardinals in closed session. It was a solemn speech punctuated with jokes and references to films and books and his own experiences as a priest. Vatican sources say Pope Benedict gave Dolan’s performance an “enthusiastic, joyful and profound” thumbs up.

Dolan’s larger-than-life presence is being noticed beyond the American press. Many in the Italian media are charmed by his blend of devotion and good humor. A popular Italian newsmagazine, Panorama, ran a story on Dolan headlined “A cardinal faithful to the church and to baseball.” The accompanying photo shows Dolan holding a New York Mets jersey.

Dolan touched on that theme when he spoke with us after the ceremony. He picked up the scarlet biretta on his head and declared, “It is a great day for all of New York. This is the hat I want to put on the Empire State Building and the home plate of Yankee Stadium and the Statue of Liberty. So, because it’s for all of New York, it’s not for me.”

Dolan’s profile was boosted in recent weeks in a very public confrontation with President Obama over access to birth control for employees of Catholic-operated hospitals, universities and other institutions.

That and his profile here in Rome prompted the U.S.-based National Catholic Reporter to call Dolan a “rock star.”

With Benedict’s health visibly failing — he arrived in St. Peters aboard a wheeled platform that took him to the altar, where he struggled up the stairs — there is now open discussion among Vatican watchers about who will succeed him.

Inevitably, any cardinal who captures the imagination is immediately thrust onto the speculative list of “papabile” or papal candidate. Asked about that speculation by a reporter, Cardinal Dolan punted: “Io non parlo inglese,” he said in Italian with a wink. (“I don’t speak English.”)

It’s an idea that thrills the hundreds of pilgrims who followed Dolan here from New York, but it has always been considered unlikely that the Catholic Church would select a pope representing the world’s superpower.

Dolan noted with pride that his first official act as cardinal was to formally approve two new American Catholic saints — Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk Indian who spent most of her life in what is now upstate New York, and Mother Marianne Cope, who began religious life in the same area but moved to Hawaii to care for leprosy patients.

Dolan quipped he now has a new goal: “You know, as grateful as I am for being a cardinal, I really want to be a saint. And I mean that. And I got a long way to go, believe me. But it’s all about holiness, it’s all about friendship with Jesus, it’s all about being a saint, and that is what I want to be. So one of our first acts as a cardinal is being able to approve two new saints, that was a biggie.”

The other American elevated to the College of Cardinals today, Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, former Archbishop of Baltimore and now a Vatican official, gently accepted that it was Dolan who was getting all the attention. Asked if he thought Dolan had the stuff to be pope, O’Brien deadpanned: “His mother thinks so.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


22 New Cardinals Created at Ceremony in Rome

Franco Origlia/Getty Images(ROME) -- Pope Benedict XVI appointed 22 new cardinals in a ceremony on Saturday at St Peter's Basilica in Rome.

The cardinals join an elite group of members who are the pope's closest aides and also choose the Roman Catholic leader's successor. The 84-year-old pontiff presented the cardinals with red hats and gold rings during the ceremony which is called the Consistory

New York's Archbishop Timothy Dolan and Baltimore's Archbishop Edwin O'Brien from the United States as well as Archbishop Thomas Collins from Toronto were among the appointed cardinals.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pope to Induct 22 Members into College of Cardinals Saturday

TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images(ROME) -- Rome will be a sea of red on Saturday when Pope Benedict XVI inducts 22 new members into the College of Cardinals.

In a ceremony in St. Peters Basilica, the new cardinals will approach the Pope one by one, kneeling before him as he places the red, four-cornered cardinal's birretta on their heads and slides a new cardinal's ring on their fingers.

Two Americans will be among the 22 receiving the honor -- Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, and Edwin O'Brien, the former Archbishop of Baltimore.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pope Says New List of Cardinals Reflects 'The Universal Nature of the Church'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- Pope Benedict XVI named 24 new cardinals Wednesday morning in Vatican City.  In announcing their names, the pope said he did so "with joy," and that the list reflects the universal nature of the Church." 

The cardinals, he said, "come from various parts of the world, have different duties in the service of the Holy See, in direct contact with God's people as fathers and pastors of particular churches."

The pope also gave a reminder that "the cardinals have the duty to help the successor of Peter the Apostle in fulfilling his mission."

He invited the faithful present in St. Peter's Square Wednesday morning to "pray for the new cardinals, asking for the special intercession of the Holy Mother of God, so that they might fruitfully carry out their ministry in the Church."

The newly appointed cardinals will receive their rings in a two-day ceremony in Rome on Nov. 20-21.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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