Welcome to readers of Cardinal Seán’s Blog!

March 8, 2013

Papal Election

By Scot Landry

It’s a true joy to welcome readers of CardinalSeansBlog.org to TheGoodCatholicLife.com.

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There is a great sense of excitement here in Rome this evening as the Cardinals announced a few hours ago that the Conclave will commence on Tuesday March 12.  We look forward to providing continuing coverage toward the announcement of a new Pope and his Mass of Inauguration here on TheGoodCatholicLife.com.

Since Monday, Cardinal Seán has been participating in the General Congregation meetings with his brother Cardinals.  The Cardinals on Wednesday agreed to a period of public silence through the end of the Conclave.  So Cardinal Seán is unable to write his Blog this week. Cardinal Seán’s priest secretary, Fr. Jonathan Gaspar, asked me to write a “guest blog.”

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I’ve been reflecting over the past few days on the history of Cardinal Sean’s Blog, which was begun in September of 2006.  Cardinal Seán sought to share his reflections and experiences of his trip to Rome to take possession of his titular Church, Santa Maria della Vittoria, six months after his elevation as a Cardinal.

His intention at the time was to give blogging a try during that one-week trip.  Media organizations worldwide became interested in reporting on the Church’s “first blogging Cardinal.”  It became clear early on that there was wide readership in the Archdiocese of Boston and beyond.  So Cardinal Seán determined to continue blogging, weekly.  He has kept blogging weekly ever since, usually on Fridays, occasionally with a “guest blogger” during the summer months, such as a newly ordained priest or a leader of an important Archdiocesan initiative.

So I’m honored to serve as a guest blogger during this momentous week in the life of the Church.  Cardinal Seán has always been tremendously supportive and encouraging about leveraging the various forms of social media in our ministry.  I’m grateful for the help provided by Fr. Jonathan Gaspar, Greg Tracy, and Antonio Enrique for this post.

I’d like to share with you Cardinal Seán’s comments from various media interviews and a large press conference on Tuesday before the silent period began.  We’ll also share Greg’s and Fr. Jonathan’s reflections on some of the events of the week that they attended with Cardinal Seán.

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On Sunday March 3, Cardinal Seán sat down with John Allen from the National Catholic Reporter for an extensive interview.  Here is a full transcript:

JA: So far, is there anything about the experience that has surprised you?

CSOM: No, not really, except that I had always presumed this would be part of a funeral and a mourning period. I had expected to have a little more psychological preparation for the event itself. The Holy Father’s resignation came as such a surprise, although in retrospect it probably shouldn’t have been.

JA: How are you preparing yourself?

CSOM: Spiritually, I’m trying to focus on the seriousness of this, asking for God’s help in prayer. I’m also trying to learn as much as I can about my brother cardinals.

JA: How are you doing that?

CSOM: I downloaded Mr. Miranda’s material, because he has a page of just the cardinals who are going to be at the conclave. [Note: Salvador Miranda of Florida International University maintains a web page on the cardinals.] I had my secretary go through and take out the biography of each one. A lot of them, of course, I knew, but this was one way of putting names to the faces of those I don’t know. That’s especially true of the Eastern Europeans and a couple of the Africans. I’m trying to read articles, to become acquainted with some of these issues in the past faced by conclaves. Your articles are all very interesting too.

I think the most important preparation will be the General Congregations this week. We’ve had some meetings among the cardinals, in which we’ve been able to talk about the situation in the church. It’s very helpful just to be able to bounce these ideas off of each other. I’m really looking forward to this week as being a very important part of our preparation for the conclave.

JA: You have the languages to read media from all over the world. To what extent are you paying attention to the stuff that’s in the Italian media in these days? For example, the story yesterday about a Scherer/Piacenza ticket?

CSOM: Practically every day I read Le Monde, and I read La Stampa because it’s what you can get on your Kindle! So, I’m aware of what they’re saying. I thought the article [on the Scherer/Piacenza ticket] was very interesting.

JA: Does any of that influence you?

CSOM: I think the General Congregations will be much more important. These other things are interesting, but I think these meetings will be the most critical thing.

JA: As of today, the day before the General Congregation meetings begin, have you made your mind up about for whom you intend to vote?

CSOM: No, I haven’t.

JA: Would you say that’s probably true of most cardinals?

CSOM: I would presume. I think we all have candidates out there who look good to us, but it’s too early to narrow it down to the one person we’re going to vote for.

JA: One of the issues the General Congregation has to face is the date on the conclave. Some want to get this done as quickly as possible, others want to take more time. What’s your feeling?

CSOM: I know we’re all looking to the desire to finish up before Holy Week, but I think we need to give it as much time as it needs. They’re saying that we will decide whether the sessions will be morning and afternoons, and I’m hoping they will be both. Perhaps that will allow us to move more quickly. I think we need to use the time well, and in fact I don’t know why we waited so long to start. If we have good discussions this week, by next week we should be able to start.

JA: You mean around March 10?

CSOM: Sunday, probably.

JA: Do you find yourself consulting the Americans who have been through this before?

CSOM: We’ve had opportunities here, at meals and so forth, to hear from the cardinals and get their experiences. It’s been helpful. I have the impression, though, that this is perhaps a more wide-open conclave than the last one.

JA: How do you see the main issues in this conclave?

CSOM: Certainly the question of the central government of the church is very important.

Then, in the global church there’s so many different issues with which the Holy Father has to grapple – the rise of Islam, the Islamization of Europe, secularization of the West, the growth of the church in Africa and Latin America, how we’re going to prepare for the evangelization of China, the future of religious life and the priesthood in all these places where there are shortages of priests and religious. All those issues come into play, it’s not just one.

That’s why the selection of the pope is so important, as well as the kind of team he’ll be able to assemble around him in his curia to aid him in his ministry.

JA: Let’s go back to the central government of the church. Why is that important at this particular time?

CSOM: The curia is relatively small for the task that it has, but it’s the only way the Holy Father is able to interact with so many different facets of the church, our institutions and regions and so on. Greater coordination among the dicasteries themselves is important, and greater efficiency in dealing with the problems, so as not to thrust the Holy Father into the midst of all these controversies.

JA: You’re talking about avoiding unnecessary distractions?

CSOM: Exactly.

JA: That hasn’t always been the case over the last eight years?

CSOM: That’s right.

JA: You’ve talked about global vision and governance. What does that suggest in terms of the qualities you’re looking for in the next pope?

CSOM: He certainly has to have a good work ethic. Obviously, it’s going to take someone with great interior strength to be able to cope with these issues. I would hope that he would be a great teacher and theologian, like Benedict and John Paul II, because that’s been a great gift for us. There’s also the ability to communicate the beauty of the gospel message.

JA: You have to be aware that there has been talk about you as a candidate. How do you react to that?

CSOM: It seems kind of surreal. I guess I don’t pay that much attention to it. I realize that it’s out there, but I’m a very dark horse. As I told the people in Boston, I bought a round-trip ticket, and I think I’ll need it.

JA: You’re able to laugh it off?

CSOM: If I think about it, it’s very scary. Because I think the possibility is so remote, it’s not something that I worry about. Obviously, any cardinal going in could be elected. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a cardinal.

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On March 4, the Wall Street Journal published a story from the interview Cardinal Seán provided to Stacy Meichtry.  In speaking about strengthening the Church’s response internationally to the sexual abuse crisis, Cardinal Seán stated,

“The Holy See has already asked every Bishop’s Conference to come up with a policy to be able to respond to the sexual abuse crisis.  What needs to be done now is all of those policies need to be reviewed in a very careful way.  That is going to be a monumental task.  Because if there is not a policy, people will make so many mistakes in a moment of crisis like that.  People will improvise, and when you are improvising you are going to make mistakes.  And when you improvise, everyone gets hurt: victims, the ones that are accused, and the local community.  If you don’t have a clear direction of how to respond and what are appropriate guidelines, it’s a minefield.”

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Also on March 4, Estefania Aguirre wrote a story in Catholic News Agency after her interview with Cardinal Seán.  Here are some quotes from Estefania’s article.

On the General Congregation Meetings:

CSOM: “The meetings are very important because they give us the opportunity to know us better and to share information about the Church’s situation in different parts of the world.”

“They also help us discuss about the Church’s governing body and the characteristics we should look for in a possible papal candidate.”

The [Congregation Meetings are a] “spiritual retreat” [that carry] “a prayerful atmosphere, of deep reflection and of a searching of God’s will.”

“This needs to be like the Novena before Pentecost so that the Holy Spirit can pour over us to help us find our new Peter.”

On signs of growth of the Church:

CSOM: “We know that this is true since four million young people are hoping to meet with the new Pope in this summer’s World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.”

On the relationship between Christians and Muslims:

CSOM: “The relationship between the Church and the Muslim world is very important as well as the Church’s persecution in many countries and the lack of education in others.”

On praying for the Cardinal-electors:

CSOM: “It’s important to pray with a lot of faith and to try to do our duty of being spokespeople of the Gospel and to try to live the New Evangelization, inviting others to follow Christ.”

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The next day, on March 5, Cardinal Seán and Cardinal Daniel DiNardo from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, met with media from across the United States and from many countries at the North American College.

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Here is a transcript of Cardinal Seán’s remarks.  [A full video is available on TheGoodCatholicLife.com which includes Cardinal DiNardo’s responses].

Cardinal Seán’s Opening Statement:

CSOM: This week we have begun to General Congregations, which is an opportunity for all the Cardinals to share their ideas concerning the situation of the Church throughout the world and the possible needs of the Church going forward as we prepare to elect a New Holy Father.

Yesterday, we took our oath of confidentiality.  So we are not free to talk about the content of our discussions.  [The Congregations] are an opportunity for us to hear also from retired Cardinals who have a wealth of experience and who will not be coming into the Conclave.  It’s an opportunity for them to share their ideas with us.

Today also as a group we sent a message to our retired Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, thanking him for his wonderful and generous ministry to the Church for the last several years.

We are still waiting for all of the Cardinal-electors to be present. Before retiring, the Holy Father authorized the electors to set a date for the Conclave that might be different from the 15 to 20 days that are provided in the legislation.  In order to do that, we need to wait until all the Cardinal-electors are present.  Many have arrived by today.  There are still at least two who are not present.

It was decided today that we wanted to have the opportunity to pray together.  Tomorrow we will have a holy hour at the Basilica at 5:00, which will be open to the public. We will pray for the help of the Holy Spirit to guide us in the deliberations as we prepare to enter the Conclave.

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Question: Since there was apparently less formal ritual today compared to what happened yesterday, would you say whether the style of the conversation was any different?  Were there individuals standing up to make remarks?  Was there more small group conversation?  Please characterize the conversations and the form of the conversations today. 

CSOM: Actually it was a series of interventions. Cardinals would ask to speak and they would.  That was a format this morning. I’m not sure that format will continue going forward.

Question: The rules say that all the Cardinals who are eligible to vote need to be present to change the date of the Conclave. How is the congregation handling the situation of Cardinal O’Brien from Scotland who is not present for reasons other than health?  Has there been any formal notification that he is not to be considered a cardinal elector going forward?

CSOM: My supposition is that those Cardinals have been excused. [When we were speaking about Cardinal-electors waiting to arrive] we were talking about electors who are not being excused, who are expected to be part of the Conclave.  That is whom we are waiting for.

Question: A lot of us are curious as to why some of the Cardinals have not yet arrived. Father Lombardi today said that it’s absolutely normal that there would be this slow trickle of Cardinals coming to Rome. Can you give us a sense of why they might be late? Father Lombardi said they were late due to prior engagements. But this seems to be quite a big one [that they are late for]? [Cardinal DiNardo responded first to this question.]

CSOM: I don’t know whether that this is a myth or not but I’m told that the 15 days [provision] in the document for Cardinals to arrive is because the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston missed one or two Conclaves [in the early 1900s] because of the travel time on a boat coming across the Atlantic from the United States. So now people are given 15 days to get there. Some Cardinals are taking closer to the 15 days.

Question: I realize we can’t get into the specifics of what happened today, but we have heard that there were some going back and forth between the Cardinals and some members of the Roman Curia. Could you tell us your thoughts on the Roman Curia, it’s perceived corruption and dysfunction, and the Vatileaks scandal?[Cardinal DiNardo responded first to this question.]

CSOM: Well, there is certainly a lot of reflection going on around the world about the governance of the church and how to improve it, in order to make the Holy Father’s ministry more effective and supported by the bureaucracy of the Holy See. The Vatileaks scandal grabbed the headlines for a long time, but I’m not sure how important those issues are for the work of the Conclave. The Cardinals who know the information there will share information with the rest the Cardinals that they think that we need to know.

Question: Can you help us understand how it works in the setting of the date of the conclave? Apparently this wasn’t even discussed yesterday while you are awaiting other Cardinals to arrive. Isn’t this something that the Cardinals present can discuss ahead of time so that you can be prepared to vote on the beginning of the Conclave when the final Cardinal arrives?  [Cardinal DiNardo responded to this question.]

Question: I’m curious about the atmosphere of these conversations. Is it mostly the older Cardinals sharing information with the younger Cardinals? What language do the interventions take place in?  Does it seem more like a campaign event or an academic seminar?  Are there translators? [Cardinal DiNardo responded first to this question].

CSOM: I would say the atmosphere is very much like the atmosphere of the Synods of Bishops. If you’ve ever been involved in those, it’s very similar to that type of conversation. Right now [the General Congregations involve] many speeches. Whether it will stay that way, I’m not sure. There may be themes that are proposed and discussed, with conversations that follow.  We’ll see.

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Question: This is the third time since last Thursday that some American Cardinals are gathered for a press conference here at the North American College.  However, you as Cardinals need to be tight-lipped because of your oath of confidentiality.  So why are you, the American Cardinals, doing these press conferences?  What is the philosophy behind your willingness to speak to so many of us?  [Cardinal DiNardo responded first to this question].

CSOM: Obviously, there is a lot of interest in what is happening here. Unfortunately, there have not been any dramatic developments in the last 24 hours to share with you. We are trying to help people understand what the process is to elect the next Holy Father, what the specific procedures are, and to provide background information. Right now, that’s about all we can share.

Question: Is there a political dimension to the selection of the date upon which the Conclave will start? If it begins earlier, might that benefit some Cardinals who are better known?  If it is later, might that benefit some Cardinals who are lesser known?  Is there any debate going on within the General Congregations about when the Conclave should start based on that? 

CSOM: I don’t think that’s a factor.  Many Cardinals are concerned that if there is not enough time spent in the General Congregations discussing these issues, that once we get into the conclave it could drag on. Our preference would be to have enough conversation [in the Congregations] so that when we go to the Conclave we should have a pretty good idea of who each of us we will be voting for.  Our concern is if we cut our conversations short, then the Conclave could go on and on.  We really prefer to have the preparation done before.

Question: When Pope Benedict resigned, he said he was going to live hidden from the rest of the world.  But we’ve already heard what time he went to bed on the 28th and what he had for breakfast the next morning. What influence do you think Pope Benedict XVI will have on the Conclave?  A second question, on behalf of my daughter, is for Cardinal Sean.  She is wondering if you will continue wearing your ‘cappuccino’ robe if you are elected Pope?

CSOM: I think that Pope Benedict’s declaration that he will live hidden life is a very serious intention on his part. I do not expect that we will see you or hear much about him going forward. Obviously, there’s still a lot of attention now because his resignation is so recent and there is no Pope right now.

As far as your daughter’s concern, I have worn this uniform for over 40 years.  I assume I will wear it until I die, because I don’t expect to be elected Pope.  So I don’t expect to have a change of wardrobe.

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Question: You both are on the inside on the Congregations looking out. When you read the headlines in the media, do you laugh, do you cry, or do you worry?  And Cardinal DiNardo, if you’re elected Pope will you be wearing a cowboy hat? [Cardinal DiNardo responded first to this question].

CSOM: I think all of us are all of us are in some ways amazed by how much news has been generated by the Holy Father’s retirement. I think that a lot of the articles that are being written are very reflective.  It has helped me appreciate more about this moment in history.

I think a lot I think a lot of the reflection going on in our Catholic community is what you’re seeing reflected in the coverage in the newspapers. Obviously the media are interviewing many of our Catholic faithful and priests and are distilling from them the themes in that all of us are reflecting on and praying about in these days.

Question: Cardinal George said yesterday that many of the Cardinals who lead dioceses away from Rome are hoping to be home by Palm Sunday to lead the Holy Week liturgies in their dioceses. Given that [your voting in the Conclave] is likely going to be the most important decision that you face in your life unless you are able to participate in a later Conclave, do you think having an arbitrary date, with all due respect to Palm Sunday, should take precedence over taking as much time as you need in General Congregations before the Holy Spirit prepares you to enter the Conclave?  Does it seem a little odd that people are already looking at the calendar on when a good date for a Papal Inauguration Day might be even before the Cardinals finish the Congregation meetings and enter the Conclave? Do you feel under any pressure to get this over with quickly?

CSOM: I agree with you that this is the most important decision some of us will ever make.  We need to give it the time that is necessary. Obviously, the legislation of the Church [governing this process states that] we have a maximum of 20 days to begin the Conclave. Experience has shown us that that much time is not always necessary. As I said before, I believe the feeling among the Cardinals is that we should have as much time as we need in the General Congregation so that when we go into the Conclave itself, it is a time of decision

In the General Congregations, it’s a time of discernment.  We should take as much time as we need for discernment, prayer, reflection, and information gathering.

We understand there was a discussion about the Curia today. Do you want more discussion about the Curia or are you satisfied with the discussion so far?  If you want to know more information, which information do you want to know? Also what do you want to know from the secret report regarding the Vatileaks investigation?  [Cardinal DiNardo responded first to this question.]

CSOM: I think the Cardinals feel confident that we’ll get all the information we need for our deliberations. It’s not necessary that we the report be shared with us.  If there’s anything germane that we need to know about, I’m sure we’ll hear about it.

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After the news conference concluded, Cardinal Seán met for an interview with Lisa Wangsness from the Boston Globe.  Here are some quotes from Lisa’s story.

On being part of the process to select the next Pope:

CSOM: “Growing up a Catholic and knowing a little bit about these traditions and the way the Holy Father is selected in the church — it’s a far cry from seeing it up close and being part of it.”

On conducting interviews with the press:

CSOM: [After nearly 30 years as a bishop, interacting with the press is] “not always easy, but it’s important; it’s the way we can communicate with the largest number of people.”

On dealing with the Church’s challenges:

CSOM: “We want the Holy Father to have a good team of people around him in a way that will support his ministry and allow him to focus on his teaching office, which we see as so important.”

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Following his discussion with Lisa, Cardinal Seán was kind enough to meet with me for a brief interview that aired on Tuesday’s episode of The Good Catholic Life.  Here is a transcript of that interview:

SL: People in Boston want to know how you are doing and how you are holding up here in Rome as you prepare for the Conclave?

CSOM: Well, so far so good.  We’ve been blessed with lovely weather.  It’s been a lovely time to be in Rome, obviously.  I was able to be here in time with the meeting that the Holy Father had with the Cardinals.  I was able to thank him, to assure him of our prayers, best wishes and affection.  Then I was able to gather with thousands of people in the piazza to watch his helicopter carry him away.  It was a very moving experience.  Now, the General Congregations have begun.  It’s an opportunity to hear from Cardinals all over the world about the situation of the Church and what our needs are going forward.  It’s a time of prayer and reflection on the task at hand, which, of course, is to elect a new Holy Father.

SL: It’s a very significant vote that you’ll cast, and likely, a series of votes that you will cast to elect our next Holy Father.  What personally are you doing to prepare and to research other Cardinals that might get your vote?

CSOM: Well, I think the most important thing is the opportunity this week to reflect with the other Cardinals and to listen to them.  I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can about some of the other Cardinals that I did not know personally.  Most of them I have met in serving on different commissions with them.  So I do have first-hand knowledge of many of the Cardinals.  But who knows what direction the Holy Spirit will point us in, so I’ve been trying to learn about all the members of the college as I can.

SL: Many Italian journalists keep floating your name as a possible Pope.  I’ve heard from more than 100 friends back home that “Cardinal Seán would make an awesome Holy Father.”  How do you deal with that type of ‘buzz’ about yourself? 

CSOM: Well, I find it rather amusing.  In part, perhaps, it’s the great affection the Italians have for the Capuchin order that makes them focus on an exotic candidate and a very dark horse.

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SL: What specifically would you ask people in Boston to be praying for as we prepare for the Conclave?

CSOM: Well, like Pentecost before the coming of the Holy Spirit, the whole Church must be united in prayer, hopefully persevering with the Blessed Mother as like the Apostles were in Jerusalem for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit so that we might be able to identify the person that God wants as Pope and the person that would be best able to serve the Church.  We’ve been so blessed in the last 150 years with very holy, talented and wise leaders as Holy Fathers.  In these challenging times for the Church, we need a very good Pope.  Everyone’s prayers are important.

SL: Have you been able to keep your Lenten diet with all this great food in Rome?

CSOM: Oh yes, though it’s hard to get a bad meal in Rome.

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Then Cardinal Seán met with Jay Fadden from CatholicTV.

On the presence of so many young people in Rome during these days. 

CSOM: Well, I think young people are very much attuned to the papacy since John Paul II and World Youth Day.  In the summer, we are going to have four million young people in Rio to meet the new Holy Father, whoever that might be.  So obviously, being a part of this moment in history is a very important one.

Just as there were millions of young people who came for the funeral of John Paul II and millions that will gather to greet the new Pope in Rio, I know that our young Catholics throughout the world feel a part of this very ancient process and one that is so important.

Jesus has promised that he’d be with us always, guiding us in the selection of his vicar on earth.  We count on the Lord’s presence and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

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In regards to other events of the week, last Saturday, Cardinal Seán had dinner with two of the three men from the Archdiocese currently studying at the North American College.  Father Eric Bennett (5th year) was in Poland participating in the pilgrimage of the St. John Seminary’s Master of Arts in Ministry pilgrimage tracing the path of Blessed Pope John Paul II from Poland to Rome.  So Cardinal Seán dined with Deacon Tom McDonald from Westford (4th year) and Kevin Staley-Joyce from West Roxbury (1st year).

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After dinner, Greg Tracy from the Pilot had a chance to briefly interview both Deacon Tom and Kevin.

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On Sunday, March 3, Cardinal Seán joined a number of the other American Cardinals in concelebrating a Mass at the Pontifical North American College.  The main celebrant and homilist was Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P., vice president of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”.

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Greg Tracy wrote earlier this week that, for him, “the most significant moment was the calling of the candidates, a roll call of sorts in which the name and home diocese of each candidate is read aloud. In response, each candidate stands, announces he is present and bows. The significance was not in the solemnity or the symbolism. Rather it was in hearing the multitude of dioceses is represented among men receiving that ministry.

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Later that evening, Greg accompanied Cardinal Seán for the usual gathering of Boston priests and seminarians who are stationed in Rome. They meet once a month at a local pizza restaurant to share stories and stay connected. There Greg caught up with Msgr. Cornelius “Connie” McRae, who was a long time pastor in Norwood before coming back to Rome to serve as spiritual director at the North American College.  Greg asked Msgr. McRae to share his reflections on the resignation of Pope Benedict and the upcoming conclave.

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On Wednesday night, Fr. Jonathan went with Cardinal Seán for dinner with the group on pilgrimage from St. John Seminary’s MAM program.  Fr. Jonathan reported that Cardinal Seán loved hearing about the experiences of the group’s travels in Poland.  He gave them a few pointers before the group headed to Assisi the following day to visit the Basilica of Saint Francis and many other significant Churches and sites.

As mentioned earlier, this group’s pilgrimage focused on the life of Blessed Pope John Paul II.  They concluded their week earlier today with a Mass at the tomb of Blessed Pope John Paul II within St. Peter’s Basilica.  George Martell recorded Fr. Chris O’Connor’s homily on the life of the late Holy Father and then an interview Fr. Chris gave to Scot Landry in St. Peter’s Square.

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As we conclude this post, I wanted to encourage all first-time visitors to TheGoodCatholicLife.com blog to follow our Boston Catholic Media’s continuing coverage of events from Rome.

And as we anticipate a historic week for the universal Church, I ask your prayers for the Cardinal-electors, the future Pope and ask you to join in this prayer with Catholics throughout the world.

God our Father,

You are the Eternal Shepherd. You protect and guide your Church from age to age.

Pour out the gift of the Holy Spirit upon your people and fill those entrusted with the election of a new Pope with the wisdom and understanding to know your will.

In your mercy, grant your Church a shepherd who will walk in your ways and be an example of goodness

so that your people may come to know and live more fully the gospel of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

Thank you for visiting TheGoodCatholicLife.com.  Have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you!

13 Responses to “Welcome to readers of Cardinal Seán’s Blog!”

  1. Luca Zanzi Says:

    I was raised in a “Church on Sundays and Holidays”, but not strict Catholic family in South America. I attended a Lasallian school that balanced a good education and religious education.
    I no longer believe in a higher power, but can certainly call myself a good person (let that bit of pride slide by).
    And great part of this is because I was raised in a Church that was about loving others and being a good person. There was doctrine as well, but the doctrine was a tool, an implementation of this love.
    It wasn’t about doctrine, then love. And it’s what saddens me about seeing a great part of the Catholic Church these days: a focus on doctrine before focusing on strengthening the bonds that tie humanity together at peace.
    I have followed Cardinal O’Malley since he was made Archbishop of Boston, and in him I see many things: a scholar who has not been secluded behind theology his entire life; a man who has traveled the world and understands the different realities of its regions; a humble man who has not taken his office and title for granted, but has used them to better his flock during a very dark period. A man who is current not only in world events and church politics, but understands the world changes very often these days and tries his best to keep up with it.
    But above all, I see a man that smiles often with that grandfatherly face that says “everything will be alright”.
    Be it in Boston or Rome, I am glad there are men like Cardinal O’Malley who have taken a life of service for the right reasons, and the church will only benefit from more like him.

    • Michele Says:

      Hi Luca,

      I left the church when I was a teenager for many years but I never stopped believing in God. In retrospect, I never had a valid reason for leaving. I guess it boils down to being both a rebellious teenager that didn’t want to be told what to do and, at the same, time feeling totally incapable of being a “good” catholic.

      It wasn’t until my adult years that I had a true spiritual awakening and able to grasp the concept of Grace and the work of the Holy Spirit.

      I find it interesting that you have followed Cardinal Sean since he was made Archbishop of Boston. I believe it is the Holy Spirit working through him, and you, that enables you to praise his many attributes.

      I hope you will come home to your Catholic family of God. You didn’t say where you were from, but there are many wonderful parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston. I’m sure you will find one to call your home.

      God bless you,
      Michele

    • Flint Catholic Says:

      How can you say that you do not believe in God but believe in Love. With out God love makes no sense. Love is something that goes against animal nature. So where does it come from where does it originate. The only answer is that it has to originate from a greater source of Love. It has to come from something greater. God is Love and that is where Love comes from. Because without God, Love make no sense and should not exist.

  2. M. Reynolds Says:

    I don’t get it – Cardinal Dolan of New York published a posting on his blog dated March 8th – who’s not following the period of silence? :)

  3. Michele Says:

    To Scot,

    This is a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing it. This is my first visit to this website and it won’t be my last. I’ve been listening to 1060 as well these last few days while I’m at work and think it’s awesome, and so very educational!

    Thanks to all of you for the wonderful work you are doing!

  4. Alice Sullivan Says:

    As a lifelong parishioner in Boston, I find the Cardinal’s blog to be an uplifting ‘place to visit.’ It provides a window into our Shepherd, his inspiring work and the many wonderful things taking place in the Church.

    When our Cardinal related his recent experiences in Rome, his openness, humor and thoughtful discussion of the issues ahead give me great hope for our future.

    Thank you for continuing the blog and providing important updates on this extraordinary moment for Catholics and the world. The reporting is appreciated, as is a lay view of the experience.

  5. Stephen Browning Says:

    I want to thank His Eminence for his over
    forty years of being a faithful, true, loyal,
    worthy and dedicated Son of Saint
    Francis of Assisi. The Church needs
    his gifts of being an outstanding
    admiministrator, teacher and theologian
    for nearly thirty years as a Bishop.

  6. antonio Says:

    sarebbe il Papa perfetto idoneo alla Chiesa in questo periodo buio.

  7. Harold Berntsen Says:

    I am originally from Boston, born/raised a Catholic, while I do not attend Mass I do belive in God and his ways. It is great to see someone in the Catholice Church who is like Cardinal O’Malley, who seems to be a true servant of God.

  8. Myriam Says:

    My family and I had the good fortune in Washington, D.C. to meet and get to know Cardinal Sean, but we call him always PADRE SEAN. I personally had the privilege and blessing of having worked for him. He was and he still is a great servant of God, his dedication as priest for the people of God and his fidelity to the Church is unique. In these difficult times for the Church I can’t think of any cardinal better than Padre Sean. He would would really be a HOLY FATHER, and the church in the world will be in better hands. We pray for him and all the other cardinals and we pray for the church throughout the world. May God bless as well the Capuchin family who has given us so many good and holy priests.

  9. Steve Chiappett Says:

    I’m Brazilian and I’m praying for the cardinal Sean. I knew about him only after the Pope’s resignation, and to me he has the best approach to be a wonderful Pontifex that looks like Jesus. I am praying for him.

  10. Monica Says:

    I’m a Italian girl, I knew about Cardinal O’Malley of only after the Pope’s resignation. I’m writing from Rome, Sunday I go to St. Peter’s Square for the first Mass of the new pope. I hope and pray that Cardinal Sean will be our Pontifex Maximus!

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  1. Mass at the Tomb of Blessed John Paul II - The Good Catholic Life - March 9, 2013

    […] blog post was a special one for me.  I was asked by Cardinal Seán’s staff to write a guest blog for the […]