New Cardinals By Sunday ? How About Some Women, Pope Francis?

Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

* The Wall Street Journal has reported that Pope Francis is likely to name more Cardinals, possibly as early Sunday, 1/4/15, as he seeks to reshape the makeup of the Roman Catholic hierarchy and to strengthen his support within the Vatican administration, known as the Roman Curia.

* Will any women be named? Unlikely, unfortunately for Catholics and for Pope Francis himself, who has a serious credibility problem among women.

* Rubber stamp journalists, including pathetically many women, will likely praise Francis for advancing with his latest appointments to the 19th Century with greater geographical diversity, while underplaying Francis’ failure to move into the 21st Century without even a token appointment reflecting gender equality.

* As supreme and unaccountable Church lawmaker, Pope Francis could re-write the rules quickly before February and appoint some women as Cardinals. Indeed, he may already have that authority. As Jesuit Vatican spokesman, Fr. Lombardi, told the Irish Times last year, ““Theologically and theoretically, it is possible,” he added. “Being a cardinal is one of those roles in the church for which, theoretically, you do not have to be ordained … ” Pope Francis could authorize women Cardinals quickly, just like he recently created the Council of Cardinals almost instantly out of thin air.

* At least half a billion Catholics, women, know very well that a major reason for the unabated continuation of the priest child abuse scandal is men, in particular over a hundred celibate Cardinals. These men likely do not even know “how to change a nappy”, as Mrs. Mary McAleese, the former Irish President recently so well put it.

* Pope Francis really needs to invite as Cardinals some women and mothers, like Ireland’s “straight talking” leader, Mrs. Mary McAleese, and brave Illinois Justice Anne Burke, to become Cardinals in February, and then to attend October’s Final Synod. What is he waiting for?

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