Papal vote takes a Chinese hue

BEIJING - The conclave that opens in a few days for the Catholic Church to chose a new pope is a historic occasion for China and Asia. This time among the candidates in position for the papacy is a Filipino of Chinese origin, Luis Antonio Tagle, Cardinal of Manila.

Vatican experts say that his inclusion is intended to make the Church look truly universal, with a gesture toward Asia, where Catholics are a small minority. Similarly, after the death of Pope John Paul II, the Indian Cardinal Ivan Dias was included among the eligible candidates for the papacy. In both cases, it was a minimum gesture required, yet it showed a growing trend in the Holy See.

Dias didn’t get the papacy but became the powerful Prefect of Propaganda Fide, the third- or fourth-most important position of the Holy See. In the same way Tagle, even if he doesn’t ascend to the most sacred position, could have an important post in Rome in the future. But the question now goes beyond the facade. The developments are unprecedented because for the first time in the history of the Church, a man of Chinese descent could head the largest religion in the world and a true Chinese, Cardinal John Tong from Hong Kong, will take part in the conclave, bringing Beijing objectively at the forefront in the meeting that will elect the next Pope.

To China, the Catholic question is arcane and in many ways incomprehensible. The Catholic Church has for many years represented a specter: a political force that, under a Polish Pope, shook Poland and thus undermined the foundations of the Soviet empire. Then it took on another dimension, as the Church supported the failing Castro regime in Cuba, which without papal support would probably already be overthrown. So the prospect, however distant, of a pope of Chinese descent - or more realistically, a Chinese senior official in the Curia - raises questions about how he will act toward Beijing.

I don’t think any particular Cardinal is specially ‘included’ as a candidate for the Papacy - at least not any more than they all are.

All those that go into the Conclave might become Pope and they are all eligible.

May the Holy Spirit get the Pope that He wants! :gopray2:

:popcorn: I wonder what would come of a Chinese Pope…

Yeah, this article makes no sense. “The Vatican” doesn’t single out Cardinals to be included as candidates.

The Holy Spirit has already chosen the next Pope… now we wait to see if the Cardinals agree…

I can’t take credit for that. I heard Cardinal Dolan say that on his program when talking about a quote from someone (possibly then Cardinal Ratzinger himself if I heard him correctly) prior to the 2005 Conclave.

I have not paid any attention to reports on who will be the Pope. The old saying holds true here too:
Man proposes, God disposes.

Personally, I support Cardinal Tagle. If the anti-Catholics here in Manila get very angry about it, then I’ll continue doing so with the additional intent of spiting them. :slight_smile:

This may be a silly question but if the next Pope is from China, what would happen if the cardinal they choose is in hiding or on house arrest? Also how do cardinals from China vote if they cannot make it to Rome? I read a great book (fiction) called “Secret Cardinal” by Tom Grace. It is about a Secret Cardinal in China that is rescued so that he can go and vote for the next Pope. Now this story may become true! It is exciting to be Catholic right now. Bonus for me–I teach in a Catholic school so I get to teach the children about this historic event.

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