Sunday, April 24, 2005

behind the scenes

Apparently in the first round of voting in the conclave, former Cardinal Ratzinger pulled slightly ahead of the only serious contender (...drum roll...): Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini, formerly of Milan.

In the first vote on Monday, Ratzinger received about 40 votes, while Carlo Maria Martini, an Italian, got more than 30. Others including Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, Claudio Hummes of Brazil, and Dionigi Tettamanzi, another Italian, each received a handful.

Read the whole thing here. (There are some fascinating bits about the Traditional Anglican Communion and its relationship with Pope Benedict. They want formally to come under the authority of Rome.)

Now I know everyone says Cardinal Martini is a raving liberal, but that must be understood contextually. I rather like the man, based on what I know of him, which is not much. I read a lengthy-ish exchange between Cardinal Martini and Umberto Eco (the real Dan Brown) about skepticism vs. faith. I was impressed by Cardinal Martini's graciousness and thoughtfulness. In the last bit he gives a good apology for moral absolutes, and he even defends the Church's teaching on an exclusively male priesthood. This, by Episcopalian standards, is strident fundamentalism.

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