Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Danger - Vaticanologists at work

A post by Fr Tim on the Hermeneutic of Continuity directed me to a piece on Rorate Caeli about the reliability of Vaticanologists on the outcome of the impending conclave. It can be read at Editorial note - "Religious correspondents", "Vaticanists": they really don't know much more about the Conclave than the rest of us  and bears out what so often seems to be the case in such reporting.

With hindsight we may say that Cardinal Ratzinger was the obvious candidate in 2005, but that was not clear at the time. 

The piece also ties in with the statement from the Secretary of State's office about attempts to manipulate opinion in advance of the Conclave. One should ask what is the agenda of commentators, and indeed how well informed they are.

So before you put your bet on the outcome of the Papal election, ask yourself whose opinion you are following when you pick the winner. Remeber also that the Cardinals have shown over the years a not unremarkable tendency to choose a less than immediately obvious candidate.

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