Tags: Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | Pope Francis | Brad Miner | College of Cardinals

Catholic Blogger: No Anti-US Message in Pope's Cardinal Picks

By    |   Monday, 05 Jan 2015 04:24 PM

The complete absence of Americans from the list of 15 new cardinals named by Pope Francis is not a rebuke of the U.S. Catholic hierarchy, but a move toward greater global diversity in church leadership, Catholic blogger Brad Miner told Newsmax TV on Monday.

Miner, senior editor at The Catholic Thing, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that "part of what the pope is trying to do here is make the College of Cardinals look a little bit more like the Catholic world as it is today."

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The incoming cardinals hail from 14 different countries, most in the developing world, where the church is growing fastest and where some countries have never had a prelate in the elite college that elects new popes.

A handful of prominent U.S. archbishops were not among those named — to the surprise of some church observers. But Miner said that those U.S. leaders will likely be elevated in the near future, and that the pope held off for purely geographical and technical reasons.

"People are making too much of the fact that no one from the United States was named because, really, by [church] rules, no one is eligible at the moment," he said.

Pope Francis has waged a very public anti-corruption campaign within the church, telling top Vatican administrators in December that greed, careerism, ego and a lust for power motivate too many church leaders.

But the pontiff "has been sending that message to everyone in the hierarchy around the world," and was not singling out the U.S. Catholic hierarchy for censure. Miner noted that Brazil, home to the world's largest Catholic country by population, also had nobody on the new roster of cardinals.

"Now, whether or not these choices that he has made, which come outside of the traditional Catholic powerhouses — whether that has anything to do with his clearly stated intention to clean up the Vatican, I'm not sure," said Miner. "Because I just don't know enough about the identities of these people . . . But this is really more about demography and even disparity."

The pope's well-documented activist streak surfaced again in December on another issue, climate change, on which Francis wants the church more involved. He plans to issue an encyclical — essentially a theological position paper — on climate change in March and is urging world leaders to act.

"As far as I know, Jorge Bergoglio is not a climatologist, so it remains to be seen what this encyclical, when it is released, will contain in terms of content and suggestions," said Miner, referring to the pope by his birth name.

"It depends on who's giving him advice about the science, in a way," said Miner, "because he's entering into the worlds of science and politics, and it's right for people to be concerned that maybe these are not, strictly speaking, areas of expertise for people in the Catholic Church — bishops, archbishops, cardinals and even the pope."

Nevertheless, Miner said of Francis, "he's not backing off."

"One thing about this man is, he is going to go where the spirit tells him he should go," he said. "And one of the things that characterizes him is humility, so I don't think there's arrogance behind this. I don't think he's the leftist that a lot of people think he is. But he's going to go where angels fear to tread, and that's just who he is."

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The complete absence of Americans from the list of 15 new cardinals named by Pope Francis is not a rebuke of the U.S. Catholic hierarchy, but a move toward greater global diversity in church leadership, Catholic blogger Brad Miner told Newsmax TV on Monday.
Brad Miner, College of Cardinals
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2015-24-05
Monday, 05 Jan 2015 04:24 PM
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