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BY Jim Cosgrove
New Cardinals Expected
THE UNIVERSE, Aug. 8—“John Paul is expected to create new cardinals within the next year,” reported the British Catholic weekly's Gerry Leonard.
The College of Cardinals currently has 154 members. However, only cardinals under the age of 80 may serve as electors of a new pope.
This means that only 107 cardinals could participate in a conclave if one were held today. The total number of electors must not exceed 120. As the months go by and additional cardinals become ineligible to vote for the next pope, additional open slots in the “college of electors,” are created , wrote Leonard.
If the Pope were to hold a consistory by the end of this year, he could create at least 14 new cardinals in order to reach the full number of 120 electors. If he waits until the middle of next year, he would be able to create at least 18 new electors, which would rise to 21 if he waits until the end of 2000.
John Paul II has created 128 cardinals, he wrote. Twenty -six of the cardinals created by Paul VI continue as members of the College. Only one cardinal—Austria's Cardinal Franz Konig—survives from the era of John XXIII. He was 94 on Aug. 3.
‘Good’ Pope John Was Not Naive
CORRIERE DELLA SERA, Aug. 5—“It is painful to see how some regarded and continue to regard the [Second Vatican] Council as a bomb that exploded in inexperienced hands,” said Archbishop Loris Capovilla, former private secretary of Pope John XXIII, in an interview with the Italian newspaper for a story in a series on the most important events of the millennium.
The events covered in the story included Vatican II and John's pontificate.
“[It is] as though simplicity and innocence played a bad joke on the Church,” by calling the Council in such a turbulent time, asserted the archbishop. “Obviously, the simplicity and innocence being that of the ‘Good Pope’ [John],” he said.
“Some have enjoyed labeling Pope John, stereotyping him in a diminishing way, as though he was only good,” said Archbishop Capovilla. While the Pope was a popular figure primarily due to his image of simple goodness, this does not mean that he did not feel criticisms profoundly, he said, referring to passages in John XXIII's Journal of a Soul to illustrate the point.
Pope Consults With Orthodox About Holy Land Trip
VIMA, Aug. 5—The Vatican has written to the Orthodox patriarchs of Antioch, Jerusalem, Athens and Sinai to seek their blessing on a Holy Year pilgrimage by Pope John Paul II to the Middle East and Greece, according to the Athens newspaper.
Vima reported that Cardinal Edward Cassidy, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, wrote to the patriarchs in the Pope's name to ask about the conditions for a papal visit.
The Pope said June 30 in a letter on Holy Year pilgrimages that he hoped to travel in the year 2000 to Old Testament sites in Iraq, Egypt and Jordan, as well as visit Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem to retrace the life, death and resurrection of Christ, and go to Damascus and Athens to meditate on the early Church.
The Pope has said the trip would also have an interfaith and ecumenical dimension, encouraging dialogue with Jews, Muslims and the Orthodox, but no political implications.
The newspaper said Patriarch Ignatios would answer after Aug. 15 but wanted to discuss the papal trip with the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul—the spiritual headquarters of Eastern Orthodoxy—and with other Orthodox leaders before giving a final answer.
Earlier reports from Athens said the Greek Orthodox Church would not welcome a papal visit, but the newspaper said two commissions of the Church's Holy Synod had discussed it, and the issue will now go before the full assembly of the Holy Synod when it next meets.