2 Cardinals with Pittsburgh roots say document scandal to be addressed
ROME – Two American cardinals with Pittsburgh roots said Roman Catholic officials will closely examine the church's troubles before choosing a pope.
Cardinals Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and Sean O'Malley of Boston stepped from a College of Cardinals' meeting on Tuesday to talk with reporters about church operations, including a scandal that embarrassed the resigned Pope Benedict XVI.
Terrence Tilley, Fordham University's theology department chairman and a professor of Catholic theology, described their remarks as “unusual.”
“They are sending a message,” he said.
DiNardo, 62, grew up in Castle Shannon, graduated from Duquesne University's St. Paul's Seminary, and was a priest at St. Pius X in Brookline and Madonna del Castello in Swissvale.
O'Malley, 68, grew up in the South Hills, attended elementary schools in Pittsburgh and ae_SNbSSt. Fidelis Seminary in Herman, Butler County.
Both addressed problems involving the Curia, the centuries-old Vatican bureaucracy beset by scandal. DiNardo said the Curia's work must be examined “attentively.”
“There is certainly a lot of reflection going on throughout the Catholic world about the governance of the church and how to improve it,” O'Malley said.
In the most recent scandal – dubbed “Vati-leaks” by the Italian press – Pope Benedict's butler was arrested for leaking stolen documents that allegedly detailed financial corruption and criminal activity inside the Curia.
Benedict reportedly directed three cardinals to investigate and to give their findings to the next pontiff.
“The ‘Vati-leaks' grabbed the headlines for a long time,” O'Malley said. “But I don't know how important those issues are for the work of the conclave.”
He said he was confident that cardinals will share “the information that is really germane” as they select a pope.
Fordham's Tilley believes the two cardinals “are sending a message that this opacity is a detriment, not an asset, to the Vatican bureaucracy.”
“I think it is very clear that we need a pope who will clean up the mess, which most of us suspect is a part of the cause of Benedict's resignation,” he said.
Unlike the two Americans, he said, cardinals have been reluctant to deal with the media.
“Given that the pope is not deceased but resigned, given the level of discomfort with the Curia and other scandals, and given the inept use of the media over the past pontificate, I am not surprised that the cardinals are briefing the media rather than avoiding them,” he said.
Both cardinals said they are unlikely candidates for the papacy.
“That's an ‘Alice in Wonderland' story, going down the rabbit hole,” joked DiNardo.
Both said they could not divulge what cardinals discussed, but they explained the process.
Not all of the 115 cardinals who will vote in the conclave have arrived. No date for the conclave has been set.
DiNardo said the cardinals are addressing each other in formal speeches and informally over coffee. He said the mood has been “serene” since the meetings began Monday.
Tilley said strong candidates for pope may emerge in those informal discussions.
“It is always possible that the king-makers are already at work,” he said, and an unexpected late-afternoon session “suggests that the people who want to get down to business have won a small battle.”
DiNardo said the pre-conclave meetings, known as general congregations, “help the cardinals to understand a little bit about the dimensions of what is going on in the church worldwide and locally.
“We want to make sure there is plenty of time to discuss, but we also want to get the voting under way so we can get back to Holy Week at our dioceses.”
O'Malley said the cardinals “want to have enough time so that when we get to the conclave itself, it is a time of decision. The general congregations are a time of discernment.
“This is the most important decision that some of us will ever make.”
Betsy Hiel is the Tribune-Review's foreign correspondent. Email her at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Reagan shooter Hinckley closer to permanent freedom
- Steelers won’t be backed into a corner at NFL Draft
- Man beaten, robbed in South Side, police say
- Crosby’s 2 goals lift Penguins past Rangers, even series
- Starkey: Taylor’s type fading away
- Fights reported, shots fired outside Monroeville Mall restaurant
- Boscov’s could help sustain decade-old Pittsburgh Mills
- Transportation funding uncertainty impacts planning for Western Pa.
- Coming off hill revives Seton Hill University, downtown Greensburg
- Sutter steps up for Penguins in series-tying victory
- Boy, 17, shot in Marshall-Shadeland