I was asked about the media reports concerning the appointment of two Irishwomen to the college of Cardinals: what did I think about it? I said I'd just check the calendar to see if it's November 3rd or April 1st.
This story is non-runner for a number of reasons. For one thing I know those two women and if the Pope decided to appoint women cardinals these ladies would not have a chance since persistent and obstinate dissent against Church teaching has never been a qualification for a red hat. Seeing as mistakes have been made in the past in conferring the red hat, a certain Scottish cardinal being a case in point, I would hope the Pope would exercise a great deal of prudence before making any appointments to the sacred college.
If we are in an age of reform and a return to the "purer" faith of the early Church, then the office of Cardinal, if it were to be reformed, could return to being one taken up by the parish priests of Rome only. That might be an attractive proposition to a pontiff who prefers to refer to himself as the Bishop of Rome.
These stories in the press are no more than the media attempting to set the agenda for the Church, red herrings, perhaps, to set the Church up for another accusation of discrimination when these ladies' names are not on the list. These are false expectations and we need be very wary of them. As a relation of mine would say: "They've lost the run of themselves".
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