KNOP-TV featured a report earlier this week in which it interviewed Acton president and co-founder, Rev. Robert Sirico describing the tough decision the Cardinals faced when choosing a new pope.
New Delhi TV recently published a Agence Franch-Presse report describing the former pope’s “invisible presence at conclave:”
Retired pope Benedict XVI is gone but far from forgotten as cardinals begin voting for candidates to replace him, with his personal secretary Georg Gaenswein one of the last to leave the Sistine Chapel before the start of the conclave.
Rev. Robert Sirico addresses Benedict’s influence on the conclave:
Benedict has “been very careful not to insert himself into the proceedings” for his succession.
He pointed to Benedict’s “removal of himself to Castel Gandolfo, and the fact that he made no comments or expressed any preferences on a number of the things leading up to his resignation.”
The “pope emeritus,” who turns 86 next month, has begun his retirement at the papal summer residence outside Rome with promises of being “hidden from the world” and living as a “simple pilgrim.”
“Obviously there are consequences to his decision and obviously not all good,” Sirico acknowledged, adding: “It has to weigh on his mind (that the cardinal electors) are in this position because of his decision.”
One obvious consequence is that “future popes could more easily resign,” he noted. (more…)
The conclave to elect the new pope is scheduled to begin tomorrow afternoon after the public Missa pro Eligendo Pontifice (Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff) which is scheduled at 10am Rome time. It was at this mass in 2005 after the death of John Paul II that the then Cardinal Ratizinger famously spoke of the “dictatorship of relativism.” At 4:30 pm Rome time, the cardinals wearing full choir dress will enter the Sistine Chapel singing the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus (Come Holy Spirit). Cardinals will enter into conclave (from the Latin cum clave, meaning “with key”) and they will be locked away from the world with no access to television, newspapers, or mobile phones until they have elected the new pope.
As the Conclave gets underway and the world waits to see who will be the next pope, here are some helpful hints for making your way through the media storm that is already underway.
1. The papal election is not a U.S.- or European-style political event.
In our hyper politicized world where almost everything is reduced to politics it is hard for our imagination to process a public event like the election of a new pope outside of the structures of politics. That’s not to say there’s no politics in the Church. There’s too much of it. Way too much. And it’s always a factor. Nevertheless trying to understand the papal election if the light of the American political system or interest and lobbying groups will not be of much help. (more…)
In the video below, Ralph Baer, the “father of video games,” explains why he still invents at 90 years old. “What do you expect me to do?” he asks. He likens invention to the work of a painter. Would someone ask why a painter doesn’t retire? It’s what they love to do! Indeed, it is a calling.
In The Entrepreneurial Vocation, Fr. Robert Sirico writes,
Entrepreneurs, as agents of change, encourage the economy to adjust to population increases, resource shifts, and changes in consumer needs and desires. Without entrepreneurs, we would face a static economic world not unlike the stagnant economic swamps that socialism brought about in central Europe.
The same can be said about inventors like Baer as well. Like them or not, video games have been a huge source of wealth creation in our country over the last 40 years. Not only are whole teams of programmers required to create a single game, but modern games even employ actors, composers, writers, artists, and so on. In many ways they are (or at least could be) the culmination of culture up to our present time, and it all started because Baer invented a fun little gadget and managed to market it some 40 years ago.
I remember as a child of the ’80s, we actually had a Magnavox Odyssey 2 growing up. A child today would likely find it bizarre that I could find any enjoyment from such primitive sound, graphics, and interface, but it will always hold a special place in my heart. Yes, looking at it now, I can vividly remember the feel of the controller in my hand, the excitement of a child in wonder at what, at the time, was such amazing technology and a source of fun and competition with my brothers. It may not be impressive to many today, but inventions like this and the people who invent them ought to bring us to awe before the God who created heaven and earth and such fascinating and creative creatures as the human race, capable of wondrous invention after the image of the God who created them so fearfully and wonderfully unique.
In today’s The Detroit News, the Rev. Robert Sirico seeks to set aside some of the rumors, skewered Hollywood depictions, and media predictions that swirl around any papal conclave. Of course, this time is decidedly different, as the cardinals are coming together not after the death of a pope, but one’s retirement.
There is much talk throughout all the Church as to whom the next pope will be, and as Fr. Sirico points out, “[n]o one, not even the most well-informed Cardinal or Vatican journalist, has a clear answer to that question. Anyone telling you otherwise is dreaming.” Given the unusual circumstances of this conclave, Sirico believes this will not be a quick process.
…there is no obvious front-runner, no single cardinal that universally stands out as an obvious successor.
What does all this mean for the days ahead? Time. Time for the sifting process to allow the cardinals to get to know one another in this new light; time to get to the bottom of the problems related to the spirituality and governance of the Roman Curia (the bureaucracy that is supposed to help formulate, administer and communicate the decisions of the pope), which, even before the “Vatileaks” exposure, was well-known for its rivalries and cronyism; and time for the actual election process itself, due to procedural changes introduced since the last conclave, now requiring a two-thirds vote of the cardinals to elect a pope for up to 33 ballots.
Despite the inevitable flurry of trite sugary clichés and predictable consumerism, Valentine’s Day is as good an opportunity as any to reflect on the nature of human love and consider how we might further it in its truest, purest form across society.
For those of us interested in the study of economics, or, if you prefer, the study of human action, what drives such action—love or otherwise—is the starting point for everything.
For the Christian economist, such questions get a bit more complicated. Although love is clearly at the center, our understanding of human love must be interconnected with and interdependent on the love of God, which persistently yanks our typical economist sensibilities about “prosperity,” “happiness,” and “quality of life,” not to mention our convenient buckets of “self-interest” and “sacrifice,” into transcendent territory.
The marketplace is flooded with worldly spin-offs, as plenty of cockeyed V-Day ditties and run-of-the-mill romantic comedies are quick to demonstrate. At a time when libertine, me-centered approaches appear to be the routine winners in everything from consumerism to self-help to sex, we should be especially careful that our economic thinking doesn’t also get pulled in by the undertow.
In her book Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village, Jennifer Roback Morse cautions us against these tendencies and points us in the right direction, challenging us to reconsider our basic view of human needs and potential.
Morse begins with a critique of homo economicus (economic man), a portrait of man as Supreme Calculator, capable of number-crunching his way to happiness and fulfillment on the basis of cut-and-dry cost/benefit analysis. Such a view ignores the social and spiritual side of man while submitting to a cold, limiting, earthbound order. As Rev. Robert Sirico notes in the last chapter of his recent book, “Any man who was only economic man would be a lost soul. And any civilization that produced only homines economici to fill its markets, courts, legislative bodies, and other institutions would soon enough be a lost civilization.” (more…)
On Feb. 11, Rev. Robert Sirico discussed the unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on CNBC News.
He talked about Pope Benedict XVI’s reason for resigning, what happens when the papal seat is empty, and who potential candidates for the new pope are.
Greg Corombus of Radio America interviewed Acton President and Co-founder Rev. Robert Sirico to discuss the resignation of Pope Benedict VXI.
Rev. Sirico had this to say about Pope Benedict:
I think he was more than a caretaker pope. I think he unpacked a lot of the pontificate of John Paul II in the sense that he really delineated some of the teaching and expressed it in a slightly different way.
John Paul was not an easy act to follow either in terms of his charismatic personality or his intellect, but I think the way [Cardinal Joseph] Ratzinger went about his pontificate showed that he was his own man. He had his own style, and, intellectually, he was a beautiful complement…I think where he did make a very obvious advance was in the renewal of the church’s liturgy, especially in the greater permission for the celebration of the older forms of the mass and a deeper understanding of the contemplative and spiritual dimension of Catholic worship.
Listen to the full discussion here:
Rev. Robert Sirico appeared on the February 8 edition of “The Blaze” to discuss the revisions to the HHS mandate announced by the White House on January 20.
The following video features a brief part of Rev. Sirico’s contribution to the show. You may see the entire piece by going to The Blaze TV website and signing up for a free 14-day trial.
The Rev. Robert Sirico offers his thoughts on the announcement this morning from Pope Benedict XVI that he is resigning from the papal office as of February 28.
It is a sobering thought to think that the last time a Pope resigned (Pope Gregory XII in 1415), America had not yet been discovered. Yes, the possibility of a Pope’s resignation is anticipated in Canon Law (Canon 332), as long as it is disclosed “properly” and of his own free will. Pope Benedict met both the conditions in his statement earlier today to the consistory.
Rev. Sirico also notes that, “Anyone who tells you there is a “front-runner” [for the new pope] simply does not know what he is talking about.”