Tag Archives: John XXIII

Cardinal Loris Francesco Capovilla Turns 100, 2 Years From Becoming The Oldest (Known) Cardinal.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge

Loris Francesco Capovilla

Click to ENLARGE and read here. The Wikipedia entry for the cardinal. To access original use this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loris_Francesco_Capovilla

His greatest (and deserved) claim to fame, faithful, ever present private secretary to  Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (later Pope John XXIII) from 1958 to the pope’s death in 1963 (and he was at the bedside).

Here seen walking behind the pope, in 1958, at the Vatican, early into the papacy. His appointment as secretary was one of the new pope’s first acts.


Two extracts relating to Cardinal Capovilla from my “Pope John XXIII: 101 Facts & Trivia” book.

Click to ENLARGE and read here.
Capovillabook1— — — — — — —

Cardinal Capovilla has a commanding lead as the oldest living cardinal as clearly illustrated in my new Excel spreadsheet for the College. Click to ENLARGE.

As far as we know, based on current documentation, the OLDEST cardinal was Portuguese Dom Jorge da Costa [1406 to Sept. 18, 1508]. He is said to have been 102 when he died though this exact birthdate is not known! He, once the Archbishop of Lisbon (and then of Braga), was created in 1476 — when he would have been 70.


We have had a cardinal who lived to be 101 in recent times. He was Italian, Corrado Bafile (4 July 1903 – 3 February 2005). Unlike with da Costa we know his exact birthdate.

So he was 101 years, 6 months and 4 weeks old when he died. So Cardinal Capovilla needs to live for another 1.5 years to catch up with him.

Cardinal Bafile, nuncio to Germany, in 1954 with the Chancellor.

Pope Francis In Brazil, For ‘World Youth Day’, Wears Gold Pallium Pins While Talking About Money As An ‘Idol’!

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Click to access Anura Guruge post at his NHLife, nhlife.wordpress.com blog.
Click to access Anura Guruge post at his NHLife, nhlife.wordpress.com blog.

Click to access 100 days post.

Pope Francis’ 100th day as pope was on Friday, June 21, 2013
— the Summer Solstice.

E-mail me YOUR comments and they will be posted as long as they are at least 70% non-offensive.

Pope Francis’ First 100 Days.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Click to access.

I Did Not Overlook Bl. John XXIII’s (#262) 50th Death Anniversary.



by Anura Guruge

Click to access post at my 'NHLife' blog. Thanks.
Click to access post at my ‘NHLife’ blog. Thanks.

Habemus Papam (We Have a Pope), Changes To Way Name Is Announced by Father Anthony

Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, in 2005, announces Habemus Papam.
Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, in 2005, announces Habemus Papam. Click for RECORDING

Habemus Papam (We have a pope), from which this blog gets its name, is the time honored announcement (at least as of the 15th century, but probably earlier), that a new pope has been elected. These days, it is made by the senior most cardinal deacon from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to the world, but in particular to the crowds gathered in the square below — once the news of the white smoke has spread.

The announcement, always in Latin, is as follows:
Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum:
Habemus Papam!
Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum,
Dominum [[First Name of the one elected pope]],
Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem [[Last Name of the one elected pope]],
Qui sibi nomen imposuit [[Latin Regnal Name by which the pope wishes to be known]].

The English translation is:
I announce to you a great joy:
We have a Pope!
The most eminent and most reverend Lord,
Lord [[First Name of the one elected pope]],
Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church [[Last Name of the one elected pope]],
Who takes to himself the name of [[Latin Regnal Name by which the pope wishes to be known]].

Wikipedia, from which I got the above words has a decent article, including a statement as to how the Regnal Name is articulated.

Father Anthony, from the UK, a Catholic Priest who participated in the Mass following Paul VI‘s (#263) 1975 consistory and also plans to be at the November 20, 2010 consistory, send me this e-mail clarifying how the way the name is stated has changed. In ‘The Next Pope‘ book, on page 206-207, when talking about Habemus Papam, I was not specific about the possible different Latin ‘cases.’ I just listed the Regnal Names — in what I think Father Anthony, who has a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L) from Rome from the 1970s, refers to as the accusative case!

So, Father Anthony, has this to say, which I found fascinating:

Just one little point ( highly pedantic !) When the Proto-Deacon announces the name of the new Pope there has been a change since 1978.

in 1963: …. qui sibi nomen imposuit Paulum Sextum ( accusative case )
This was also used, as far as I am aware for his predecessors, e.g. Joannem Vigesimum Tertium, Pium Duodecimum etc.

In August 1978:  Cardinal Felici ( a distinguished Latinist ) used: …… qui sibi nomen imposuit Joannis Pauli Primi (genetive case).

In October 1978  The same Cardinal Felici used: …. qui sibi nomen imposuit Joannis Pauli. (I think but am not sure without the numeral “Secundi”. [Note from Anura: While ‘Primi‘ in August was indeed a ‘first,’ as I talk about in my first book,  John Paul II was indeed the ‘second’ and should have been identified as such … in the same way the ordinals of Paul VI, John XXIII and Pius XII were stated] )

I was in the Piazza that night!

In 2005 Cardinal Medina Estivez used: …. qui sibi nomen imposuit Benedicti Decimi Sexti [click on photo at top to see a video of the announcement from YouTube]

It doesn’t much matter perhaps. It is a quite correct use of Latin, as far as I am aware, but if you listen to recordings you will be able to confirm the above. [check YouTube]

Non-Bishop Cardinals; i.e., The Current Cardinals Who Are Not Bishops

As of April 15, 1962, per John XXIII’s (#262) Cum gravissima motu proprio, all cardinals are required to be consecrated as bishops (unless an explicit exception is granted by the

Cardinal Roberto Tucci, a Non-Bishop Cardinal. (Image from cattoliciromani.com, with thanks.)

pope, typically on the grounds of advanced age; i.e., approaching or over 80).

This requirement for episcopal consecration is now embodied in Canon 351 §1 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

Since this requirement went into effect, as of 1962, about eleven cardinals were granted exceptions. Of these, American Cardinal Deacon Avery Dulles,  a Jesuit, created in 2001, who died on December 12, 2008, age 90, probably been the best known. Czechoslovakian Cardinal Tomáš Špidlík, another Jesuit, who died on April 16, 2010, also at 90 was another. He was created a cardinal deacon in 2003.

The current cardinals who are not bishops are:

1. Italian Cardinal Deacon Roberto Tucci, a Jesuit, a one time Director General of Radio Vatican, created on February 21, 2001, two months ahead of his 8oth birthday.

2. French Cardinal Deacon Albert Vanhoye, a Jesuit and academic, created on March 24, 2006, at the age of 82.

3. Spanish Cardinal Deacon Urbano Navarrete Cortés, also another Jesuit and academic, created on November 24, 2007, at the age of 87.

Anura Guruge
Publisher, Popes and Papacy

Cardinalabili [i.e., Potential New Cardinals] List From Italy

Cardinalabili list from Italy
Cardinalabili list from Italy

I try to track papabili [potential next pope]. But there are a few who are as interested, if not more, in trying to predict ‘cardinalabili,‘ i.e., who might be next in line to be created a cardinal.

As I have pointed out we should be due for another cardinal-creating consistory within the next 12 months — though I am also the first to agree that the pope does have some other issues to also deal with.

A couple of days ago I got an e-mail from Italy with a link to this cardinalabili list in a rather ‘posh’ Italian blog titled ‘Vatican Diplomacy‘.

I have a fairly good idea as to who compiled this anonymously published list … but my thoughts are private and my lips are sealed. It is not by an American. I can tell you that much.

The list, as you can see, was published on January 22, 2010.

It has 18 names listed as ‘SECURE’ (securi) — i.e., locked in. That is tight if all are to be cardinal electors.

Yes, right now we have 12 vacancies and 7 more electors will turn 80 by the end of this year. Plus, if any were to die.

Plus, the 120 cardinal elector limit set by Paul VI (#263) in 1973 is arbitrary. It is not tied to anything specific or meant to symbolize anything. The previous limit set on the cardinals, albeit this to the whole College since there was no 80 year cut off in those days, was 70 established by Sixtus V (#228) in 1586. This 70, however, was supposed to reflect the 70 elders that shared Moses’ burdens.

Pope John XXIII (#262), in 1958, at his very first consistory, 48-days into his papacy, calmly (and with no prior edicts) overrode the Sixtus V 70 limit making the new College 74 strong. He continued to increase the size of the College — all the way up to 90.

So Benedict XVI could emulate John XXIII and increase the 120 limit.

So, have a look at this Italian list. That we have the Archbishop of Colombo from my native Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is a ‘kick.’ But, thought most don’t realize (unless, of course, they read my book) is that we have already had a cardinal from Ceylon. Cardinal Thomas Benjamin Cooray who participated in both of the 1978 conclaves.

Let me know what you think. I might even be able to convey your comments to the author of this list.

Anura Guruge