• Germany's news in English
 

Cardinal: Picking pope like 'visiting the dentist'

Published: 06 Mar 2013 15:27 GMT+01:00

Paul Josef Cordes is one of six German cardinals in Rome to choose a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned last month. But he seemed less than excited by the prospect of being sequestered with his fellow clergymen in the Vatican.

"Hopefully it will be a short conclave that will start soon," he told the Bild newspaper. "I'd compare it to a visit to the dentist – you want to get it over with fast."

Cordes said had few preconceptions heading into the deliberations at the Vatican.

"I don't really know what to expect. Everything I know about the conclave is from mediocre films," he admitted. "We'll see."

The 78-year-old also said he was still smarting from the pope's decision to step down due to his advancing age.

"The resignation of this great pope leaves a painful gap not only for me, but for many of the faithful," he said, offering details of a recent visit with the former German pope. "He was mentally very aware. But he didn't have the great vibrancy that I once knew."

Some Germans, however, seem to be dealing with losing their hold on the papacy in unusual ways. A German prankster recently irked the country's Catholic leaders by dressing up as bishop to mingle with cardinals gathering in Rome for the conclave.

The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:05 March 6, 2013 by lucksi
"The 78-year-old also said he was still smarting from the pope"

Normally it's the altar boys that are smarting...
20:24 March 6, 2013 by Bulldawg82
Generally, going to church is like going to the dentist's office.
21:47 March 6, 2013 by wood artist
The story raises an intriguing question, and I am really interested in anybody else's views on this. Does having a Pope from your country really mean anything? Is it just bragging rights, or is there more to it than that.

I remember when the Pope came from Poland, and THAT was a big deal simply because it was pretty "in your face" to the Communists. However, I'm not sure that's typical when there isn't an attached "political statement" in the election. I suspect a Black pope, and Asian pope, or a pope from South America would have similar implications but for different reasons more directly related to the church itself.

Anybody care to weigh in on this?

wa
22:31 March 6, 2013 by Bulldawg82
wood artist:

I saw an interview (on CNN) with a retired Swiss Guard (they guard the Vatican) and he said that when John Paul was selected to become Pope that all the other popes dreaded the possibility of being picked. Apparently, no one really wants to be pope as they completely loose all privacy and freedoms. I think they will go with a South American cardinal to become pope. SA has the largest concentration of Roman Catholics and they really need to circle their wagons while they take care of some serious internal problems.
03:51 March 7, 2013 by wood artist
Thanks, @Bulldawg.

I can imagine that in many ways it is a thankless job. Although I have my own thoughts about the Church and what it has done and continues to do, I can't imagine a job with more headaches and fewer perks.

Given the distribution of Catholics world-wide, I suspect there is a lot of pressure to select a South American, but that certainly is going to ruffle some feathers with the Euro-centric traditionalists. It certainly raises some interesting questions about how the Church straddles two very different cultures. I guess we'll see.

Anybody else got some insights?

wa
12:23 March 7, 2013 by RainyDays
In the case of Pope John Paul II, it certainly mattered that a Polish Pope was elected at that point of time, during the Cold War. Add to that the historically close ties between the Catholic church and the Polish nation. The formation and the decisive impact of the Solidarnosc movement was fueled by the Pope's support, his visits to Poland in 1979, 1983 and 1987.

When Cardinal Ratzinger was elected as Pope, the German tabloid "Bild" had the headline "Wir sind Papst!", which taken as such might sound as if there had been a wave of patriotic enthusiasm, but in reality it was a mildly ironic take on the surprise that a German had become Pope. With only 30 % of the Germans being Catholic, and of those only a fraction being supporters of Ratzinger's conservative stance, which he had exerted in Rome for more than 20 years as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to the chagrin of quite a few of the German bishops, the excitement among Germans was rather subdued. Pope Benedict's demission as Pope was widely covered in the media because of the novelty of this decision and the mystery which surrounds the Roman Curia. I didn't notice the "outpouring of national pride", which The Local reported in another article. If anything, I think it was the human dimension, the inner freedom with which this Pope stepped down to become a "simple pilgrim", and the speculation about the circumstances which captered the interest. On the whole, I don't think that nationality matters in the the Catholic church, which has been and is a genuinely transnational institution. However, the Catholic church's situation is paradox today: In serious crisis in most Western developed countries, but still strong and growing in Africa, Latin America, Asia. It would give the curch a new outlook and perspective if the next Pope came from one of those parts of the world. It wouldn't necessarily mean a modernisation though, since there are traditionalists among the non-European papabiles as well.
15:13 March 7, 2013 by txjohn50
Do they give you the same painkillers in the enclave that they do at the dentist?
15:58 March 7, 2013 by Bulldawg82
@ txjohn50

LOL!! Maybe they have some strong communion wine!!!
13:22 March 9, 2013 by sszorin
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
Today's headlines
Schumacher Jr lives up to his name
Schumacher Jr is too young to drink any of that champagne. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr lives up to his name

Mick Schumacher Jr did his famous father proud on his Formula Four debut on Saturday by claiming a trophy as the best rookie and finishing ninth, despite starting 19th. READ  

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank
Deutsche Bank acquired Postbank in 2008. Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank

Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank announced late Friday it was seeking to sell its Postbank subsidiary as part of a revamp to improve profitability. READ  

Far left activists attack immigration office
Photo: DPA

Far left activists attack immigration office

Far-left extremists attacked an immigration office in Leipzig early on Friday morning. It was the second targeted attack on an official building in the city in recent months. READ  

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier insisted on Friday that calling Armenian massacres genocide risks belittling the Holocaust, after President Joachim Gauck broke a taboo by using the word on Thursday. READ  

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career
Mick Schumacher on test day earlier in April. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career

Michael Schumacher's 16-year-old son starts his Formula Four career this weekend, under the pressure of living up to the famous family name of the seven-time Formula One world champion. READ  

Property of the week
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Mr Lodge

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

A highly sought-after location, great connection to public transport, and a very stylish interior – Does that sound good to you? Then you’ll love this week’s property! READ  

Germany's most polluted cities
The sun rises behind a coal-burning power station in Lower Saxony. Photo: DPA

Germany's most polluted cities

The Federal Environment Ministry has named the most polluted places around the country, with Stuttgart claiming the undesirable title of Germany's most polluted city. READ  

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets
Edda Göring photographed in 1942. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets

The Bavarian government rejected on Thursday an attempt by Hermann Göring's daughter to win back her father's assets, which the government seized in 1948. READ  

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow
Tugce Albayrak's death shocked Germany. Photo:DPA

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow

When 22-year-old Tugce Albayrak was fatally beaten in a MacDonald's car park in November 2014, Germany was left in a state of shock. On the first day of her attacker's trial he admits to 'boxing her on the ear.' READ  

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US
Gerhard Schindler, head of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency. Photo: DPA

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US

Federal prosecutors have asked for access on files from the Bundestag (German parliament) inquiry into mass surveillance, after news that German spies helped the US eavesdrop on European leaders and businesses. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,252
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd