• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Cardinal: Picking pope like 'visiting the dentist'

The Local · 6 Mar 2013, 15:27

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."

Story continues below…

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
Green party wants only e-cars on Autobahn by 2030
Photo: DPA.

The environmentalist Green party has an ambitious plan for German cars to be petrol- and diesel-free within the next 15 years.

Commerzbank to make one in five staff redundant by 2020
Photo: DPA

Germany's second largest lender Commerzbank said on Thursday it plans to cut 9,600 jobs by 2020 and withhold dividends to pay for a €1.1 billion restructuring.

Germany's favourite smoker wins battle against eviction
Photo: DPA

How a pensioner with a serious smoking habit won a years-long fight for his right to keep his home - and his favourite pastime.

Thousands evacuated after WWII bomb found in Cologne
File photo of a Second World War bomb: DPA

Several thousands people were being evacuated from a district of Cologne just north of the old town on Thursday morning, after a Second World War bomb was found in a parking lot.

Kidnapped German journalist and her baby freed in Syria
File photo of a Syrian soldier: SANA/DPA.

A German woman who was kidnapped in Syria last year while she was pregnant has been freed along with her baby, the German Foreign Office said on Wednesday.

Air Berlin to cut 1,200 jobs and halve airline fleet
Photo: DPA.

Struggling Air Berlin, Germany's second-largest airline, announced on Wednesday a major restructuring plan that shrinks its fleet and cuts 1,200 jobs.

Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Photo: Thomas Wolf/Wikimedia Commons.

From stunning chalk-white cliffs to fairy tale castles, Germany has some breathtaking sights to see, perfect for social media.

Train evacuated as passenger flips out during ticket check
Police at the scene in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

A regional train was evacuated in Leipzig on Wednesday after a passenger became aggressive during a ticket inspection.

Man arrested in Wuppertal as part of Spanish Isis raids
Police detain the suspect in Wuppertal. Photo: DPA

Police have arrested five suspected members of an Isis cell in Spain, Belgium and Germany that spread propaganda for the group online, the Spanish interior ministry said Wednesday.

Germans cut home energy usage by six percent in a year
Hamburg at night. Photo: DPA

The Energiewende is the German government's ambitious policy of drastically reducing carbon emissions. New figures show one remarkable success.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,545
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd