17 August 2020


                                       HABEMUS PAPAM!!

That's what the Cardinal Protodeacon of the Holy Roman Church proclaimed on this day in 1740. Yes; today is the Anniversary of the Electio in Summum Pontificem in 1740 of Prospero Cardinal Lambertini, qui sibi nomen imposuit "Benedictum XIV". (Or should the name be in the genitive case? What sort of genitive would that be? Or the nominative?)

I am drinking my coffee today out of one of Father Zed's excellent mugs with the Arms, style, dates, and portrait of Papa Lambertini on it. I hope you are too. There are few things more reliably indicative of an anima naturaliter Catholica than having a full set of Fr Zed mugs. You could ask your pp to bless them all. Should he use for that the Benedictio ad omnia, or is there a special formula for such superior ceramics?

The Roman See had been vacant for some six months when the Conclave finally made today's wise choice. That's what we need now ... a nice lengthy Conclave ... it's just what the doctor ordered. So that the Cardinals (whom PF has diligently, cunningly, prevented from getting to know each other and developing a common mind) can indeed find out about each other. If the Conclave is over in a couple of days, I shall be ... ... suspicious. And a nice long conclave would help to dispel the infantilising, insulting notion that nothing can really happen in the Church without 'inspiration' from the Domus Sanctae Marthae. A long interregnum would work wonders. To take up an idea suggested by PF himself, we could have a whopping great Carnival, with Guido Marini as ringmaster. He must be badly in need of a spot of fun. As at the beginning of a British Game Season, we could send the beaters in to raise the Pelagian Butterflies in front of our guns. Our modest suburban walls could then be adorned with their stuffed heads. "My dear, that one's called Parolin ... Archbishop Vigano winged him in the first minute ..."

At the end of the frivolities, we shall need a thoughtful and prudent pontiff; not another eccentric who reacts to the promptings of an ill-regulated gut. What I am really saying is: we need a pope who has read Vatican I and understands that his job is, not to teach new doctrines, but to hand on the the Deposit of Faith, the Faith handed down through the Apostles. PF indicated, from the start, that he desired to be seen as something New. Symbolising rupture from Day 1, he took a name which nobody had ever taken before; he didn't even have the humility to dress properly when he made his first appearance. From that moment on, it was clear that he was a wrong 'un, even though, for months, we put as good a gloss as we could manage on the unfolding disaster.

Above all, we need a pope who is not taken in by crooks and charlatans.

Benedict XIV, being introduced to a lady with a positively Olympic decolletage, was asked by a cheeky monsignore if he had noticed her necklace with its amazing diamond cross. He replied that he had  seen and admired both the Cross and its Calvary.

Perhaps applicants for the See of Rome should be made to run the gauntlet of surprise encounters. You may be able to think of some.


William Tighe said...

I am drinking my coffee today out of one of Father Zed's excellent mugs with the Arms, style, dates, and portrait of Papa Lambertini on it. I hope you are too.

I am.

Ana Milan said...

Francis is hardly taken in by crooks & charlatans - he is their ringleader.

Anonymous said...

crooks and charlatans write the orders, this pope is frightened by them and he just signs what is put before him. After the pachamamma charade did any of you notice the horror on his face when he left as fast as he could. he knew and knew of the consequences and then made the wrong choice.

Adeodatus said...

I think there is good precedent for the genitive, but perhaps the dative could be used as well, in apposition to SIBI, following the model of MIHI NOMEN EST [name in dative case]?

Paddy said...

Dear Pater, if I had any coffee in a Father Zed mug at hand, it would be all over my keyboard upon reading that anecdote about "the Cross and its Calvary" at the bottom of thy post. Kuddos!

Animadversor said...

It would seem that you might use the nominative, the genitive or the dative, according to your pleasure: A New Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges at §373.a. However, I believe that in fact Their Eminences use the genitive.

Tee Pee Gee Eff said...

Animadversor: "However, I believe that in fact Their Eminences use the genitive."

It appears that the Vatican regards the accusative as the correct form, as appears from the transcription of the announcement of the election of Benedict XVI. As a matter of fact Cardinal Medina Estévez actually said "Benedicti Decimi Sexti". So far as I can tell the number should be "sexti decimi".

Also Cardinal Felice in 1978 used the genitive case twice, I can no longer find video of the announcmenet of John Paul I's name but my notes from a video now disappeared say he said "Ioannis Pauli Primi". He certainly said "Ioannis Pauli" the second time.

Cardinal Caccia Dominioni in 1939 announcing Pius XII clearly used the accusative, as did Cardinal Ottaviani in 1963 announcing the election of Paul VI.