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New Pope Will Wrestle With Scandal and Change

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Here is an excerpt:

Heft: The interviewer asked Ratzinger, he said, "Your Eminence, don't you believe that really in the last analysis it's the Holy Spirit who chooses the pope in the conclave?" Ratzinger answered, "No, I don't believe that, for three reasons. First, there are any number of popes in history that the Holy Spirit would not have chosen. Second, the Holy Spirit is not a dictator. Like a good teacher, the Holy Spirit encourages, nudges, and like students from ages on end, you can ignore what the Holy Spirit has to say. And third, the best we can hope for is that whoever becomes pope will not destroy the church." That was a brilliant answer.

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TJ-:perplexed: LOL. Hear's just one of many examples when it all went seriously pear-shaped:

Year 1292 - There had been a 2 year impasse. Conclaves of cardinals could not agree who would become the next Pope. . Latino Malabranca, the aged and ill dean of the College of Cardinals cried out, "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, I elect brother Pietro di Morrone." The cardinals promptly ratified Malabranca's desperate decision to enthrone this aged thin ragged hermit living in a cave at Moronne, Aquila.

When sent for, aged and unworldly Pietro Angelerio obstinately refused to accept the papacy, and even, as Petrarch says, tried to flee, until he was finally persuaded by a deputation of cardinals, knights, the kings of Naples and Hungary who descended upon him in his cave. Elected on 5 July 1294, at age 79, he was crowned at Santa Maria di Collemaggio in the city of Aquila in the Abruzzo and on 29 August taking the name Pope Celestine V.

As a Pope he preferred a cell in a Castle in Naples and the Church mostly carried out all his affairs for him. He held his office in the Kingdom of Naples, out of contact with the Roman Curia and under the complete power of King Charles II. He appointed the king's favourites to church offices, sometimes several to the same office.He proved to be a weak and incomptetent Pope. His rival Boniface is purported to have whispered down a tube into his cell in the dead of night, to get him to believe it was a Divine message, to get him to abdicate. He abdicated after five months and eight days in office and Boniface took his place. The old Pope was still popular though and Boniface worried for his position. He ordered Pietro brought to Rome. Pietro escaped and hid out in the woods and later attempted to flee to Dalmatia. Secretly Boniface's men hounded him for months until they caught him and imprisoned him in the castle of Fumone near Ferentino in Campagna, where Pietro died after 10 months. His supporters spread the allegation that Boniface had treated him harshly and ultimately executed Pietro.

7 years after his death "to prevent scandalous rumours continuing to spread" he was canonized and buried near his home of Moronne at Aquila. No more Popes were to be named Celestine.

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