This post will sadly be on the short side; I’m in the middle of meetings this weekend and we have a break of which I’m taking advantage so I can crank out a few more Papabile of the Day posts before Tuesday rolls around (although the other committee members are teasing me for still be on the computer after serving as a “recorder” for a debate/discussion this morning. I assured them that I was now typing for pleasure, not business, to which one them surmised, “She’s blogging!” and teased me that I’m going to be the next Sr Mary Ann Walsh (director of media relations for the USCCB).)
I put off blogging about Angelo Scola for awhile because he just seemed a little too obvious. If O’Malley is a dark horse (although not according to the Italian press), Scola is a white horse. He’s been mentioned as papabile for many years, even before the conclave of 2005, and more so when it became evident that he might be a favorite of Pope Benedict.
He’s clearly one of the most intellectual of the Italian Cardinals, so if we need a Holy Father to follow in the intellectual footsteps of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, he may be the man. He is cut from the same academic cloth as Benedict, being involved in Communio, the journal begun by Ratzinger, Henri deLubac, and Hans Urs von Balthasar.
Venice and Milan are both important sees in Italy- five Popes of the 20th century had the leadership of either Venice or Milan in their resume. So when Benedict moved Scola to Milan in June of 2011, it signaled to many that Benedict was signaling who his successor should be.
Other things that I like about Scola- he’s a scholar on Islam, obviously an important issue today, and he has a heart for the New Evangelization. It was his idea to create a Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization.
Why he won’t…. Some are pointing to his heavy involvement with the Communion and Liberation to be a strike against him. (It actually led to him being denied entry to the seminary in Milan; he seems to have gotten the last laugh in getting named Archbishop there!) I’m not sure if that’s the case in reality, though — Ratzinger himself was pretty involved in CL, even during his papacy, and he preached the founder of CL’s funeral in 2005 as Cardinal Ratzinger- less than two months before his election to the papacy.
There is a lot written about Scola (including this post by Rocco when Scola was named Archbishop of Milan), and since my meetings are starting up again, I’ll just say this — Scola is a pretty obvious choice. Think Eugenio Pacelli in 1939. Sometimes the future Pope is a dark horse… but sometimes he’s just obvious.