Irish Sunday Times tips a Trinity College professor of gender as first woman cardinal appointed by Pope Francis

The Irish Sunday Times has run a headline ‘Trinity woman tipped as cardinal’ that suggests that Linda Hogan, a Trinity College professor of gender, ethics and religion could be appointed the first woman cardinal by Pope Francis. This is bizarre non-news story was started by a Spanish newspaper reporting the musings of an unnamed former Brazilian Jesuit priest and picked up by The Washington Post.  Prof Linda Hogan is a signatory of the so called ‘Catholic Scholars Jubilee Declaration on Authority in the Catholic Church’ and has spoken out against the CDF disciplinary actions against six dissenting Irish priests, including Fr Tony Flannery. She also argues for demoting the role of the priest in the Church by repudiating the sacrificial nature of the Eucharist. The Irish Sunday Times reports:

‘AN IRISH woman is being tipped internationally to be the Catholic church’s first female cardinal. If speculation in the Washington Post and Catholic media proves correct, Linda Hogan, 49, the vice-provost of Trinity College Dublin would be eligible to cast a vote in the election of the next pope.

The professor of ecumenics at Trinity, once a Protestant stronghold, has not commented on the speculation.

It stemmed from an article in El Pais, a Spanish newspaper, postulating that Pope Francis is planning to appoint a woman cardinal. The pontiff has said he wants women to have a stronger presence in the church. The conclave that elected him pope last February was widely criticised for the absence of women, other than to serve the cardinals’ meals.’

The Spanish newspaper El Pais reported, according to The Washington Post:

‘Whether it’s even possible is a matter of debate. But that hasn’t stopped the feverish speculation, which was sparked last month by an article in a Spanish newspaper in which Juan Arias, a former priest who writes from Brazil, wrote that the idea “is not a joke. It’s something that Pope Francis has thought about before: naming a woman cardinal.”

Arias quoted an unnamed priest — a Jesuit, like Francis — who said: “Knowing this pope, he wouldn’t hesitate before appointing a woman cardinal. … And he would indeed enjoy being the first pope to allow women to participate in the selection of a new pontiff.”

‘In the U.S., the Rev. James Keenan, a fellow Jesuit and a well-regarded moral theologian at Boston College, started a post on his Facebook page soliciting nominees for the first female cardinal. Keenan said he wrote the post mainly as a way to recognize the many women who would be “great candidates.” On his list: Linda Hogan, a professor of ecumenics at Trinity College Dublin; Sister Teresa Okure, a theology professor at the Catholic Institute of West Africa in Nigeria; and Maryanne Loughry, associate director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Australia.’

Prof Linda Hogan is a signatory of the so called ‘Catholic Scholars Jubilee Declaration on Authority in the Catholic Church’ and has spoken out against the CDF disciplinary actions against six dissenting Irish priests, including Fr Tony Flannery. Prof Hogan has put her name to the following statement:

‘A principal source of present-day stagnation lies in misunderstanding and abuse affecting the exercise of authority in our Church. Specifically, the following issues require urgent redress: The role of the papacy needs to be clearly re-defined in line with Christ’s intentions. As supreme pastor, unifier and prime witness to faith, the pope contributes substantially to the health of the universal church. However, his authority may never obscure, diminish or suppress the authentic authority directly given by Christ to all members of the people of God. Bishops are vicars of Christ, not vicars of the pope. They carry immediate responsibility for people in their dioceses, and joint responsibility, with other bishops and the pope, for the world-wide community of faith.’

Prof Linda Hogan also supports the dissenting position that the sacrificial interpretation of the Eucharist must be repudiated in order to ‘demote’ the role of the priest in the Church. She wrote the following in her review of  Garry Wills book, ‘Why Priests? A Failed Tradition’ under the title ‘Abolish the Priesthood?’:

‘Running throughout the text, moreover, is an argument about the necessity of reform in the church. For Wills, the first and necessary step in any meaningful reform process is the repudiation of the sacrificial interpretation of the Eucharist and a return to an understanding that is more consonant with the biblical texts and the practice of the early church. Not only would this restore the Eucharist to its original meaning as a thanksgiving meal, it would also have the effect of requiring the church to confront the exclusivism and hierarchicalism that have been embedded in its structures through the institution of the priesthood. He also sees this as a first step towards genuinely reciprocal relationships with other Christian denominations and other religious traditions.

One hopes that Wills’s argument will be seriously considered, though Wills himself regards this as unlikely. His passion for reform of a church to which he is deeply committed is palpable. However, one can see how this may be missed or misunderstood in the context of such a searing criticism of one of its central institutions. His task is a worthy one, namely to bring the institution of the priesthood under the gaze of historical and theological scrutiny. Moreover, it stands in a long line of critical investigations that focus on the ways in which certain teachings, institutions and practices have come to be embedded in the Catholic tradition. Through his erudite scholarship and his compelling argumentation Wills has made an important contribution to this field of study and, in the process, has written a book that is thoroughly absorbing and engaging.’

Protect the Pope comment: This has got to be one of the most bizarre stories yet to emerge about the pontificate of Francis which shows the near hysterical fever pitch among dissenters projecting their ‘dream reforms’ onto the Holy Father. The sentence that Prof. Linda Hogan, as cardinal, would be ‘eligible to cast a vote in the election of the next pope’ is such as huge reach as to be humorous.


22 comments to Irish Sunday Times tips a Trinity College professor of gender as first woman cardinal appointed by Pope Francis

  • Daniel

    This is the sort of joke that’s written about on 1st April.

  • The Spanish newspaper El Pais reported, according to The Washington Post:

    ‘Whether it’s even possible is a matter of debate’

    In reality, given that the Canon Law states that every Cardinal must be a Deacon (or ordained as one if a member of the Laity is chosen, if this in itself were possible), bearing in mind that women cannot become Deacons and therefore cannot be named as Cardinals, and that in any case, the current practice whereby only existing Abbots or Bishops (diocesan or ad personam) can accede to the Cardinalcy cannot be changed without a previous legal declaration by the Pontiff, no — no, there is no “debate” on this so-called “question”.

    • tro

      “Canon Law states that every Cardinal must be a Deacon (or ordained as one if a member of the Laity is chosen”

      But the Bishop of Rome has already demonstrated to the world that he is above Canon Law. We saw that on Maundy Thursday.

      No, the trivial matter of Canon Law is clearly no obstacle to the whims of Bishop Francis.

      And what’s to stop Bishop Francis from making a legal declaration changing the conditions for accession to the Cardinalate?

      After all, Francis is now ‘El Capitano’, no?

      • Cardinals are Clergy — the Church has not the power to ordain “wimmin priests”, and women cannot become Deacons.

        For a woman Cardinal to even be conceivable, the Order of Deaconesses would need to be re-established, which I can hardly see happening prior to the next Consistory, AND it would also need to be established that Deaconesses could be Cardinals AND the consent of a Full Ecumenical Council would likely be necessary for any such striking departures from the present state of affairs, AND the existing Cardinals would have to refrain from declaring as a Heretic any Pope attempting any such ludicrous nonsense.

    • Ioannes

      According to the 1917 Code of Canon Law a cardinal must be a priest. John XXIII also specified episcopal consecration in most cases, and this is reflected in the 1983 Code.

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon Nick ,
    You gotta larf , haven’t you?
    It is also in the “Mail on Sunday” as well. Presumably even the dimmest sub-editors in the UK media -might just ask a Catholic on their staff whether this story was even possible before splurging it online across millions of recipients….or is that we really do have complete idiots in our newspaper industry these days?

  • Benedict Carter

    Whether this story is just a liberal dream or not, it doesn’t change anything: even the good people here, most of them conservative Catholics, will have to face the reality – Archbishop Lefebvre was right about everything. I personally think that the visible, institutional Church has gone far too far to save and will now move (perhaps rather smartly) to ape the idiocies of the Protestant sects. Indeed, we are already there.

    A great sorting out of the Elect and the damned is taking place right now, before our eyes. The Great Chastisement to follow. The only consolation (and it is a great one) is that the Chastisement will clean all the enemies of God off the face of the planet.

    • Augustine

      Dear Benedict,
      You have a good heart but although you may be tempted to jump ship please do not do so. You might think that the barque of Peter is going in the wrong direction – but even though you may be a very good swimmer, it is better to stay on board than to try to swim the Atlantic.

      And you might even discover one day that the pilot changed course to avoid a sandbank that you could not see from your cabin.

      The SOS message is commonly interpreted as “Save Our Souls”.

      Priests need faculties to validly absolve – and to officiate at marriages.

  • William

    Since a cardinal is by definition a member of the CLERGY of Rome how is it possible to have a female cardinal when women can’t be clergy? Are men now going to be entering the Daughters of Charity or the Little Sisters of the Poor. Why with liberals is everything about power? There are certain roles that are specifically masculine and specifically feminine. Was Our Lady indignant when her own Son didn’t bestow the ministerial priesthood on her but on the 12 males he saw fit to choose? I doubt it. I can absolutely see Francis doing something so scandalous and silly because he is a liberal and has the power…..for the moment. But then why don’t we just become a member of the Anglican Communion and anything and everything will be permitted. All of these people demanding change (women priests, gay marriage, abortion, doing away with confession etc.) HATE the Catholic Faith that’s why they want to change it. Why can’t Francis simply say here is the Faith of the Church and all are welcome however we will not change Truth or practice to mollify people who don’t believe in it. Christ never said to water down the Faith to get as many people as you can, He said preach the Gospel and if they refuse to hear you shake the dust from your feet and go to the next town and preach the Gospel. Why is the Pope not doing this?

  • Lynda

    Another professional enemy of the Church.

  • Paul Commins

    Typical example of the media trying to tell the Church what to do,but refusing any guidance the Church has to offer to them.This will never happen in a truly Catholic Church.

  • Steve D

    At least the story has exposed two more heretics who call themselves Catholic. Professor Linda Hogan who does not believe that the Mass is a sacrifice and that any and all moral teachings are ‘up for grabs’, and the person who nominated her as a good candidate, Fr. James Keenan SJ, professor of Theology at Boston Jesuit College. Teaching institutions Catholic and secular are infested with these psuedo-Catholics and we should know who they are at least.

  • John

    I just checked the date. No, it’s not April 1st.

  • Paul Commins

    Unfortunately the Vatican were not definite enough.Next they’ll want to be Pope.

  • Lionel (Paris)

    Poisson d’avril!

  • Andrzej

    A woman cardinal I could possibly accept, but not a theologian! God save the Church from theologians!

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