This day in history—a windfall for the Saint Gallen Mafia

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Feb 21, 2019

On this date—February 21, the feast of St. Peter Damian—18 years ago, at a Vatican consistory, Pope John Paul II raised 38 prelates to the College of Cardinals. Among the men who received red hats that day are the following, who are very much in the news this week, amid the discussion of the sex-abuse scandal:

  • Walter Kasper
  • Cormac Murphy-O’Connor
  • Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga
  • Francisco Errazuriz Ossa
    and, lest we forget,
  • Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

Oh, and one other:

  • Theodore McCarrick.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Feb. 24, 2019 11:26 PM ET USA

    Kasper and Bergoglio do not have sufficient wit to figure out that their process theology, where God is viewed as still in the process of learning how to be a good God, makes them de facto atheists, but I would have expected JP II to figure it out even though he was surrounded by a lot of bad advisors manipulating him.

  • Posted by: Elan - Feb. 22, 2019 8:26 PM ET USA

    What's your point? 2000 years ago, or so, Our Lord Jesus chose Judas. These men had choices. Even if they had been evil before their election, their call to this position was a gift of grace and mercy. "Did I not choose you the twelve, and one of you is the a devil" John 6:70

  • Posted by: shrink - Feb. 21, 2019 8:18 PM ET USA

    A St Gallen flush. Ace high.