Is crying in public a deal-breaker for a papabile?
It’s enough of an issue that veteran Vatican-watcher Andrea Tornielli of La Stampa mentioned it in an article about the whispering campaigns aimed at torpedoing a candidate’s chances in the next conclave.
He listed Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet and Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn as two papabili who have teared up in front of reporters from time to time.
But perhaps the most televised tears by a papal candidate were shed by Philippine Cardinal Luis Tagle when he received his red hat from Pope Benedict last November.
Asked about it at the time, Tagle said candidly, “I cry easily.”
In an interview yesterday with the Rome daily , Tagle recalled the episode and said he had personally apologized to Pope Benedict the day after his display of emotions.
“Pope Benedict answered with some significant words: ‘No, you don’t need to apologize. We need heart in the church!” the 55-year-old cardinal said.