Two prominent Harvard Catholics were in disagreement last night over whether the selection of Cardinal Roncalli as Pope indicated a change in Vatican policy towards world affairs.
"The new Pope is definitely a pastoral type," as opposed to the more politically interested Pius XII, stated Christopher C. Dawson, Charles Chauncey Stillman Professor of Roman Catholic Studies. "A new Pope is not like a new political party brought into power, however," observed Fr. Rafael Porras, Advisor to Catholic Students in the University.
If there are any fewer Papal statements about Communism and the international political scene generally, it will be because most aspects of world political situations have been covered by previous Church statements, Fr. Porras said.
Both Dawson and Fr. Porras concurred on the likelihood that the new Pope would soon begin to fill the vacancies among Cardinal seats. They believe one of his first tasks will be to restore the number of Cardinals, now 53, to the maximum desired amount of 70.
Neither had any comment on the current feeling that Pope John XXIII was the product of a compromise within the conclave, and Dawson predicted that the full story would not come out for days. Dawson added that he never expected a non-Italian Pope to be instated. Four hundred years is too big a precedent to break, he said.