What do I get if I win? An unspeakable gift (II Cor 9:15), unspeakable joy (I Pet 1:8), or something ineffable? Because, illustration notwithstanding, I’m not sure which side I’m supposed to take here.
I don’t know if members of the curia are eligible to participate in the program, but I’m sure Dumont viewers would be eager to discover if there really is any such thing as an ineffable cardinal. That some cardinals are unspeakable, I’m confident that no one entertains any serious doubts.
Some cardinals, to be sure, are remarkable. A few, steeped perhaps in the works of John of the Cross, are ethereal. Some, like Richelieu, are celebrated (and condemned) as incredibly subtle. Some are strong, a few superstrong; take, for instance, Roderic Borgia, hard to take though he could be. Many are doubtless shrewd, a few almost indescribable. In times past, many were inaccessible, and before the Counter-Reformation, too few were reflecting sorts. And, in conclave, most cardinals fall rank-into-rank. But an ineffable cardinal? One wonders if such a creature can possibly exist or if, like Veronica, they are but a pious legend propounded by monsignors and mathematicians.
According to Wikipedia, “Totally ineffable cardinals are of greater consistency strength than subtle cardinals and of lesser consistency strength than remarkable cardinals.” So I think they would probably have the wherewithal to resist your attempt, though not so much as their more remarkable brethren. I’ve heard it said that there’s strength in numbers, but the real strength is in Consistory.
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