Opinión: Dos cardenales

Fascinante el cardenalato, iniciado como lo conocemos hoy allá por el siglo XI. Aquí dos de estos «Príncipes de la Iglesia» (nombre ya anacrónico), muy diferentes entre sí, que dejaron huella en la Historia.


Adriaan Floriszoon fue su nombre (1459-1523). De Utrecht (Holanda) para más señas. Fue un intelectual (rector de la Universidad de Lovaina) y clérigo ejemplar, de los que abrazaban por convicción el sacerdocio. Tutor del joven Carlos de Augsburgo -futuro emperador Carlos V- lo ayudó en el gobierno de España y fue siempre un prudente consejero real: al modo platónico, Adriano consideró la política un ejerció de sabiduría y virtud más que un mero juego de poder. Elegido papa en 1532 fue muy impopular: la Curia y los romanos no gustaron de él porque su estilo sencillo y reservado, su desacostumbrada piedad (celebraba la misa cada día) y su deseo de reformar la Iglesia chocaban con las banalidades de la Roma del cinquecentto.

Adriano fue papa solo trece meses, el último no italiano hasta Juan Pablo II. ¡Qué gran pontífice hubiese sido si Cronos le daba más tiempo!

Adriano de Utrecht –«El bárbaro» le decían sus descontentos romanos- reposa en la iglesia de Santa María dell’Anima: la escultura sepulcral lo presenta tendido sobre el lecho en actitud meditativa como preguntándose «¿Qué más pude hacer?».


Se llamó Armand Jean du Plessis (1585-1642) y Richelieu fue el título nobiliario con el que pasó a la Historia. El joven Armand nunca pensó ser sacerdote, menos obispo (sus gustos se dirigían a la carrera militar y a los fastos de la corte), pero el imperativo familiar lo llevó a lo vida clerical. Con fama de astuto y eficiente llamó la atención de Luis XIII quien lo nombró primer ministro en 1622, mismo año en que recibió la púrpura.

Richelieu fue de imponente presencia, arrogante y de gustos sofisticados: más un príncipe que un obispo. Sus objetivos de gobierno apuntaron a empoderar a la monarquía, crear un Estado fuerte y centralista y a expandir el dominio francés en ultramar y Europa. Gracias al cardenal Francia alcanzó la preponderancia que se consagró años después en el esplendor de Luis XIV,      «El Rey Sol». Richelieu fue un estadista con pocos escrúpulos, ni siquiera religiosos. Su perfil se puede definir como una mezcla de Kissinger, Putin y Macrón (alguno diría que también de Rasputín).

 El cardenal ejerció como primer ministro durante 20 años y, a su pedido, dejó el cargo a otro purpurado: Mazarino (1602-1661). A diferencia de Adriano Richelieu no obtuvo paz en su tumba: fue profanada en la época de la Revolución y su cráneo pasó por varias manos hasta muy entrado el siglo XIX. Hoy, tras revoluciones y profanaciones, el cardenal-ministro es considerado un prohombre de Francia y ejemplo acabado del mejor maquiavelismo.

Adriano y Richelieu: dos cardenales, dos modos de serlo, dos visiones sobre el mundo y el puesto de la religión en él. Toda coincidencia con el presente es solo eso: presente.

Hernán Yamanaka
Lector obsesivo, conversador impenitente. Estudió educación, filosofía y teología.

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