Home > Religion
Quit Trying to Force the Catholics to Pick a Liberal Pope!
Everyone on the planet is weighing in on who the next Pope will be, just hours before the conclave starts to elect the successor to Pope John Paul II, certainly one of historyís greatest heroes. Some people think that the Italians are planning to reclaim "their" throne. Others think that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 78, of Germany, has the thing sewn up. British bookmakers are running odds on the identity of the next occupant of the Holy See.
This behavior is disgusting and annoying. First of all, history shows that whoever the press thinks will be the next Pope rarely is. Few picked Albino Luciani to succeed Paul VI. Nobody picked Karol Wotyjla of Krakow, Poland, to succeed Lucianiís Pope John Paul I. The only easy pick in the last 50 years was Giovanni Montini, who became Pope Paul VI.
"[T]here seems to be this "wishful thinking for a liberal Pope" crowd, mostly in America, that is making public statements, in a vain effort to pressure the College of Cardinals."
Moreover, there seems to be this "wishful thinking for a liberal Pope" crowd, mostly in America, that is making public statements, in a vain effort to pressure the College of Cardinals. Latest in this line is the New York Times, with an editorial-disguised-as-news story talking about Ratzingerís prospects (calling the Italian pressí pure speculation that Cardinal Ratzinger goes into the conclave with 50 votes a "bit of wisdom"), then implying that he would be a bad pope because he is just as conservative as was John Paul II.
The Times then goes on to speculate that Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan may be a dark horse, and implies that he is viable because he "has began to sound off on issues of poverty and social justice" and he had "spoke to the crowd [of protesters at a G8 summit] on the evils of globalization."
The Cardinals believe that they pick a Pope under direct guidance from God, not Bill Clinton or the New York Times or anyone else. It is folly to think that they will succumb to secular pressure when they have refused to do so for millennia. Furthermore, if these Cardinals, all strong Catholic believers, were to look strategically, they would note that conservatism has been very very good for the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II presided over a 25% growth of the church, into the face of an increasingly apathetic and faithless Western Europe. John Paul II stood down the communists and let God use him to help relegate their evil doctrine to the ash heap of history.
"The cardinals will likely look at the ramblings of non-Catholic American politicians who espouse sinful doctrines (eg. abortion on demand) and pay no heed. Were I a cardinal, I would not. What do these people expect the cardinals to do? Vote Michael Moore in as the next Pope?"
Rush always says, with reference to politics, "Run on Conservatism and you will win!" The same applies to the Catholic Church. The cardinals will likely look at the ramblings of non-Catholic American politicians who espouse sinful doctrines (eg. abortion on demand) and pay no heed. Were I a cardinal, I would not. What do these people expect the cardinals to do? Vote Michael Moore in as the next Pope? Will Cardinal Ratzinger be elevated to the Holy See? I donít know, but I doubt it. I already expressed my thought that Francis George of Chicago is a dark horse, with the right experience (14 years in Rome heading his order, heading a gigantic archdiocese, being in front of the abuse scandals) and the opportunity to help his church to capitalize on the increase of faithfulness in America. My thought is not a prediction. Predictions in this selection (it is not a "race" or a "contest") are folly.
The cardinals will vote as their consciences dictate, and surprise, it will not have intrigue or politics intertwined. Quit thinking that this is a beauty contest or an American-style election. It is not and never has been. Quit Trying to Force the Catholics to Pick a Liberal Pope!