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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Where does the Church go now?

It is almost time to elect a new successor to St. Peter. In case you have not noticed the previous pope has died and the cardinals are gathering to decide on his replacement. By mutual agreement and complete accord they have imposed a media blackout. None of their ranks will talk to the press until the pontiff is elected; of course this will not prevent much speculation on the part of the media on who will be elevated to the most of holy of Earthly positions. Since Pope John Paul II appointed many of the current crop of cardinals, the current wisdom seems to be that they will elect someone of the same mind to carry on his unfinished work. However, I heard one commentator say that history does not suggest this (I have not researched this and am taking it on faith), rather, 'a fat pope usually follows a thin pope'. By this it is suggested that the choice of pope follows the identification of what was left unfinished in the previous pontiff's rule and then power is handed to one who may have a different approach. This seems to be a remarkably progressive attitude for a body that is renowned for its conservativism and so we shall see whether it is true. I'm not going to speculate on who the next pope will be, but I do wonder what will guide the cardinals in their decision.
What are the issues affecting Catholicism or Christians today that need addressing? Here are some ideas that are in no way definitely representative of what
should affect the decision:
  • paedophile priests
  • the role of women
  • contraception
  • abortion, euthanasia and the death penalty
  • human rights
  • relevance of the church to the man on the street
  • homosexuality
Any more? Please offer your own viewpoints in the comments....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fascinating topic, yet I am completely incapable of coming up with a pithy comment. I have seen many suggestions that the Church needs to select somebody for reason A, or reason B, or to mollify Group A, etc ... and I could not disagree more. They should, and likely will select the leader that is best for the Church as a whole, and to follow the lead and legacy of his predecessor.

J.D.