Saturday, April 16, 2005

The Next Pope

An election of a pope is a monumental event for the Roman Catholic Church. John Paul II is dead and gone, and he left quite a legacy. What exactly that legacy will be is up for debate and may in large part be determined by the election of the next pope.

John Paul II increased devotion among Romanists and the number of lay people in the RCC, but the number of priests declined. I think it safe to say that morality among the priests, of at least America, also declined. The Vatican is continuing to have financial troubles, which John Paul II did little to correct. The Polish Pope was also the first non-Italian pope in some 400 years.

So the election of the next pope will show us if the RCC wants to continue in the vein of Pope John Paul II, or will they want to liberalize the church, which John Paul II always resisted. I rummaged around the Internet for names to watch as the election of the pope begins . . .

German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – ultraconservative, centralized power, “God’s Rottweiler”
Venice cardinal Angelo Scola – relatively young (63), and has a fancy style
Austria's Christoph Schoenborn – multilingual, good diplomat
Cardinal Francis Arinze, a Vatican-based Nigerian – conservative on family issues like contraception

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, the former archbishop of Milan – wants different tone on women, social issues, and more localized power
Milan Archbishop Dionigi Tettamanzi – appeals to the young, new tone on social issues
Lisbon cardinal Jose Da Cruz Policarpo
Honduran Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga – archbiship of Tegucigalpa – trained in clinical psychology
Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes – desires more fighting of poverty, AIDS, and effects of Globalized economics.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano – John Paul II’s secretary of state, ties to Latin America
Giovanni Battista
Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels - well known in political and diplomatic circles

Continent voting breakdown:
Europe has the biggest bloc with 58 papal electors — cardinals under 80 years old. Italy alone has 20.
Latin America has 21 and Africa brings 11. The United States also has 11 cardinals
77 votes needed to become the next pope.


DrFunk said...

Thought you may be interested in links to some articles on the selection of the next pope (all come from Slate Magazine):

Handicapping the Conclave
Brief descriptions of several papabili
How they elect the Pope
I am not following the election very closely--as a Presbyterian, I don't really have a "horse in this race." However, it would be interesting to see the response from our dispensationalist brethren if Jean-Marie Lustiger, the Archbishop of Paris, were elected Pope--apparently he is technically Jewish (his mother was was Jewish and died at Auschwitz), which I am sure would set all their "Rapture Alerts" to Defcon-1. ;-)