Skip to comments.Time for a non-European Pope?
Posted on 02/15/2013 2:40:53 PM PST by Jyotishi
Op-Ed - Every time this question is asked, there are visions of a black or a latino or even Asian pontiff. But wait, not so fast. Benedict XVI may have blocked that possibility by packing enough Europeans in the electoral college to name his successor
With a Canadian, a Honduran and other Latin Americans among the unofficial front-runners, the Roman Catholic Church could well elect its first non-European since the Great Schism with the Eastern church in the 11th century when it replaces Benedict XVI.
But here is a sobering fact. Pope Benedict appointed 67 of the 118 cardinals who will appoint his successor, and 37 of them are from Europe, which remains the most substantial voting bloc and potentially the most influential. Centuries-old tradition calls for new popes to be elected in secrecy, so there are unlikely to be many signals on the identity of the 266th pontiff until white smoke wafts over St. Peters Square. The cardinals are to be sequestered in the Sistine Chapel until the choice is made.Only the 117 of the 210 members of College of Cardinals under the age of 80 have the right to vote in the conclave, which will assemble in the Basilica of Saint Peter after February 28.
One of the developing worlds leading candidates for the Popes successor has declared the Catholic church ready to have its first non-European Pope and said that he will gladly take on the role if its the will of God.
Ghanaian cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said he believed the the churches of Africa and Asia had grown in strength to the extent they had produced mature clergymen and prelates that are capable of exercising leadership also of this world institution.
I think in a way the church is always and has forever been ready for a non-European pope, the 64-year-old, a favourite of Benedict XVI, stated this week. He did not think the prospect was too far away.
Latin America is home to the worlds largest Roman Catholic population. So, naturally, the people of that continent have a right to hope that the next Pope would be one of their own. But that possibility appears faint.
The predominance of Europeans on the College of Cardinals means that the odds are stacked against a Latin American pope, even though the names of a number of high- ranking churchmen from the region have been bandied about. The church faced big challenges in the region, even as Vatican leaders contemplate shifting demographics, with an estimated half of the worlds Catholics now living in Latin America.
Brazilian Cardinals Joao Braz de Aviz, a 65-year-old who has earned praise as head of the Vaticans office for religious congregations, and Odilo Pedro Scherer, the 63-year-old archbishop of Sao Paulo, have been mentioned as possibilities.
Other Latin Americans posited as possible popes include Argentinas Leonardo Sandri and Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Sandri is head of the Vaticans office for Eastern rite churches. He earned fame as the voice of Pope John Paul II when the pontiff lost the ability to speak because of his Parkinsons disease. Also mentioned in 2005, when Benedict was chosen, was Honduran Archbishop Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga.
Vatican experts argue that vision, rather than geography, would likely determine who would replace Benedict and that the ability to communicate with a distracted world would be high on the list of desirable qualities. As nearly all of the Cardinals eligible to vote were appointed by the current pope or his predecessor, John Paul II, it is likely that the next pope will share strong continuity in terms of vision and doctrine.
Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana and Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria are in the frame to become the first ever black pope, certainly in the modern era.
A non-European Pope could also be a white Canadian. In fact there are presently three Canadian Cardinals who would be part of the conclave to elect a new Pope, and one is considered a leading contender to take over after Pope Benedict XVI steps down.
The selection of a Canadian as pontiff would be unprecedented. A non-European cardinal has never been chosen to lead the church. The Canadians involved in the decision-making process are Cardinal Thomas Collins from Toronto, and Cardinals Jean-Claude Turcotte and Marc Ouellet, both from Quebec.
Only 16 per cent of the worlds population is Catholic, but some 42 percent of these believers are Latin American and 15 percent African. And heres a few more numbers: according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 432 million Latin Americans, fully 73 per cent of the regions population, identify (if not practice) as Catholics. Some 134 million Brazilians identify as Catholic, making Brazil the worlds largest Catholic population in the world, with 12.2 per cent of the global share. Mexico has the second largest Catholic population. While in Colombia, only the sixth globally, 38 of its 42 million people identify as Catholic.
I don’t know who they consider the last “non-European” pope. Three popes are believed to have been born in Africa. At least one was born in Asia (St. Peter). Possibly some other early popes were born in what is today Turkey or Syria. The last pope I can think of who wasn’t born in Europe is Adrian IV (Nicholas Breakspear), elected in 1154, who was born in England. But the British Isles are generally considered part of Europe.
This Catholic doesn’t care WHERE the Pope comes from as long as he has the brass cojones to CLEANSE the Church of all hosexuals. ANY priest who is sexually involved with ANYONE, child or adult, has broken his vows and is not legitimate priest. The problem is, many such individuals are now Bishops and Cardinals and they are not about to start a cleansing that will end with their heads rolling too.
The Church needs to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, if it is to remain relevant and powerful enough to counter the rising horror of Islam.
I fear as long as the system remains unchanged, we will get more of the same. Black Pope, Asian Pope,we need a serious reformer.
THere was a whole string of Syrian popes in the 700s—refugees from the Religion of Peace who had ended up in Rome and nobody thought nothin’ of electing them pope.
This drivel coming out of the MSM is vomit-worthy.
I’m a POB - “Plain Ole Baptist.” So, what I think about who should be the next Pope is irrelevant...actually I do not even have an opinion on it except to say that those responsibile for picking Him, as Christians, should concern themselves with what God wants and not what is politically correct...etc.
Roman Catholics are the largest “Christian” denomination...and as such should worry about ONLY what the Lord Jesus would want. Now how they go about determining God’s will.....well I cannot presume to know how to do it. Personnally, I pray a lot, study scripture for guidance, and trust to His providential guidance. That is the full extent of my advice...if it is even called for.
One freeper is trying to spread a claim that there have already been three black Popes.
Cardinal Cooke said that he never felt the presence of the Holy Spirit more than when he was at the Conclave that gave us John Paul II.
Pass this reminder on to the less knowledgable.
How about a Kenyan by way of Indonesia?
Personnally, I pray a lot, study scripture for guidance, and trust to His providential guidance. That is the full extent of my advice...if it is even called for.
Best advice for each of us, FRiend.
> How about a Kenyan by way of Indonesia?
Why, isn’t there an al Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood cell in the Vatican yet?
YOu know, that would be a step up from plain ole US Dictator. But I think he’d prefer World Imam- or Grand High Dictator of Planet Earth.
Amen to that.
We need more of Christ and less of Marx and Freud in the Church.
There has already been three African Popes. They were all from northern Africa rather than sub-Sahara Africa, so it's very unlikely they were black. Still, their race was never recorded so we'll never know.
What we know is that the claim that there have been 3 black Popes was a lie.
The claim was delivered in a very superior insulting tone and a harumph at the other freeper’s ignorance for not knowing that there have been 3 black Popes.