Skip to comments.Popeless but not Hopeless
Posted on 03/06/2013 5:56:43 AM PST by mgist
As the Conclave meets this Lenten season to select a new pope, hope springs eternal. And I, as a Catholic convert, await their decision without fear and loathing. Let me explain.
I converted to the Church in April 2005, at the death of Pope John Paul II, which was profound for me. I remember being very concerned about John Paul IIs successor.
That trepidation predated my conversion, and was an obstacle. I recall a key moment in June 1998. I was a Salvatori Fellow at the Heritage Foundation. One evening, I huddled with the other fellows. They were Catholic, and I peppered them with questions. We agreed more than disagreed. We all thought the world of John Paul II. I kept asking them: What if John Paul II is succeeded by a pope who changes Church doctrine? What if this great fighter for life is replaced by a pro-choice pope?
Those questions will seem absurd to this audience, and did likewise to my Catholic friends, who assured me of the continuity of Church teaching, and to not worry about a new pope suddenly repudiating the Churchs major moral teachings.
Bear in mind, I was a Protestant, a member of the Presbyterian Church USA denomination. Thus, I was accustomed to the leadership of my church meeting and completely reversing long-held positions. It was standard operating procedure.
Why would Catholics be any different?
Well, when I ultimately converted that spring 2005, and stared anxiously at my TV as the new pope was announced, my eyes filled with tears of joy as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger walked upon that balcony. I turned to my wife and said, We made the right choice.
This time, I await the next pope with no anxiety. Who will step upon that balcony? Imagine: Cardinal Timothy Dolan strolls out, smiles, pledges himself to fight for life, marriage, and religious liberty, and takes Thomas More as his papal name. Ah, yes.
Well, whoever it will be, it will be right. Of that, I have no fear, only hope.
As far as I know, only the Cardinals are "smart enough" to get a vote.
I'd be offended were I a Catholic.
He made “the right choice” to convert to Catholisism, the selection of Benedict proved that to he and his wife. Not Benedict, or anyone else, is going to come in and “modernize” the church, and give into worldly demands.
We have a lot of human and defective Catholics, myself included. There are armies of people using thoe weaknesses to attack, scandalize, and decieve, and distort church doctrine. We also have the security that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church.
Unfortunately, if they extended the vote beyond the Cardinals that are trained and educated to understand the Word of the Lord, as well as Canon Law, we would wind up with gay marriage and a living, breathing, and ever changing bible. The message of Christ is not open to democratic interpretation. If the Pope was popularly elected, it there would be a campaign with conflicting interpretations and appeals to the low information voter. As much as I’d like to have a say, it just wouldn’t work.
That’s an interesting point and very true. The more I know priests, the more amazed I am at their knowledge and devotion. Their is always the occasional lib, but how do they all seem to have such a ridiculously good formal education? Scientists, Doctors, writers etc. in addition to being amazing theologians. Even the nun, who is the Principal at my daughters school could easily run ANY Fortune 500 company. Her communication skills are amazing.
That’s an interesting point and very true. The more I know priests, the more amazed I am at their knowledge and devotion. There is always the occasional lib, but how do they all seem to have such a ridiculously good formal educations? Scientists, Doctors, writers etc, in addition to being amazing theologians. Even the nun, who is the Principal at my daughters school could easily run ANY Fortune 500 company. I never realized that before.
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