Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Leonard de Chirico: A Short Guide Waiting for the Conclave

Lane Keister has published A Guest Post by Leonard de Chirico on the topic of “Who Will Be the Next Pope?”

De Chirico analyzes and dismisses a scenario that I think is highly likely – that “After two non-Italian Popes (the Polish Wojtyła and the German Ratzinger) is it time for an Italian one?” According to de Chirico, there is only one likely Italian candidate at this time.

If this is the case, then the Archbishop of Milan Angelo Scola (72) is the first and perhaps only option. The Italian candidates, however, could pay the price of a possible showdown. Many of the recent scandals (e.g. Vatileaks and the Vatican bank’s financially opaque maneuvers) originated in the Roman curia, which is mainly governed by Italian prelates. Moreover, the Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone (78), himself an Italian, is part of the on-going controversy. So the poor performance of the Italian hierarchy may result in leaving Italians out of the game to wait for the next round.

He looks at a list of other names we’ve seen elsewhere.

The speculation is merely that: speculation. There is a saying in those circles that those men entering the conclave as papabile end up disappointed. Ratzinger, the long time doctrinal watchdog during the papacy of John Paul II, was an obvious exception to this rule. But there aren’t many globally-recognized names at this point, and another likely response is simply that we won’t have any idea who the new man is who emerges as pope.

He also provides a brief “list of Evangelical desires” which seems to hope for a pope who is more cognizant of the need for pluralism and of the Evangelical world generally.

An early commenter asks the question, “And we Reformed types need to care about any of this because why now?”

My response to that was: “if only to understand how a vast enemy and mission field works. If we are more cognizant of the inner workings of Roman Catholicism, we are better able to discuss their religion with them on their own terms, show them its weakness, and introduce the Gospel at appropriate points in the discussion.”

Whomever is named, however, will yet again face the choice of being honest with history and admitting to the fraudulent nature of the nonexistent early papacy, or simply smiling and trying to hide it again from the view of the masses of Roman Catholics who genuinely need to hear the Truth.

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