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The Geographical Pope

I am not a big fan of the geographical methods for selecting a Pope. Selecting a pope from [here] would mean this and send that message, but selecting a pope from [there] would that and send this message. I think there are much more important catholic (universal) criteria for selecting a pope. But that said, this is a topic that is out there so let us discuss it a bit.

Fr. Longenecker makes an interesting case for an African Pope.

Now it is time for a Pope from Africa. Here’s why:

The Catholic Church in the developing world is young, vital and growing. Philip Jenkins in The Next Christendom and John Allen in The Future Church have chronicled the growth and dynamism of the church in the developing world, but especially in Africa. In Africa the seminaries are full. The churches are overflowing. Religious houses can’t be built fast enough, the slowly building missionary work of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is finally bearing rich and abundant fruit.

Of course, all modern Popes ave been European and Europe is where we first saw division followed by decline. Selecting European Popes has done nothing to stem the outgoing tide. We are seeing the beginnings of the same paradigm occurring in Latin America. Protestants are making inroads in Latin America and I doubt very much that selecting a Latin American Pope would do much to change this. Selecting a Pope from these regions will do little to re-evangelize in my opinion. I think the problem lies elsewhere.

But for all this talk of geography and message sending, there is one location that I don't see mentioned much. Leaving aside the need for re-evangeliztion for a moment, how about a Pope from somewhere that has yet to really see its first evangelization. How about selecting a Pope from someplace where it is dangerous or even illegal to be a Catholic. How about a Chinese Pope?

If you want to really send a message to the world, pick a Chinese Pope. They will never see it coming.

*subhead*We should have a Pope from where?*subhead*

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Rick said...

From where sin is greatest. That is where holiness thrives the most.

So, it will be a toss up between CA & NY.

Fr. Larry said...

The first rule of triage is to minister to the dying and let those who can survive wait. The Church is dying in Europe.

Fr. Larry said...

The first rule of triage is to minister to the dying and let those who can survive wait. The Church is dying in Europe.

Sarah L said...

I hadn't even thought of China, but wow, wouldn't that be something?! I wonder how the Chinese govt and the leaders of the Chinese Patriotic Church (is that what it's called?) would react to that.
My husband and I were wondering if maybe the next pope would be from Africa or from Latin America. The USA and Canada really aren't even on the radar. I guess we'll just wait and see.

Anonymous said...

Canada is on the radar, because Cardinal Ouellet is considered an early favorite to be Pope.

Sarah L said...

I meant he wasn't on our radar (not that that really matters), but that is interesting. What makes him an early favorite?

Robin E. said...

That would be awesome! Or the Middle East. Wouldn't that be something?

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