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Thursday, 14 March 2013

New Pope, New Path?

The vacancy read Sede Vacante, in other words, Vacancy:  New Pope Wanted. Qualifications: multilingual, energetic, not too old (younger than when the previous assumed office is preferable, or so we thought). Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio , 76, of Buenos Aires, is now Pope Francis. 

The church is arguably one of the oldest multinational organisations in the world. As the craze for church and State to be separated goes on overdrive; the new Pope's job would be to position the Church adequately to be a global force in a fast changing world.


The new pope has his work cut out, top of the list would be the sex scandals that have ravaged the church globally. Secondly, he would need to fill the pews with faithfuls again in Europe and America, as well as tackling militant secularism. The issue of gay marriage will definitely surface. Other issues like fostering world peace and handling inter-religious relations will keep him busy. He would also need to decentralize the curia and curb corruption.

The new pope would be under pressure to reform. Cardinal Dolan of Boston, had made it clear, if elected, he would be taking the church in a direction of reform. Dolan, who has had to deal with several sex scandals in his diocese had good reason to want such. The church will be urged to consider allowing priests get married; in response to the sex scandals. On equality issues, there will be a call to allow gay marriage and start the ordination of female  priests. These will be the favorable measures to revive the church in Europe and America. So commentators think.


There is no love for the church right now and the church is certainly not at peace. The curia needs to hold its forte and continue what it does best; development. The Pope will need to drop the gibberish of peace and love to focus on its core. With the dwindling amount of followers in Europe and America, the church would be right to focus on where its core is: Latin America, Asia and Africa. The faithful in these areas can do with universities and hospitals. This will help silence the noise made by the evangelicals. Commentators think the church is punching below its weight in these areas. Also, there is the need to cross denominational and religious lines, by taking up the job of fostering world peace through diplomacy. The church will need to accentuate its stand on war and the human suffering that accompanies it.

The church has the choice of moving to the center to appease its secular base or focus on its core. One thing is certain, standing firm will sweep it off its feet.