Thursday, March 14, 2013
Pope Francis I, What to Expect
All that being said, I am not trying to criticize the Sovereign Pontiff on his first day. I thought his asking the public to bless him before blessing them was touching and if he can clean out the corruption in the curia, I think most would agree it to be a feat worth a mozzetta. These areas of dress and ceremony are relatively minor details (the major stuff being done away with long before now) and Pope Francis may yet impress many a great deal if he is, as many have described him, as upright and intolerant of wrongdoing so as to put the Vatican to rights. When it comes to more strictly moral issues such as the most often under attack these days; abortion, contraception, gay “marriage”, a male-only clergy and so on, Pope Francis I looks to be as intransigent in his defense of doctrine as the most ardent could wish. That, at least, is what I have been hearing and I have no reason to doubt it. At this point, having had two papal elections so close together, it is rather funny to see the media babbling on and on about whether the next pope will change the Church’s position on any of these subjects -as if any Roman Pontiff ever could. One may also just as well laugh as to cry when Catholics are interviewed on the street and say they would like to see a more “tolerant” man elected pope. Tolerant? Tolerant of what? Some sympathy for the Devil next too?
I know I caused some a bit of anxiety when, some months ago, I mentioned the fact that the European peoples are doomed to extinction in the not-too-distant future and that, at this point, nothing could be done to change that fact. Well, it seems, noted Catholic monarchist and author Charles Coulombe might agree with me. He said he would welcome a South American or African pope as the Church in Europe is just about dead and the future of Catholicism will be as a Latin American and African Church. It is only fitting then that the papacy begin to reflect the cultures and nationalities that will be the future of the Catholic Church. When asked about the nationality of Pope Francis, I heard Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington DC, among others, make the statement that “it was time” there was a Latino pope (Eva Longoria said it weeks ago, hmm…) and that says to me that there will be more non-Europeans in the future, probably fewer European electors. In that regard, Pope Francis may be blazing the trail for a Church that will probably always have to be based in Rome but which will have a noticeably non-European flock. It seems to me he will be a figure of transition, cleaning up the decay of the past to make way for gains in the future, bringing a new, simpler style to the papacy and easing Catholics into a less European future.