What Qualities Does the Next Pope Need?
The Franciscan pontificate is unpredictable and volatile, as well as risible. From day to day it scandalises and shocks the Church.
The next Pope will have to learn from the many serious mistakes made during this pontificate and should already, while a Cardinal, be examining where Francis has gone wrong, as well as the partial success (if you can call it that) of his extraordinary public relations efforts, efforts which have now led to the most amazing apology in all of human history, the kind of stupendous apology that marks a Pope who called abuse victims liars and slanderers out as a living Saint. Really, he should be canonised now. But, here's what I'll be looking for from the next Pope, should God in His mercy give one to the Church.
1. I hope that the next Pope believes in the Catholic Faith. It's a big one this and I think that the Catholic Church in the next pontificate requires someone who believes the religion into which they were baptised. It really helps people to believe the Catholic Faith if the Pope believes it too.
2. I hope that the next Pope is honest. Again, everybody has their weaknesses, but for the next Pope, an appreciation, at least, for truth, would be a real bonus and such a quality might restore some confidence in the papacy.
3. I hope that if the next Pope is going to insult anyone, or craft insulting expressions directed at certain members of the Church, he aims his barbed arrows at those who show ill-will or malice towards the Church's perennial doctrines and towards the enemies of Christ within the Church. But this isn't essential. He could forego insulting anyone. That might actually be an idea. Let the truth stand on its own merits. If God grants it to us, and let us not presume, we'll need some calm after the hurricane that is Francis.
You may have your own suggestions that you'd like to share of qualities you are looking for in the next Pope. Perhaps you'd like him to love God and the Church, or have a punctilious concern for souls, doctrine, liturgy and worship, but I just thought we'd start off with the basics first.
As I say, feel free to add your own...