Wednesday, 11 April 2018

What Qualities Does the Next Pope Need?

Image result for conclave

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...


Ralph said...

I hope that the next pope will be absolutely merciless for the enemies of the catholic faith. That is one thing (and the only thing!) he can learn from Bergoglio. He shouldn't make the same mistake pope John Paul II and pope Benedict XVI made by choosing modernist bishops and cardinals for the sake of "diversity". He should choose only traditional catholics. A very small holy Church is better than a dying modernist protestant sect.

john haggerty said...

The next pope will need to be 'merciless' in dealing with the enemies of the Church both internal and external.
He will need an Ignatius Loyola, who formed the Jesuits when the Church was facing fierce opposition from Calvinists and Lutherans in the heartlands of Europe.

'A very small holy Church is better than a dying modernist protestant sect': Ralph is absolutely right.
Liberal Protestant churches are whoring after Babylon; the good Bible-believing Protestant churches are ignored by the media, and viewed by the world as a joke.
And the Catholic Church is in a state of unremitting crisis - Francis is the symptom of that moral crisis and not the cure.

And the next pope will need to tear the mask away from the face of the anti-Christian entertainments industry; an industry that worships antichrist.

The next pope will need to call the so-called New Atheists to account for the moral imbeciles that they are; for their aim is to stop the next generation from knowing Jesus Christ.

Watch on YouTube:
'Nimrod - London Symphony Orchestra and the Voice of Sir Winston Churchill.'

We are in a spiritual war every bit as perilous as the war against Hitler and the Third Reich.
Bishops who deny this are working for the Enemy and don't know it.
Not for nothing was I educated at a school named after Saint Pope Pius X.

Mary Kay said...

I would like to see from the next pope some reverence to the God who made him, at least once in a while, and for him to show some actual acknowledgement that he believes in God, by kneeling and worshipping Him, to encourage the faithful by example.

Physiocrat said...

The next Pope (no. 267) will be one of the cardinals at the time of the election. The odds can be found here

The front runners are Tagle from the Philippines, Turkson from Ghana, Quellet from Canada, Schönborn from Austria and Scola from Italy. Their form is all known so you can just run them through your check list. The known reliable ones are outsiders, with Sarah at 16:1, Arinze at 22:1, and Ranjit at 25:1.

You can work it out from there. It would be easier if they were London buses: the 266, which was formerly trolleybus route 666 (which may be significant, if you believe in that kind of thing), runs from Brent Cross to Hammersmith; 267 is a sort of continuation of the 266, from Hammersmith to Hampton Court.

The dream winner would be Cardinal Sarah but, like Benedict, he would have a fight on his hands. One has to ask if the institution can be fixed? It has not, for most of the past thousand years, covered itself with glory. The good popes are exceptions, what with the Avignon business and the fact that for most of the period until the late eighteenth century the papacy was a trophy which was passed around the noble families of Rome. The sum of the good ones only just adds up to more than single figures. Even the conservatives were not as good as all that. Leo XIII screwed up, with Rerum Novarum (it makes the Marxist error of conflating land and capital, lumping them together into the category "property", a fatal error; Pius X cheapened holy communion by advocating daily reception; and Pius XII wrecked the Holy Week services.

Is the monarchical model of the Papacy, as it has developed, what Jesus had in mind in Matthew 16:18? How is that verse to be interpreted in its context, say Matthew 16:15-20?

S. Armaticus said...

As I said on Twitter.

Let's not get our expectatations out of whack.

This is a common strategy playing itself out against the Catholics like us. Anyone who is on our side and not Catholic, is expected to be Catholic to the "t". Case in point, Dr. Jordan Peterson. While those who hate us, even when they are nominal catholics, their apostasy is explained away as "anti-rigidity".

So back to the next Pontiff.

Let's shot for a man who is SANE.

And nothing less...


john haggerty said...

One would be here all day just to deal with Physiocrat's sweeping history of the papacy.

I grew up in Scotland, and saw in my youth that Protestants with their hatred of the papacy past and present, would never really understand Catholic European history in any depth.

In a simplistic way the ordinary Protestant knew about the wicked popes; many of them were like the pope-burning Whig Exclusionists of the 17th century, who were inflamed by propagandists like Shaftesbury.
Hilaire Belloc said that English children were taught lies regarding the English Reformation, and were kept in the dark about those English titled families who lined their pockets massively from Church wealth.
He said the old Catholic monasteries were the social security system for the poor, who were abandoned after the English Reformation.
Belloc said that the Reformation in Europe led to the growth of nationalism, which he regarded as a great evil, and as the cause of wars.
Newman in his childhood perceived English Roman Catholics to be a strange and remote group, and even on his first trip to Rome as a young Anglican, felt baffled by the 'superstitions' and holiness of the old faith.
Ronald Knox came up against the same anti-Catholicism at Eton (see his book 'A Spiritual Aeneid' published in 1918), and Dennis Sewell in his delightful book 'Catholics, Britain's Largest Minority' (Penguin 2001) had a Scotch Protestant auntie who thought Catholics needed to be 'deprogrammed'!

But back to Physiocrat's critique.

Paul III (pope from 1534-1549) enriched his family and had a mistress with whom he had several children; but he convened the Council of Trent against much opposition; he could recite most of the New Testament by heart as well as much of Homer and Virgil, and had a castle in impoverished Calabria.

Jump to to Pius V (pope from 1566 to 1572) a pontiff who guided Trent wisely towards its conclusion. This holy father standardized the Latin rite, declared Aquinas a doctor of the church, and was made a saint years after his death.

Pius X did not 'cheapen' the Eucharist, but permitted children aged about six years (myself included) to receive our Blessed Lord; but he did not follow the Eastern practice of allowing infants to receive the host.
After an earthquake, Pope Pius X acted quickly on behalf of the poor before the Italian government did; he refused to advance the career of his priest-nephew, and would not make his sisters papal countesses, in spite of criticism from Roman high society.
My Italian aunt remembered how much Pope Pius XI was loved by the ordinary people; she felt the same about Pope Pius XII, who had a 'monarchial' presence.

As an altar boy serving at daily Lenten Mass, I saw only a small number of the faithful receiving the Eucharist on a daily basis, mainly women.
My mother led a blameless life, but she did not think herself as worthy as those ladies in the Women's Guild who received Communion at weekday Masses.
My father, who was brought up in a devout Catholic home in a mining village, received the Eucharist usually once a month, immediately after making his Confession.
My parents were fairly typical by Scottish Catholic standards.
If receiving the Eucharist was 'cheapened' or devalued, it came in during the 1970s.

The 'monarchial' papacy is also collegial.
Pope John Paul II castigated his assembled bishops for their failure to speak out more strongly against abortion, contraceptives etc.

The famous portrait of Pope Innocent X by Velazquez shows a shrewd, watchful and distrustful man, not a man to cross.
Perhaps a future pope would need what John Keats in another context calls 'negative capability'; the kind of capability that Pope Innocent X and Pope Pius X possessed, though they were very different men, in different times.

Physiocrat said...

@John Heggerty

If you perform a "triage" of the line of Popes into good, satisfactory and bad, how many do you end up with in each category? The fact that we have had a run of fairly good ones since the late eighteenth century has perhaps made people lose sight of the overall picture. Pius V was an exception.

David said...

I think you all are making a grave error. There is only one Pope and his name is Benedict. This impostor who currently presides in the Vatican should be thrown out!

Melanie said...

I always believed that it was the Divine protection of the Holy Ghost that prevented a Pope from molding the Catholic Faith into something more to his liking and NOT what a super terrific guy he was. Was I wrong, God actually left the survival of His Church up to the best guy we could find? That’d be kind of a bad plan.

Sam Sham said...

Physiocrat: You forgot Parolin. He will be the next pope. He will build upon the apostasy of Bergoglio. If Benedict is still alive at that time, he will also be another anti-pope. Nothing anti-popes say or do can change anything about the True Church. The real issue is how many millions will not see Satan's deception?

DisturbedMary said...

A Pope who will consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary... A holy Pope... A Pope who will live in the Papal apartments by himself...A Pope who will genuflect at the Consecration....A Pope who will wash only the feet of his priests as Christ did on Holy Thursday...

Fr. VF said...

"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."

Even if some Popes were female, the correct word would be HE. As it is, "they" makes even less sense.

Physiocrat said...


Why should we assume that Russia was not consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? And if Russia has not been converted, what was going on here last Sunday in the cathedral that was razed to the ground in 1931, on Stalin's orders?

The translation of the repeated chant (Christos voskrese) is

Christ is risen from the dead,
trampling down death by death,
and upon those in the tombs
bestowing life!

Dr. T.T.Coals said...

May the next Pope perform the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the conversion of Russia and the restoration of Holy Mother Church and all her traditions.

Dr. T.T.Coals said...

If I may ask for support, please go to the Catholic Truth Scotland blog to join in condemning the outrageous new BBC video blaspheming the Holy Eucharist:

Amos said...

"I hope that the next Pope believes in the Catholic Faith"

We haven't had a Pope who believes 100% in the Catholic faith for probably over half a century now.

john haggerty said...

To Physiocrat:

Hermann Hesse said that the Catholic Church smelled of blood and history, the reason he drew back from conversion.
No doubt he was thinking of the Crusades; and the Inquisition established by Pope Gregory in 1234 to uproot heretical movements like the Cathars.
Or maybe Hesse was reflecting on the Spanish Inquisition of the 15th Century established by Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile; or the Roman Inquisition of the latter half of the 16th Century.
Hesse was familiar with Dostoyevsky's Grand Inquisitor story in which Christ returns to Madrid in the 15th Century only to be told that the pope has usurped His place.
The Grand Inquisitor tells Jesus that ever since the Church took over the Roman Empire, it has been stealthily performing the work of the Devil; not because the Church wishes to do evil; but because she wishes to offer mankind the benefits of bread and security, which Christ never promised his disciples.

The relation between Christ and the Church has been central in Christian thinking. Read Stanley Hauerwas - Why Theological Work Cannot Be Finished from his book 'The Work of Theology' Eerdmans 2015. (See him on YouTube).

The power, pomp and endurance of the papacy are aspects of its enigma.
The Renaissance Papacy from Paul II (1464-71) to Pius IV (1559-65) has the reputation for raising up bad men, but with the exception of Pope Alexander VI, this was not the case.
Many of the Renaissance popes were neither corrupt nor immoral; but they failed to guide the Church as wisely as they could have.

Pope Sixtus IV (1471-84) was a holy pontiff and Julius II (1503-13) loved the Church and commissioned the building of St. Peter's Basilica, though he failed to carry out necessary reforms.
With the exception of Julius III (1550-5) the later popes of this period were successful in their reforms - Paul III, Marcellus II, Paul IV and Pius IV.
Only a handful were really corrupt, and even those pontiffs never taught anything against faith or morals as a woman commented wisely in one of Laurence's post last year.

Scottish Reformed Protestants see ALL the popes in the image of the corrupt Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) who was a Borgia, or the much earlier Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303) who said that even Jesus Christ must stand under the authority of the papacy.
I never ask my Reformed friends to consider the pope as the Vicar of Christ (they believe that the Holy Spirit is the Vicar of Christ) only that they read Catholic history as honestly as possible
And even Calvinists admire the early bishops of Rome who were nearly all martyred.

Perhaps Dostoyevsky had Pope Boniface in mind when the Grand Inquisitor says that mankind was far happier before Christ appeared on earth.
As I look around these the United Kingdom, it looks as if the majority of people agree with the Inquisitor.
Britain has been thoroughly 'de-Christianized' thanks to the official policy of teaching schoolchildren atheism disguised as 'comparative religion'.
Only one thing benefits from this spiritual vacuum.

Physiocrat said...

@John Hegerty

It is not just Britain that has been de-Christianised, and secularism has only some of the blame. The Catholic church has become de-Christianised, following the Protestantising reforms, in particular the liturgical reforms and reforms in religious life, set in train by Vatican 2; I can go into my local Catholic church and find Christ present, but as soon as something happens other than the celebration of a Tridentine Mass, it seems as if He has withdrawn.

However, V2 was only a step in a modernist process which had been going on at least since the 1880s. Where I lived in Britain, we had bishops and de-Christianising priests who actively promoted the process. My present bishop is a holy and kind man but the running of the diocese is largely in the hands of modernists and Lutherisers. This has a devastating effect on the liturgy, which is barely recognisable as Catholic, and, more seriously, on the formation of the priests, with a high drop-out rate at the Jesuit-run seminary.

We need to look at ourselves and stop blaming officialdom, which is largely a reflection of us. Bearing in mind that every episcopal appointment is made by the Pope, one has to ask oneself what is going on here.

To return to the original question - the next pope will be Francis II, or John Paul III, or Pius XIII, or Benedict XVII, or perhaps Leo XIV. You can work out the likelihood of each of the possibilities and judge for yourself where each would lead.

john haggerty said...

To Physiocrat:

'There are not many churches; there is one. It is the Catholic Church on one side and its mortal enemy on the other.'

This is from the closing page of 'The Great Heresies' by Hilaire Belloc, published in 1938 and republished by TAN Books.

One could question his dismissal of the Greek Orthodox Church; as for Protestantism, both the Church of England and the Church of Scotland had been seriously damaged by liberalism and the destructive (and ill-founded ideas) of the Higher Criticism of the 19th Century.
The real cancer would not spread for another 50 years or more.

However, the great Scottish Free Churches remained faithful to the Gospel; Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones took over Westminster Church, London in 1939, bringing many sinners to repentance and faith; and Arthur Pink's monthly publication, 'Studies in the Scriptures', though only reaching about 1500-2000 subscribers worldwide during his lifetime, had a colossal impact on postwar Protestant faith in the USA, with the publication of Pink's writings in the 1960s.

On the eve of World War II, Belloc looked back at 'industrial capitalism and usurious banking power' which he saw as 'the very strength of 19th Century Protestant civilization'.
Protestant churches had fragmented into countless sects, Belloc said; the economic system which developed after the Reformation led to horrific inequalities - poverty, squalor, and now the economic stagnation of the 1930s.
And the forces of barbarism - atheism, fascism, Bolshevism - were shaking Europe even as Belloc wrote the last sentence of his book.

Vatican II (a pastoral rather than a dogmatic Council) set out with great hopes for renewal in the Church; the Council hoped to be a light to the world.
We would agree that a swarm of pseudo-dogmatic heresies were unleashed; Pope Benedict, a first-rate theologian, broke with Karl Rahner as to the wisdom of Vatican II.
New-built Catholic churches, stripped of statues of the saints and the beautiful tabernacles, looked as empty as shells as Alice Thomas Ellis observed; and the Mass lost its sacred aspect.
Paul Johnson said the Latin rite had been one of the glories of Western Civilization; the music of Latin intonation vanished from Catholic lives; guitar-strumming and pop songs replaced the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

We shall all have to pray harder, fast and sing the Psalms.
The Holy Spirit is very close to us in these times.
Last night I listened to the gifted American baritone Robert Goulet, who was given a Catholic burial.

See YouTube:
'Robert Goulet - Ave Maria - A Prayer (Johann Sebastian Bach/Charles Gounod.'

john haggerty said...

Please watch on YouTube:

'Jordan Peterson: Winston Churchill predicted the death of our Civilization.'

john haggerty said...

Please watch on YouTube:

The 'Father' Father (Harvard Magazine).

It is a video on Father Paul O'Brien who has reinvigorated Saint Patrick's Church in Lawrence, Massachusetts, by preaching powerful sermons during Mass; by running food shelters; and by organizing basketball games for the city's youth, many of whom grow up without a father.

The Holy Spirit must have led me to this video, because I was thinking about the late Robert Goulet; the distinguished singer was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, though Lawrence has spiralled downwards like so many American cities.

Where would all these communities be without Christian churches and their priests and ministers?

john haggerty said...

Since I am fairly well acquainted with the novels of Alice Thomas Ellis (as I am with those of her friend and fellow Catholic convert Beryl Bainbridge) I did not expect to find anything fresh about her on Wiki.
It turns out Alice was fired from her post as columnist with The Catholic Herald because her traditionalist views upset a powerful opponent.
Cardinal Basil Hume, no less.
The ever so humble Hume demanded she be sacked, and the Herald editor humbly obliged.
Alice was effectively silenced.
With largeness of heart, the Herald editor let Alice write the cookery column.
And Basil went back to playing Uriah Heep.
Heep among the sheep as it were.

Is it not shocking to learn just how illiberal the Liberals can be?

How could Alice's profound love of the pre-Vatican II Church have raised the hackles on the Cardinal's crimson robes?
What are the diehard Liberals so afraid of?
And how will the Liberals feel when the Progressives in turn purge them?
It will be a Church run by the demented James Martins and the deluded feminist nuns.
The Windswept House of Malachi Martin's worst nightmare.

Happily you can track down the two paperback editions of Alice's brilliant Catholic Herald columns.
Hume's sins may be scarlet, but Alice is still read.

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