|Maybe if Lucifer had thrown in a helicopter and a vacation castle Jesus would have given in.|
I might be experiencing information overload when it comes to the Vatican and the upcoming Conclave. I'm finding it difficult to even put coherent thoughts together on what I truly would like to see from the next Pope. I think part of my problem has to do with what I am currently seeing from the Cardinals, most of which I absolutely do not want to see carried forward.
First off is the prominent place of Angelo Sodano as Dean of the College of Cardinals. It is incomprehensible to me that this man is anywhere near this conclave. I still have no idea why Pope Benedict didn't retire him the exact same way he 'retired' Sodano's pet project Marcial Maciel. In the last 10 years Sodano has brought more controversy to the Vatican than he has competence and so in typical Vatican fashion he is given a prominent place in the selection of the next Pope. Italian papers are floating the story that he and his old time Secretary of State cronies are proposing Cardinal Shero of Brazil for the papacy with Cardinal Sandri who is technically from Argentina but really from the Vatican City States or the Italian Cardinal Piacenza as Secretary of State. This would be a combination of Ratzinger II and Sodano II, but it would give the South the papacy. And yet as far as Sodano and company are concerned the real power is in the Vatican State Department, and that would be kept safely in the hands of the old guard. Sodano is not a dummy. He doesn't care about the papacy, he cares about the power inherent in the Office of the Secretary of State. That's where the big boys play and Sodano got to play very big games under JPII. As JPII's health incapacitated him, Sodano got to play big games with very little supervision, and that included no supervision for the Vatican Bank. On this score, I pray the other Cardinals have had enough of Sodano and his ego and his games.
Another thing I do not want to see is anymore preference for 'the new movements' like Opus Dei, Communion and Liberation, Focolare, or the Neo Catechumenate. Elitist Catholicism is an oxymoron and a very real danger to the Church. That was another lesson Cardinals should have taken from the Legion of Christ mess, but the lesson they have taken seems to be the more money and priests a movement generates the more Catholic it is. They may be more Catholic, but they are not more Christlike---which I thought was supposed to be the end goal of the Catholic spiritual quest. Perhaps I misunderstood something along the way. OD is right where it wants to be with AB Ganswein the slated doorkeeper for the new pope. That has got to change. Global Catholicism does not need Opus Dei, more of a parallel church than anything, becoming the source of power in the main Church. I'm sure lots of other organizations that trade in secrecy and fascism would prefer the OD influence stay right where it is, but I do not.
I do not want to see Catholic teaching used a bartering chip for political preference, right, left or center. Just as I do not want to see collegiality reduced to a loyalty oath, or Catholic spirituality used to marginalize whole groups of people. I do not want to see the CDF turn itself into Big Brother so Catholicism becomes nothing more than corporate group think with an imprimatur. I do not want to see Catholic Identity promoted like Catholicism is nothing more than a commodity like Coca Cola or the New York Yankees. Finally, I do not want to see regimented Catholic ritual substituted for the hard work of bringing the Kingdom to Earth. I do not want to see anymore clerical abuse scandals and that will continue to happen if the clerical culture isn't completely reworked and that absolutely means Catholic sexual morality must be reconfigured on the basis of 'right relationship' and not biological procreation.
I have only one thing I do want the Cardinal electors to reflect on. That would be the temptations in the desert. I want them to think very deeply about this story and then ask themselves if they truly reflect the world view Jesus was trying to teach because it's very hard for me to see this world view when Emeritus Pope Benedict takes a helicopter on a 10 mile flight to the papal vacation castle. Like a lot of other things about Catholicism juxtaposed against the actual teachings of Jesus, it just doesn't compute.