Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Next Pope

Many of the "news analysis" articles showing up in the media about the "dilemmas" facing the Catholic Church suggest what is likely to come if the next Pope is a conservative. Secular criticism of Pope John Paul II was always muted because of his great moral authority from having stood up against the Nazis and then the Communists. And then there was his enormous personal popularity.

The next Pope will not have these advantages. If the next Pope is a conservative, look for an early and ferocious attack on him from the Left. The news media is already preparing the ground for it.

Of course, this will only deepen the red-blue divide in the U.S.

Discussions - 3 Comments

What might really throw the leftists and their MSM mouthpieces is if the next pope is a dynamic "conservative" (i.e., upholds orthodox teaching on faith and morals) who is a native African.

As in the Anglican communion, the Catholic prelates of the global South tend to be, shall we say, less than impressed by such "global North" enthusiasms as gay rights, etc.

Some African countries (Nigeria springs to mind) are places where Christians regularly come under physical attacks from Muslims. While there may be some incidents that Christians initiate, my impression is that Muslims are most oftent the aggressors against their Christian neighbors (interethnic tensions can also be a factor as religious distinctions can follow tribal lines). Christianity in places like that has a militant edge: About a week after our 9/11, the city of Kano, Nigeria, saw a Muslim pogrom against local Christians (in Nigeria that means mostly Catholics and Anglicans) that set off civil strife (Christians fought back to defend their churches and neighborhoods) which took something on the order, if I recall correctly, of about a thousand lives.

Cardinals who are familiar with events such as this are unlikely to be all that worried about what they New York Times editorial board thinks, over which situation the New York Times editorial board will no doubt gnash its teeth and rend its garments--antics that are far more likely to sway a cardinal from the global North. All this is probably more or less what Andrew Sullivan, his Catholicism increasingly warped by his embrace of the gay agenda, has in mind when he makes his bizarre call for the Church to "renew" itself by dropping or muting those aspects of its teaching that don’t fit in with the "global North" agenda on all the "pelvic issues."

The See of Peter was always something of a hot seat, but as the Post-Modern, Post-Christian agenda begins to accelerate throughout the West, the Pope will be obliged to take stands wholly at odds with prevailing pathologies.

The controversies will be greater, the stakes higher, and the denigration of the Papacy by the MSM fiercer.

The chasm between the pretensions of the Western elite, and the truths held by the Catholic Church is only going to widen in the years to come. The Red/Blue divide, which is symptomatic of this greater cultural chasm will likewise intensify.

Recall Lincoln’s "A House Divided" speech. It’s not a real healthy situation, that’s for sure.

The next pope, as long as he follows the submission to a higher objective truth as John Paul II did, will continue to steer the Church in an increasingly counter-cultural direction. The modern world will continue to have complete faith in Enlightenment progress and the perfectability of man, often in a moral vacuum. The Church, in its adherence to truth, will be increasingly attacked by the forces of post-modern non-judgmentalism. The Church will provide for the true freedom of the human person by rejecting sin and the Father of Lies while the modern world claims to be liberated and yet is much more oppressive. Its orthodox followers will find true serenity and joy in the splendor of truth, while the world wallows on therapists’ couches looking desperately for contentment and not really finding it. The world will attack the Church for being oppressive because the world cannot stand that the wisdom of higher and older truths have substance of a true and good nature that elevates, rather than reducing, humanity.

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