Since Joseph Ratzinger announced his resignation three weeks ago the internet has been abuzz about who will be the next Pope and about what kind of Pope people are looking for.
Curious, it seems to me that people have wanted to make a Pope out of their own image. Liberal websites are calling for a liberal Pope. Conservative websites are calling for a conservative Pope. Many are calling for a more charismatic Pope, someone who is more socially active. Someone, in other words, like John Paul II. But mostly people are wanting a Pope who will be progressive in two key areas:
1. Marriage within the priesthood.
2. Ordination of women priests.
While I don’t want to put a damper on anybody’s astronomically high hopes, it is unlikely (tenth to the power of near infinity) that the next pope will implement those two progressive ideals.
For my own part I had developed a great deal of respect for the academic career of Pope Benedict and would hope that the next Pope would be academically credible as well (Marc Ouellet?).
But there is one area above all that I believe the next Pope absolutely must address proactively and aggressively. And that has to do with homosexual’s and pedophile’s in the priesthood. This is an area that I think everyone agrees Benedict fell far short (as does Cardinal Ouellet in his district, which doesn’t make me very hopeful).
The Catholic Church seems embarrassed by these incidents and have shuffled things around trying, it seems almost shamelessly at times, to cover things up in an attempt to save the reputation of the Church. In my opinion, the best way to save the reputation of the Catholic Church in today’s world is to open up it’s doors in transparency and to aggressively and publicly act upon those within the Church who have abused their office and the people they shepherd.
How about you? What kind of Pope do you believe the Catholic Church needs for today’s world?