The Case for an African Pontiff

…according to Fr. Dwight Longenecker.

I sort of regard speculation about papal elections the way I do talking about the weather. My views will have no impact whatsoever on the outcome and it’s basically all up to the Holy Spirit. I can give God input via my prayers, I s’pose. But mostly those are of the “Send us somebody good” variety, not of the “Father, in review the list of candidates, I would strongly advise Peter Turkson” variety since I don’t know a thing about any of the papabile and I really like it that way.

That’s not to say I think there’s any problem with speculations, Pope pools, and all the rest of it. Part of the fun of life for us peons who don’t have much control over Big Huge World Historical Decisions is placing bets on how it will all shake out. My only counsel is “Don’t worry about it.” Or rather, Jesus’ counsel is not to worry. Fr. Dwight isn’t worried, so I say, “Opine away, padre!”

For myself, I don’t really care where the next Pope is from, so long as he’s good. An African suits me fine if that’s who the Holy Spirit picks. I would enjoy watching all the “anybody who criticizes Obama is racist” people blow a gasket just as much as I would enjoy watching the “Catholicism is European” people blow their gaskets. So that would be fun. On the other hand, I have nothing invested in the *hope* for pope from a developing nation either and think that electing one primarily on the basis of ethnicity would be a spectacularly bad idea. I got the vague impression last week that Turkson was, well, sort of campaigning for Pope in the media, which made me think, “Nope. Not that guy.” But that’s just me. Ultimately, it’s up to the Holy Spirit.

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