Frodo for Pope!

So I’m driving my sixteen year old over to the youth group and I observe that it is really pretty cool when you think about it–all the Cardinals gathering from the four corners of the globe to elect a pope. I mean, what other religion has something like that? All geared up in their red robes from the Cardinal Archbishop of New York to the little buy from Vietnam, and the Sistine Chapel and it is all really very neat.

So he observes that it is like the Council of Elrond in the Lord of the Rings when they all got together to decide who was going to take the ring to Mordor. Which I thought was a very cool idea, and before long I was visualizing which Cardinal was like Gimli and who like Elrond would preside and who was like Gandalf (who lives in Castel Gandolfo) and Boromir and Merry and Pippin.

And of course it became clear that Frodo Baggins is the one they want to choose: the one nobody expected because he was little and humble.

Then do you remember that moment when they are all fighting over who is going to take the Ring of Power and Frodo steps up and says, “I will take the Ring to Mordor…but I do not know the way.”

Geesh, what a moment! It is the moment of the whole turning point of the whole trilogy: a simple act of courage and faith.

I know the headline is silly, but isn’t that the sort of man we want for Pope, and isn’t that often the sort of man who gets elected? It’s the little guy that nobody expected. It’s the old guy everybody had written off. It’s the humble fellow from a far country who nobody would have guessed.

So let’s pray that Frodo is our next Pope–or at least a pope with the littleness of Frodo which is the littleness of a child–remembering that unless you become like a little child you cannot enter the kingdom.

Here’s a serious essay I wrote on the subject: The Little Way Through Middle Earth

  • Pingback: Frodo for Pope! | CATHOLIC FEAST

  • Lori

    Love this!

  • Nobody

    No, you mean Sam, the humblest and truest of all. The one no one even realized was present at the “conclave,” and that only so he could continue to serve. The one who wouldn’t volunteer because it would never occur to him that he would be worthy or able. The one busy doing up all the sandal straps and cooking the porridge while the others were ailing or distracted. Sam’s the man you want.

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      No, I do mean Frodo, but the Frodo pope will need a Sam

  • Maolsheachlann O Ceallaigh

    Frodo for Pope. But not Frodo as played by Elijah Wood, please.
    It’s true, you don’t get much feverish speculation about who is going to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

  • Paul Rodden

    …and lets hope we can remain loyal in the battle ahead, like Sam Gamgee.

  • Matt

    Very good. I enjoyed reading this.

  • Jon

    Caption of the first photo of the new Pontiff and the Pope Emeritus together:


  • jean

    This post is a great way to help my kids (who are Tolkien mad) have more understanding about whats going on in Rome just now, the youngest of which is 8…(my kids not the cardinals..), Thanks for this.

  • Osservatrice Romana

    Love this post! To me, Tagle comes to mind: haven’t seen breathless demurrals from him. He seems *willing* to take the daunting job — out of generosity, not self-fulfillment. Catholic Herald quoted today the Filipino bishops’ media person who says “He’s humble, meek, simple, bright, media-savvy, spiritual,”… “He prays a lot… you can’t see any conceitedness in him.” I seem to see a certain eagerness in Tagle himself. Some may think it’s self-promotion but perhaps one could also see it as Frodo stepping up to the plate.

  • Bender

    At the same time, a few of those well-knowns are pretty good. Meanwhile, and this is largely our American experience intruding here, but electing someone who is unknown, i.e. without any kind of paper trail, no prior writings or public homilies, has always turned out badly, at least in the case of Supreme Court nominees. By all means we should have complete trust in the providence of God, but men ain’t God and most unknowns are not Frodos or Sams.

  • Augustine

    Fr. D,
    Did you really slipped a condescending remark about the Card. Man from Vietnam? You do realize that the US never gave us a saintly cardinal, while Vietnam did, his predecessor, Card. Thuan, don’t you? And I don’t think that Card. Dolan can be measured to the stature of a living martyr like Card. Man either.
    BTW, Card. Man is not exactly a short man either:

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      Little is good. The little way and all that.

  • trespinos

    Seventeenth on the Buzz list. Check. Humble. Check. Courageous and true. Check. Things could be falling into place nicely for Cardinal Cipriani Thorne, after all. If they get to a tenth ballot, that is.

  • Joseph

    This is Great “Father D”
    Made me think…AND smile :)

  • Bruno Moreno (Spain)

    Dear Fr. Longenecker:
    I translated your article into Spanish and published it in my blog. I hope that’s OK. Of course, I included a link to this site.

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      thats fine. thanks