The Latin American Catholics are a challenge to Catholics with a European and American mindset, but they are still essentially European in their cultural understandings. Pope Francis may be Argentinian, but he is the son of Italian immigrants. For historical reasons the Latin American Church is much more of a European offshoot than the African church. Latin America was colonized by European powers in the sixteenth and seventeenth century and the European cultural roots and worldview are still strong.
Africa, on the other hand, was colonized in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the European cultural colonialist heritage is much more shallow. Consequently African Catholicism is much more African than Latin American Catholicism is American.
If the next pope comes from Africa, the liberal dream of a radically reforming pope who will allow remarried to receive communion, endorse same sex relationships and allow women priests is out the window. An African pope will, on the one hand, criticize Western economic imperialism and bullying and will dismiss the European cultural and intellectual snobbery exhibited by Cardinal Kasper and his ilk.
An African pope will be impatient with Western decadence and because his country is likely to be in the front line of the wars of religion he will be intolerant of the liberal Westerner’s spineless capitulation to Islam.
Most of all, an African pope will have no time for the relentless sexual liberation agenda of the West. Feminism, homosexualism, transgender ideologies and the breakdown of the family will be anathema.
Liberals often seem to have a sentimental attraction for the “Church of the Poor” in Africa.
Should they suddenly find themselves with a pope from Africa they will be spitting nails.
Excuse my schadenfreude, but the most pleasing thing about such a scenario is that they won’t be able to kick up much of a fuss for fear of being accused of racism.