The Pope I want
At the Myopic Reading Sunday in Chicago Chuck Stebelton asked me if I was upset about he Pope dieing- I guess as the resident Poet/Catholic that was the right question to ask but I am more concerned about who we may get as Pope after this Conclave.
My experience in the Church is one of knowing people who were the real deal- people like Sr. Helen Prejean (of Dead Man Walking Fame) and Fr. Joseph Nangle OFM of Washington's Assisi Community these types of Catholics are committed to the Gospel and that Gospel is one of simplicity, humility and a passion for social justice.
Priests like Ignacio Harding OFM whom I worked with in Bolivia and Fr Benoit from the Capuchins priests and sisters who are humble, good and Christlike these are the people who have fed me as a Catholic and a Christian and who I am sure are doing the work of God.
Watching all the pageantry in Rome on TV and who can avoid it -since it is all Papal all the time on every channel- I had to retreat to reading and thinking. I read through Dorothy Day's The Long Loneliness the other night it was a small respite from all the crimson. I also began to think that what we need is a Pope is who is more like St Francis of Assisi and less like St Ignatius of Loyola, more Church as servant and less Church as militant. A Pope who challenges the fact that we live in a world where the rich and this includes me by the way, use our power to oppress the poor by making them slaves to our luxury. A Pope who is willing to be voice in the wilderness crying out for justice like the prophets.
So who is the Pope I want- it is too much to ask for another Pope John XXIII since there is no longer room in our Church for that type of Bishop.
But a Pope who listens maybe?
A Pope who realizes that 8 out of 10 active Catholics lives in Africa and Latin America and their concerns are about poverty and justice?
A Pope who cares for the concerns of people and justice and less about adding new devotions to the Rosary?
Perhaps it is too much to hope for but Hope is what we are all about as Catholics any Church that can have a St Dominic and a St Francis at the same time in its midst must have something of the divine in its mission.
So we hope.