For the past few weeks, since Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus abdicated, many people have asked me who I want to be elected Pope. Others have said they are praying that this Cardinal or that Cardinal would get picked.
The selection process for the election of a new Pope is nothing like our American electoral system. It is not a contest based on someones looks and proficiency in rhetoric, nor is it someone proposed by the media elites. Regardless of what the media says, there are no front runners. The very rules of election forbid the Cardinal electors “to make plans concerning the election of his (the Pope’s) successor, or to promise votes, or to make decisions in this regard in private gatherings.” They are likewise forbidden to “committing themselves of common accord to a certain course of action should one of them be elevated to the Pontificate.”
The election of a Pope is not a popularity contest. The Cardinals do not hold primaries or any kind of politicking. And, if they do, in my opinion, they are sinning.
The primary purpose of the Papal Conclave is for the Cardinals to pray and seek the assistance of the Holy Spirit in helping them choose the man that is God’s choice.
There is an old saying: “The one who goes into the conclave a Pope, comes out a Cardinal.” The Conclave is a very serious gathering to seek the successor of St. Peter, the leader of the true Church founded and sustained by Jesus Christ.
So, back to the original question. Who do I want to be the next Pope? I do have my opinion of who I would like to see become Pope. In fact, I always wanted to see Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger ascend the throne of Peter, but I thought it would never happen. There are at least three men that I would vote for and one of them is not a Cardinal. And, I won’t tell you who they are. So, what I am doing is praying. I want the man that Our Lord has chosen. He is the man who will lead the Church in these most difficult times. He is the man with the courage and faith of the Apostles. He is the man who is conformed to the heart of Jesus Christ. He is the man who has a loving and compassionate heart, yet will speak the truth without fear. And, only he has the gifts needed to lead the Church in this particular time in history. I want the man chosen by Christ “before he was formed in his mother’s womb.” The man to whom Christ will soon say: “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”