Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lent Day 8: My Vote for the New Pope!

Hello again, Coffee Talkers!

Yes, in a nearly miraculous turn of events, I am still awake and so I shall post my official Lenten 8th day posting. Because perhaps someone out there in the blog-o-sphere wants to know: who does Leslie predict will be the next Pope?

Now, let me say up front that I generally put little (read: NO) stock in anyone's predictions about the papacy. I mean, we've seen some pretty big surprises with the last few Popes, and I sure don't have any special knowledge of these things. Still, just as I find it fun to come up with Pope names, it is a similarly less-than-useful albeit enjoyable pastime to speculate upon the next successor of Peter.

So this was the first thing that came to my mind, after I recovered from my initial shock/disbelief at the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI (which, by the way, I find to be a completely admirable and humble choice on his part -- I just really thought I was seeing an article from the satirical "Onion" when I first saw the news on the internet). First, I remembered being at World Youth Day in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and hearing Pope John Paul II announce that the next World Youth Day would be held in Cologne, Germany. And I remember being very struck that he did not say, "I'll see you at the next World Youth Day," but simply announced it's location without any promise of his being there. He had always made that promise at past World Youth Day's, but not that one. And sure enough, it was to be his last.

So the next World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany would be presided over by the newly elected Pontiff. And who got elected? Pope Benedict XVI, of course, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. From Germany. Just as Pope John Paul II (the former Archbishop of Krakow, Karol Wotyla) returned to his homeland of Poland  less than a year after his election to the papacy, so Pope Benedict XVI would return to his home country months after his election. Because, after all, the papal conclave following the death of Pope John Paul II took place during the year of a scheduled World Youth Day.

At the last World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he or his successor would see us at the next World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro. Like John Paul II, there was no promise of his being there, but he announced it in a different way than his predecessor did. When I think about those announcements, I wonder if Blessed John Paul II knew he would not be alive, and Pope Benedict XVI surmised that he would be alive, but not Pope?

With all this considered, and seeing that our next Pope will again be elected in the year of a schedule World Youth Day, it seems as logical as any other guess for me to conclude that our next Pope will come from Brazil, so that he can return to his homeland to preside at the upcoming World Youth Day held in Rio de Janeiro this July.

That's as far as I've gotten with my speculations. And since I don't really believe them to be any more true than anyone else's wild guesses, I have not taken much time to learn about the Cardinals of Brazil. But if you agree with my hypothesis, why not look up the Brazilian Cardinals and cast your vote? If anyone actually votes, I'll report the 'winner' here on Coffee Talk.

As always, thanks for stopping by, and be assured of my prayers.

Peace and all good,

P.S. Alright, I did just look at the list of Brazilian Cardinals, and I think I've narrowed my vote down to the top two. But no spoilers! Cast your vote via comment or e-mail at

P.P.S. If you have sent me any questions, I will be answering them soon. Thank you!!

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