QOTD: What’s Your Pope Opinion?

On the left, the famous/infamous red leather shoes of Pope Benedict XVI, soon to be ex-Pope. Who will fill them in his absence?

His resignation today, apparently for reasons of poor health, stunned the Catholic world – it is the first time since 1415 that a reigning pope has resigned. It is reported that he will continue to live in Vatican City – how will the new pope handle this?

So many questions and, so far, so few answers. Not exactly a new circumstance for the Catholic church.

What do Catholics want in a new pope? A true personna christi, a good embodiment of Christ’s teachings, as seems to be the concern of many responders to this 2012 Our Sunday Visitor article?

Or a great money man, to mend their ailing finances?

A person of colour, to take the papacy out of Europe and its failing numbers of Catholics and into Latin America or Africa, where as many as two-thirds of adherents reside?

What do Catholics in Latin America and Africa want from their church? Are they more concerned with the abuse scandals, or do they look to their church more for help with poverty and erratic governments?

Many people, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, want to see a pope honestly address the abuse scandals. To at least recognise, and maybe even apologise for, the abuse itself, and for acts such as Los Angeles Cardinal Mahony using $115 million from the cemetery fund to settle clergy sex abuse lawsuits.

For many, the fact that all Catholic clergy can plausibly be seen as knowing about the abuse, and done nothing about it, is a major sticking point. But these people will not be voting for the new pontiff, so how important will it really be in the voting?

Unusually, there is a strong Canadian candidate, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, 68. He is a former archbishop of Quebec and current president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. Ouellet is known for his “cheerful and humble personality”, which sounds like a pleasant change. In 2007 he wrote a letter of apology for the church’s attitudes towards women, homosexuals, Jews and First Nations.

Here is the full text of Benedict’s resignation. It’s taken from an all-Africa newspaper. As yet there are no comments, but I look forward to reading what might be said there.

How new popes are chosen. Also here.

Photo via Wiki Commons.

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