One thing John doesn't mention (Superficial, I know): Boston's cardinal has a beard, befitting his Capuchin order. Can you imagine a pope with a beard? It hasn't happened since Pope Innocent XII (1691--1700). Of course, beards are common, even mandatory, for leaders of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, including the now late Coptic Pope Shenouda III, whom I had the chance to meet as he visited Delaware to consecrate a church in Red Lion. And the previous leader of the Anglican Communion, Rowan Williams, had a beard.
Now, for a vastly different, Eastern perspective: An Italian journalist (and Vatican watcher) I've talked to writes from Beijing in The ASIA TIMES about the Chinese/East Asian dimension to the upcoming Papal conclave...
Meanwhile, one of the two African cardinals thought to have a decent chance in this coming conclave has sparked a firestorm by suggesting gay priests are primarily responsible for the clergy sex abuse scandal...
The African church, definitely in the United Methodist denomination, is VERY conservative and is very strongly opposed to ordination of homosexual ministers and marrying homosexuals, etc, so it wouldn't surprise me that the Roman Catholic part of the African church too would be as conservative and opposed to homosexuals being priests, etc.
I could see the Cardinals voting in an African Pope as that is where the fastest growth for most denominations is happening. But on the other hand, I could see the Cardinals voting in an American Pope as a way to possibly re-light the fires of Catholicism in America as most denominations are shrinking here [the only thing that's keeping the Catholic Church from shrinking in US is due to all the Hispanics who've moved here, legally and illegally].
Add your comment: Attention: In an attempt to promote a level of civility and personal
responsibility in blog discussions, we now require you to be a member of
the WDEL Members Only Group in order to post a comment. Your Members
Only Group username and password are required to process your post.
You can join the WDEL Members Only Group for free by clicking here.
If you are already a member but have forgotten your username or password, please
Please register your post with your WDEL Members Only Group username and password below.