WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

How / Why a Third World Pope might reverse Catholic--Jewish solidarity

As Benedict's time on the chair of Peter is reduced to matter of hours, I've been reading many different tales on this transition in the Roman Catholic Church and the possible ramifications of a Pope from outside Europe or Norh America.

The Jewish writer who goes by the byline "Spengler" - in reality, David P. Goldman - is always interesting. Here, he expresses the fear (I think, to some extent, valid) that a pope from sub-Saharan African or Latin America could undo all the progress in Catholic--Jewish relations achieved under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. But he ends this with a provocative conclusion: That a pope from East Asian, even Chinese ethnic roots, might simultaneously move the church psychologically beyond the West, without having the vaguely (or blatantly) anti-Semitic baggage of some of the others.

(Whether such a pope could prove to be a great administrator, harness the Curia, and lead the Church out of the sexual abuse crisis is another story. By many accounts, JP II was a great philosopher and Benedict XVI a superb theologian, but neither proved to be a great CEO of the church.)

Here's a link to Spengler's piece in The ASIA TIMES on line:


Incidentally, you can hear my interview with Father Thomas Reese about a retired Pope Benedict to be referred to as an Emeritus Pope.

Father Reese is a Senior Fellow at The Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University; a regular contributor to the "On Faith" column at The WASHINGTON POST; and former editor of AMERICA, the Jesuit Catholic weekly magazine. He will fly to Rome to cover the conclave for NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER. He is the author of the book: INSIDE the VATICAN: The POLITICS & ORGANIZATION of the CATHOLIC CHURCH...

Audio Here

Posted at 7:33pm on February 26, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Tue, Feb 26, 2013 8:23pm
I think Allan Loudell would make an excellent Pope.

Of course, Mr.Loudell is Catholic and he shares many of the conservative tenets of the Catholic chuch such as his positions on gay rights, abortion, pre-marital sex. Also, Loudell is very well versed on modern news and issues, and would be an excellent leader in heading an active papacy and dealing with the key ideological issues of our time.

Allan Loudell for Pope!!!

Allan Loudell
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 5:59am
Please, please, teatime.

But you do bring up an interesting point, intentionally or not.

Technically, ANY baptized Roman Catholic male who has reached the age of reason (and naturally who is not a heretic nor in schism with the Church) COULD be elected Pope. In such a case, that male would be fast-tracked through holy orders.

Of course, in practice, that ain't going to happen in the modern church.

But, in the long history of the Church:

The last pope who was not yet a cardinal when elected was Pope Urban VI in 1378.

The last pope who was not yet even a priest was Pope Leo X in 1513. (He was a deacon, but a special kind: A cardinal-deacon.) Pope Leo X famously granted indulgences to those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and challenged Martin Luther's 95 Theses. Relying on accounts from that period, a few historians believe Leo X was a homosexual.

Incidentally, three popes have been under the age of 25 (although surely they were puppets of one of the factions in Rome). Then again, average life expectancy in those days was vastly shorter -- between 40 and 50. Different times.

By the way, when one considers the breadth of Church teaching on various issues, it's actually difficult to pigeonhole the Church as either liberal or conservative, as we understand those terms on the U.S. political spectrum.

Allan Loudell

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 5:53pm
I would consider the great Allan Loudell to be the Pope of Journalism.

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