Here’s a quote of the day from last month, via RNS. Robert Mickens, The Tablet:
It’s not clear that it would make any difference to have a pope with an African or Latin American face if he turned out to be more Roman than Caesar.
The North American and European cardinals talking about going “outside Europe” are crazy like foxes. They know well that a pope from outside Europe will work out about as well (nor not) as the last two choices from outside Italy. I think I’m sticking to my meme of the past decade: a bishop should be chosen from among the priests of the diocese. Perhaps a see as important as Rome might merit someone from the region. But generally, I’d say a bishop in Marquette, Michigan, say, should be chosen from among the clergy of Marquette. A bishop for Portland from the clergy of that Oregon diocese. Selecting a pope, a bishop for Rome, from the ranks of bureaucracy, from another country even, and from anything less than a pastoral and administrative position in working with people makes no sense practically, traditionally, or Scripturally.
At minimum, nobody campaigning for the spot should be considered. That said, I noticed a blog commentator somewhere talking about the “via negativa” factor from embittered cardinals. Maybe those with king-making aspirations will be limited to the role of king-breaker, passing on stories, and urging journalists and even other cardinals to consider supporting doomed candidates.
It’s why I’m praying for the conclave. We need a good pastor. I’m not convinced that another diehard conservative will sway the Barque enough for another Council. But regardless of ideology, we need a good pastor who can pull the plug on the curia.