The Church is in deep turmoil, bureaucrats in the Vatican are out of Control. The Holy Father by his resignation has only intensified a struggle for power among the Roman Curia who will be promoting their own candidate. This Papal Conclave will give Dan Brown more to write about.
The Church has a decision to make. Will the Cardinals in conclave elect a Pope that reflects its diversity and be open to reform, or a Pope that continues to deal with the massive hemorrhaging of Catholics leaving the Church without any solutions, on women in the clergy, birth control, gaymarriage, and poverty in the world.
The Italian block of Cardinals have given way to European block that will push for someone in their own imagine, and will try to further tighten the grip of centralized authority. The Church is like a tree in a storm it will either bend, or will be broken by the winds of scandal.
Will the new Pope come from the global south where the Church is vital and alive, or will it remain in the global north where Church seems to be dying a slow and painful death?
The 11 American elector Cardinals contrary to western media outlets have been too publically associated with the clergy abuse scandal. Cardinal Francis George still is under the magnifying glass for the part he has played in the cover up. Cardinal Mahoney has been stripped of his duties by Archbishop Gomez because of his role in the scandal. Cardinal Dolan has a questionable history in handling the scandal while he was Archbishop of Milwaukee. Cardinal Burke like Dolan has a poor record in dealing with the scandal while he was archbishop of St. Louis. He is also known as a close and personal supporter of Cardinal Law. Cardinal Egan is a scandal waiting to happen for the part he has played in the cover-up.
While Cardinal Law is too old to vote in this conclave he has become an embarrassment when it comes to the clergy sexual abuse scandal.
Clearly Pope Benedict is maneuvering to play a pivotal role in selecting his replacement.
The situation with two living Popes is not a healthy situation for the Church because of the possibility of Papal conflict on dogmatic questions. Look for the Vatican to put to shame the American democrats and republicans negative politics when it comes to Papal politics.
As far as the African Church is concerned their elephant in the room is Uganda’s kill the Gays bill. Not one of the African Cardinals has spoken out to condemn this unjust law.
The growing number of women who are being ordained in open defiance to the rampant sexism in the Church is another issue that will be an Achilles’s heel for any future pope.
However, the Rainbow Sash Movement believes that the Holy Spirit is in driver’s seat. That same Spirit is setting the stage for a very public drama of Wagnerian proportions around this developing conclave.
Rainbow Sash Movement