Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The New Pope's Nationality

The conclave to elect a new Pope is taking place right now, so I feel that this is a good time to make some remarks about a popular topic: which country the new Pope will come from.

Unlike previous conclaves, a lot more attention has been given to the new Pope's nationality.  I am here in America, where all the reporters believe that the world needs an American Pope.  Barring that, the reporters want to have a black Pope, because America has a black President.

I tend to cringe, when I hear American reporters say things like this.  It's very discriminatory, to say that your country is better than every other country in the world.  Also, it is ignorant to say that the Pope needs to be from a certain location.  The truth of the matter is that it doesn't matter which country the Pope comes from.  The list of requirements for a good Pope does not include any reference to where he comes from.

In fact, even if they do elect an American Pope, it will not be long before the American media declares that he is a bad Pope and a poor choice.  The media has tried to cripple every Pope in the public eye, for the past several centuries.  I see no reason why this would change.  Even when there is a relatively popular Pope, such as Blessed John Paul II, the media is very much set against the Catholic Church.

I urge everyone to ignore the media's reports and guesses about who will become Pope. Historically speaking, they're always wrong.  If you go back eight years and see the reports about the previous Pope's election, you'll notice that nobody thought Benedict XVI would become Pope.  Heck, go back to the 1903 conclave; Pope Saint Pius X only gets a passing mention as a possible candidate.  Instead, they skip over him to talk about the American candidate, Cardinal Satolli.  Satolli wasn't from America, but he was the first Apostolic Delegate to America, making him the favorite candidate in America at the time.

Who is the favorite American candidate this time?  That would be the Cardinals from Boston and New York.  Who is the least favorite American candidate this time?  That would be the Cardinals from St. Louis and Los Angeles.  I have heard nothing about the Cardinals from San Francisco and Chicago, so I would say they are neutral, in terms of popularity with the American media.


Anonymous said...

I agree whole-heartedly. I also heard some coverage claiming that the new pope should be young so that he can connect with the younger generation. I find this ridiculous. Age should not matter. I find that I connect with people based on character and values, not age. Pope John Paul II connected with youth when he was not so young. The media just likes to try and seem cutting edge. This is an old tradition, not a modern election that needs to rock the world by proving a point about race or nationality.

Stephanie said...

I've found the national (and local as well) coverage of the papal conclave to be absurd. A bunch of talking heads asking each other, "who do you think it'll be?" response, "I don't know but lets turn to Father Flanagan and get his insight". Father Flanagan says "I don't know", "okay Sam, back to you in the studio with Mr. Jones, a papal expert and get his opinion" and on and on it goes.
I read that in Vegas they're taking bets.
I think it's disgraceful how this is being treated like a sports game.

Miriam said...

I think it's stupid that people make such a big deal out of someone's nationality or race. I mean yeah, it's great that America has a black president, but nobody should let his skin color influence whether or not they vote for him. Some people voted against Obama just because he's black, but a lot of people voted *for* him just because he's black, too. -_-
The same thing applies to the Pope election. Where a Cardinal is from shouldn't affect how good of a Pope he'd be, so it shouldn't affect the voting.

I sort of wish we could all just dye our skin green so we wouldn't have to deal with discrimination, whether it be in favor of or against someone.

Anonymous said...

Surely you should write a letter to every news media in the country about this. I think you have libertarian beliefs due to your content, and I like that. Who knows? Maybe you'll get a letter from Bill O'Reilly or somebody else saying you should come to his/her studio and talk about your beliefs of the coverage of the conclave by the so-called "mainstream media"! But it's just a wild guess. You never know!

Balin said...

I just realized the similarity of the papal conclave to a jury sequestration: the decision is made without media influence. I am VERY grateful for this, as the media... well, we know what the media thinks, but the decision of a new pope isn't like a presidential election. It's a sacred tradition.

Anonymous said...


This is so exciting!

Anonymous said...

Habemus Papam. :) I do think it is cool to have a pope from the Americas. But I agree it doesn't matter where he is from as long as he is a good pope.