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The PJ Tatler

Bridget Johnson


March 12, 2013 - 11:57 am

As an Irish-Catholic, I have one main goal for this conclave: to see it live when the white smoke comes out. Eight years ago, I missed it and woke up to see the new Benedict XVI on TV. The cardinals who just got locked into the Sistine Chapel have a bit loftier goal, though: Pick the right guy to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

He who goes in the conclave a pope comes out a cardinal, goes the saying, and the assumption that there isn’t a clear front-runner going into the first balloting was confirmed with the first puff of black smoke. Patrick Reddy has highlighted the potential benefit of picking a Hispanic pope; I’ve argued an African pope could be a huge morale booster to push back the spread of Islamic extremism. But the eventual pope’s credentials — pastoral experience, Vatican experience, orthodox or reformer, studious intellectual or crowd-pleasing preacher — won’t please everyone. So it’s a matter of having faith that the best person for this point in history will lead the flock.

Some names being floated out there going into the conclave: Angelo Scola (too Italian?), Canadian Marc Ouellet (who has said the job would be a “nightmare”), Odilo Pedro Scherer (Archbishop of São Paulo who loves Twitter), Christoph Schönborn (a noble intellectual Austrian), and Americans Timothy Dolan or Sean O’Malley. Read the excellent pro-con papabile profiles by John L. Allen Jr. at National Catholic Reporter.

My favorites? Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, whose youth and infectious enthusiasm would bring a new vivacity to the Church; Sri Lanka’s Malcolm Ranjith, a natural leader and seasoned diplomat; and John Onaiyekan of Nigeria — below, a clip where he says countries threatened by Islamic terrorism shouldn’t just “sit and wait for the French to help them out.”

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Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Dan your office.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm not happy with the Universal Church. It's suppose to be being lead by smart men, but the Universal Church still weeps for Tammuz called Lent, Infant Babtism, we should be having dinner on the last day of Passover, not on a Pagan Goddess day called Easter, the bread, and wine does not turn into Jesus's skin, and blood, Christmas is from a Pagan Holiday, the Queen of Heaven is a pagan Goddess, not Mary the mother of Christ...

That being written, I support anyone's right to believe as they wish. However, if the next Pope calls himself Peter the Roman, and Assad blows up Damascus, I'm digging my bunker deeper.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Who was the first gay, black, popette for $300, Alex?"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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