Francis’ successor needs prophetic credibility and political acumen

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6 hours ago in World Church, 4 reader reviews
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Gavin Ashinden, former Anglican bishop-turned-Catholic writer, analyzes speculation about the timing of the next conclave and the qualities the next pope must bring to weather the storm brewing against the Church.

London (kath.net/mk) “The next Pope after Francis will need an intellectual level and spiritual fortitude to defend the Church against those political and metaphysical attacks of which the past few decades have been but a preconceived notion.” This analysis of the “Catholic Herald” comes from Gavin Ashenden, a former Anglican bishop who joined the Catholic Church in 2019 and thus views it from a private perspective. There are hardly any more dramatic moments in the life of the Church than the election of a new pope. Given the considerations of Francis that He repeatedly publicly expressed his resignation for health and mobility reasons, this drama heightening the tension.But how serious is the Pope in his statements?Ashenden, like many other Catholics, wonders.

As is often the case in his papacy, Francis’ statements have been interpreted differently, and the ambiguity – visible in the Amoris Laetitia or Francis’ standard phrase “who am I to judge” – even became his trademark. In doing so, he delighted the liberal and secular world while alarming the dangers and mistrust of conservatives. Another point of controversy is the public appearance with the statue of Pachamama during the Synod of the Amazon or recent celebrations with the native shamans of Canada. On the one hand, they can be read as steps toward immersion in Catholic culture, as arising from Jesuit missionary spirituality, meaning “pick up people wherever they are.” However, traditional Catholics saw the dangers of syncretism and mixing of religions and feared selling off Catholics.

After all, the culture war between the progressives and the traditionalists of the Church erupted most clearly in the liturgy (“guardians of traditions”). Moreover, both parties will stare at the next pope which should help the concerned concerns achieve a breakthrough more clearly. However, in speculation about Francis’ successor, it should be borne in mind that the Pope himself had an important say in the next conclave by his primary appointments (more than half of the cardinals currently eligible to vote were created by Francis). So is there another mysterious pope coming, Ashendin asks. When that happens, the obvious danger to the Church may unite the papal electors behind a more specific candidate than Francis’ favorite. The accelerating cultural and ideological change in the West will not be satisfied with concessions and dialogue with the Church. The opponent cannot be calmed by the mystery that ultimately aims to destroy him.

While Vatican I was a reaction to the cultural and intellectual climate of the 19th century Enlightenment, and Vatican II responded to increased secularization by building bridges and a type of dual citizenship for Catholics, it is now beginning to emerge with the growing threats to Catholics. Freedom of opinion and speech revealed a clear aversion to Christianity. The German Synodal Path tragically shows that the balance between the two worlds no longer works. The late Cardinal Francis George of Chicago showed a prophetic spirit when he said, “I will die in bed, my successor will die in prison, and his successor will die a martyr in the stockpiles. Then, one will have to gather the pieces of a shattered society and help slowly rebuild civilization, as the Catholic Church has done Often “.

Ashenden came to the conclusion: the policies of cultural and theological appeasement would no longer work. After Francis, we will need a pope who combines prophetic credibility with political acumen.

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Readers’ opinions

heavenly 3 hours ago

@Horsetail
consent. However, I personally prefer the name Benedict XVII.
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Why not worry when PF practically threw the nave in the sand?


3
Kränsteiner 4 hours ago

I don’t think it’s a good idea to speculate on a successor when we have the current pope.


0
Taubenball 5 hours ago

Pachamama does not reach everywhere.

In our parish in London, we have a priest from Ghana (Father Julius). I have been told that in Pachamama’s time, a Ghanaian father from Ghana gave a powerful sermon on the idols of modernity and the dangers of pantheism. He says, we make paper models of ancient juju idols and burn them outside the church on All Souls’ Day. He says that being a Christian is freedom from night and superstition.

With Father Julius, Pachamama has been in the museum for a long time.


7
Horsetail 5 hours ago

If you wish for something,

Then Pius XIII, where the fun ends for this whole group of relativists! Then you will reach 13!


4

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