Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Wish list for new pope

On 28/2/2013 at 8.30 p.m. Italian time Benedict XVI will quit as pope. A conclave will follow. I have my wish list for new pope.
The pope should have coronation. There are around 20 tiaras in Vatican. He can use one of them for coronation. If he finds it heavy he can have a new tiara made later on.
The pope should not create new cardinals till the number comes below 120 and gradually increase the age of cardinals eligible to vote in a conclave and when the number comes down to 120 should declare all cardinals are eligible. Thereafter the number of cardinals should not be more than 120. At present there are around 210 cardinals. It will take some years for the number to come down to 120.
The pope should resume the title Patriarch of the West.
The pope should restore the dress code for bishops and cardinals as was before 1969 which was changed by Paul VI.
The pope should restore subdiaconate, minor orders, and tonsure.
The pope may think about restoring rogation days, ember days and ember weeks.
The pope should write an encyclical mentioning death penalty as a just punishment in all cases of murder, attempted murder, abduction, hijacking, kidnapping, acid attack, piracy and such high crimes.
The pope should write against deficit budgets and reckless printing of notes. These cause inflation.
The pope should restrict fulfilling Sunday obligation to Sundays and do away with fulfilling it on Saturday evenings.
Sex scandals have buffeted the church. The pope may allow new rites with no obligation of clerical celibacy or in Latin rite allow those who have been permanent deacons for 10 years to be ordained priests.
Bring out an encyclical affirming marriage as between a man and a woman and denouncing efforts to the contrary. He should condemn legislators who vote for same sex marriages and judges who cross their limits and legalise same sex marriages.
The pope should write about alcoholism, corruption, drug addiction, drug trafficking, gun trade, human trafficking, smoking, gambling, betting, match-fixing and such problems. The bookies have not even spared the conclave and accept bets on the next pope.
The pope should encourage film and TV persons to make films and TV serials on Bible and saints. There are some films on Bible, not many on saints.
Popes have stood strong in their teaching when many said the teaching was antiquated. When many talked of population problem Paul VI came out with Humanae Vitae, affirming church’s traditional teaching. Later such people changed their talk and spoke of demographic dividend. On issues like abortion, birth control, women’s ordination no pope is expected to make any radical change which in any case will be a zero sum game. If any change makes some people happy some others will be unhappy and leave the church. Many left Anglican Church and jointed Catholic Church on the issue of women’s ordination. Catholics in generals do not want change in teaching. The church has allowed natural family planning while opposing artificial means of birth control. Now many countries want to increase their population and pay women and girls who give birth to children. In Argentina payment is made even during pregnancy.
Sometimes the church changes its teaching by changing the meanings. Boniface VIII in his bull Unam Sanctam claimed there is no salvation outside the church. Submission to pope was necessary to have salvation. Vatican II spoke of church in concentric circles with all belonging to the church. That meant even atheists who come in the last circle can be saved.
Some want the next pope from Africa or Asia or Latin America. Any cardinal in the conclave can become pope. Italy has 21 cardinals. USA has 11. India has five. Most popes have been from Italy. Germany had 11. France had some, possibly more than eight. Spain had two. England, Holland and Poland had one each. Some were from North Africa and West Asia. A pope from Poland gave hope to people in Eastern Europe and communism ended there. A pope from Germany did not result in much change in Germany. From 1523 to 1978 all popes were Italians.
Someone wrote that Benedict XVI did not resign, the pope cannot resign, there is no one to resign to, he renounced his ministry as Bishop of Rome. She is wrong. Canon Law talks of pope’s resignation. Canon 332-2 states “Should it happen that the Roman Pontiff resigns from his office, it is required for validity that the resignation be freely made and properly manifested, but it is not necessary that it be accepted by anyone.” Benedict XVI resigned freely and manifested it in the consistory.
Some think since there is long time to elect pope, cardinals above 80 will influence cardinal electors in their decision. They presume that all cardinals above 80 want one particular cardinal to become pope. That does not happen.

Updated: February 19, 2013 — 7:28 am

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