As Pope Benedict XVI resigns on Thursday, Yahoo News asked American Catholics: What would they like to see in the next pope? What would they like him to focus on? Here's one perspective.
COMMENTARY | Practicing, faithful Catholics of course first want the next pope to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church established by Jesus. A pope who would change Church teachings on matters like the sacrament of Matrimony, the sacredness of human life, or the entire economy of salvation as outlined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church would be leading Catholics to conform to the spirit of modern society instead of the Holy Spirit.
I want the next pope to continue many of the outreaches established by his immediate predecessors (Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI): the current Year of Faith; World Youth Day; the Personal Ordinariate for former Anglicans; true renewal of the liturgy and understanding of the Second Vatican Council, conversations with Orthodox Christians, and most of all the New Evangelization. I want the next pope to be as accessible as recent popes, traveling around the world to reach out to Catholics and non-Catholics, preaching the Gospel, and calling all to the love of Jesus.
Most of all, I want the next pope to appoint bishops who will really serve the New Evangelization and who will be teachers and preachers more than they are administrators and fundraisers. They need to be able to demonstrate that the love of Christ and His church is the way to holiness and happiness on earth--not necessarily pleasure and satisfaction--and eternal joy in heaven.
The next pope can be young or old; black or white; from Europe, South America, North America, or Africa. But he must have the energy and strength to call the entire church, clerical and lay, to holiness and faithfulness and unity with the Most Holy Trinity.
Stephanie Mann is a Kansas resident.
- Religion & Beliefs
- Pope Benedict XVI
- American Catholics