The process to elect a new leader for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics began on Tuesday. While the 115 cardinals failed on their first vote, no one really thought the selection would be made in a single day. They will return today to resume voting. Once 77 of the cardinals agree, then a new pope will be called to serve.
This process has remained essentially unchanged for centuries now. Yet its results are profound.
The effects can be felt worldwide in matters both spiritual and secular. According to Catholics, the pope becomes, at the moment of his selection and acceptance of service, supreme leader of an ancient faith.
Spirituality aside, secular arguments continue within the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation has opened divisions among cardinals, as well as exposed corruption and mismanagement.
Many believe devoutly that the pope is called by God. But that calling is still determined by a democratic vote by carefully indoctrinated men who have been trained for a lifetime to make such decisions.
We wish the cardinals well and hope that spiritual guidance is uppermost in their minds and hearts as they undertake this daunting task.
We also hope that the new pope, whoever he may be, finds ways to lead the world in matters of fundamental and divine truths, as best as they can be determined by any man.