ANALYSIS: The ‘tough guy’ option: Picking a pope to serve as sheriff

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A poster of Pope Benedict XVI on the streets of Rome. The conclave to pick a new pope will begin on Tuesday (March 12) the Vatican said Friday, resolving an open question that had dogged the cardinals meeting here over the past week. RNS photo by David Gibson

A poster of Pope Benedict XVI on the streets of Rome. The conclave to pick a new pope will begin on Tuesday (March 12) the Vatican said Friday, resolving an open question that had dogged the cardinals meeting here over the past week. RNS photo by David Gibson

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) One reason why conservatives are seeking a hard-liner pope is that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger turned out to be more of a papal pussycat as Pope Benedict XVI than the watchdog of orthodoxy that he had been for decades under John Paul II.

  • Cardinal Burke would be a dream come true were he to be elected Pope. He would have the Church back in working order in due time. With all of the rankles and politicizing among some, I don’t think the good Cardinal has a chance. Oremus!

  • I don’t know if Cardinal Burke would be a dream come true as pope. But it might usher in a more speedy reform and hasten the day to the next council.

    Culture warriors have often found themselves crumbling in the spotlight. Bishop Finn has gone from thundering about going to prison to avoiding prison and tackling such secular pillars as the NCR.

    People wanted Jesus to take the hard line with the secular world, too. Somehow I think the Gospel was preached far more effectively by the apostolic way, not the Karl Rove method.

  • John

    “Despite those drawbacks, Ranjith may still be the most plausible Asian candidate”, Exactly what drawbacks are you talking about, Communion on the tongue and kneeling? Seriously……..

  • Jay

    It came from the National Catholic Reporter, what would you expect from the Episcopal Church’s main newspaper?

  • John Doe

    We all need to pray for one thing.

    The new Pope will be as good at converting the tithes of the millions of faithful around the world in money for the defense of pedophiles.

    That is the only thing maintaining the church.

    That is only thing tithing has accomplished for the last decade or so. That is only thing the Church can allow tithing to accomplish for the next decade or so.

  • Bernard J Shea

    In the Name of the Father and of the
    Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen—– Come Holy Ghost Fill the hearts of thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of Thy divine love send forth Thy spirit, they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.—-O God Who hast taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Ghost, grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may be always truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation. through Christ our Lord. Amen.

  • John McIntosh

    The whole reality of politics influencing the election of the pope: will he be liberal, conservative, usher in change under Vatican III or repeal Vatican II demonstrates in principal a hard truth — the Pope is just a man doing the best he can to guide a huge organization. He is not god on earth, has no special insight or wisdom that other Christian’s don’t have. It is doubtful if he has the authority the church (and popes) have claimed he has (in theory and in practicability as the power heads don’t really listen to him anyway). The church doesn’t really believe this vicar on earth and infallibility stuff — it is useful fictions to generate a perception of power and authority to maintain control over people.

  • Jay

    We always appreciate a Protestant perspective, thank you

  • Giacomo

    Being associated with the Curia does not necessarily equate to being part of the problem. Some familiarity with what has been going on is essential to the task of reform.

  • Kimberly Riddell

    If the Cardinals demand to the given the entire contents of the third secret of Fatima, they would be able to make an informed decision. The part given in 2000 tells of a bishop in white. For the first time in christian history we will have a bishop dressed in white.

  • Dale

    The pope is bishop of Rome, and traditionally wears white.

  • Let us pray that the Holy Ghost inspires and directs the Cardinals to choose Cardinal Raymond Burke as we Traditionals beseech Our merciful God .Let us seek the help of Our Blessed Mother.She is our Hope.

    If God chooses otherwise, Cardinal Ranjith , in His plan for the present times let us be thankful and pray for him.May our Lord deliver us by saturday from our anxiety and worries.

  • terriage

    How could a Pope come from a place where it is considered politically incorrect to say ”MERRY CHRISTMAS” on television or any other public arena???
    This church here is exactly what is wrong with the universal church.

  • Bill

    The Church needs another St. Pius X. Were I voting for a “papal sheriff,” I’d choose Fr. Gregory Hesse because with him in office, Vatican II’s novelties would vanish. As he said in a lecture I heard, Vatican II belonged ,”in the trash can.”

  • Bill

    Sadly, Fr. Hesse died six or seven years ago.

  • parsely

    New Pope (God help him) won’t make any difference.
    It is childish to think putting women in as Catholic clergy or Popes brings in all good automatically. If the Baptists were rampant with pedophiles would putting Baptist women in as ministers clean it up?? Common sense would not suggest that. Unless you chose to believe all single people are pedophiles. Does being single cause someone to become a pedophile? Remember how putting women in Congress would change everything?? Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA) is a leader in passing laws to take people’s guns away.

    The condom prevents conception–no abortion involved–if a light ray gadget was invented that was easier to use than condoms & prevented conception the Catholic Church would probably be against that too.

    The fact that the Pope wants to be a humble and holy man is good, but not having had a lung since he was 15 is bad. You need 2 lungs to have your brain develop normally so you can think clearly, he only has one. Probably was why he was slower in putting on the official robes before he walked to the balcony. It makes you slower (in order to survive). He will be politically manipulated. Read up on living with one lung if you don’t believe this. Our elections are fixed so this was prob. fixed too for a purpose.

    The Popes should stop railing against the homosexual pretend “marriages” and spend more effort helping Catholics heal themselves like they used to, with herbs and natural methods, (rather than lung surgery).
    The Church popularized anti-abortion, rather than popularizing the natural healing of people like H.R. Clark, Ph.D., Raymond Rife, Dr.Gerson, many others.

    The Catholic Church advertizes natural family planning through the thermal rhythm method—WHAT HAPPENED TO NATURAL FAMILY HEALING OF DISEASE BY NATURAL SAFE MEANS??! They used to. The monks of old were known for their herbal formulas and such for disease prevention.

    Why is only the rhythm method of birth control left from all that????????

    No one wonders or cares.