(NY Times) The Successor to Benedict Will Lead a Church at a Crossroads

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Many Vatican watchers suspect the cardinals will choose someone with better management skills and a more personal touch than the bookish Benedict, someone who can extend the church’s reach to new constituencies, particularly to the young people of Europe, for whom the church is now largely irrelevant, and to Latin America and Africa, where evangelical movements are fast encroaching.

“They want somebody who can carry this idea of new evangelization, relighting the missionary fires of the church and actually make it work, not just lay it out in theory,” said John L. Allen, a Vatican expert at the National Catholic Reporter and author of many books on the papacy. Someone who will be “the church’s missionary in chief, a showman and salesman for the Catholic faith, who can take the reins of government more personally into his own hands,” he added.

The other big battle in the church is over the demographic distribution of Catholics, which has shifted decisively to the developing world. Today, 42 percent of adherents come from Latin America, and about 15 percent from Africa, versus only 25 percent from Europe.

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Posted February 12, 2013 at 6:07 am

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1. Vatican Watcher wrote:

Many Vatican watchers suspect the cardinals will choose someone with better management skills and a more personal touch than the bookish Benedict,

I like how in the very first sentence, the author says something that shows what a complete idiot he is.

Benedict ran CDF for over twenty years.  He oversaw the streamlining of the process for dealing with abuser priests.  I read early on in his pontificate about how late in JP’s, bishops would have their ad lima visits to Rome with the obligatory, but increasingly perfunctory audience with the pope.  But afterward, they would all go see Ratzinger for in depth discussions.

February 12, 2:30 pm | [comment link]
2. C. Wingate wrote:

The more I read this sort of analysis, the more I’m convinced that political discourse about individuals has completely escaped from any reality of what they actually have done.

February 12, 4:56 pm | [comment link]


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