Wow! This just in, Pope Benedict will be stepping down at the end of the month. It's somewhat appropriate the Pope choose the day before Mardi Gras to step down, because he is, as I wrote two years ago, one of those insufferable "All Ash Wednesday, No Fat Tuesday" Catholics, much like professional scolds Ross Douthat and Kathryn Jean Lopez.
Tragically, my first choice for the Papacy, a beloved figure from a country with a population that is 80% Roman Catholic died this weekend. My second choice for the Papacy, the Monsignor of The Church of the Holy Spook would only get confused by the smoke emanating from the Vatican and wander off looking to score some hash.
So, who to elect pope? Personally, I think the Roman Catholic Church should elevate one of the cardinals of Brazil to the Papacy. Brazil is the world's most populous Roman Catholic country, and has a diverse and forward-thinking population. The past thirty years has seen the Roman Catholic Church take a hard rightward lurch as a mini "Counter Reformation" in response to the changes ushered in by the Second Vatican Council. As Thunder put it in the comments on that long-ago post, the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America has maintained a tradition of actually helping the poor. Tellingly, Benedict, while still Cardinal Ratzinger, condemned Liberation Theology. Perhaps a Brazilian pope would bring a more progressive vision to the Holy See. Mainly, I think nominating a Brazilian pope would be a great idea so we could have a pope who appears on the Vatican balcony in a Speedo. Isn't about time we had a sexy pope again?
Cross posted at Rumproast