With the news of the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI creating a shock wave today, once the initial surprise has subsided, I’m left wondering if we’re going to have out first black Pope.
I remember a little over five years ago now I thought it was impossible that Barack Obama could be taken seriously even as a candidate for President of the United States. But here we are now that the American people have elected him not once, but twice, wondering what the next advancement in human acceptance will be. A woman President? A black Pope? Maybe. Maybe in twenty years we won’t even think about these things anymore. But we’re not there yet. Not by a longshot. The recent head coach hirings in the NFL and the backlash by black commentators who feel Black and Latino candidates were simply being used as props to satisfy The Rooney Rule is exhibit A.
Two early candidates are said to be in consideration for the papacy: Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana and Francis Arinze of Nigeria. The leadership is also said to be looking for a South American candidate, with Cardinal Odilo Scherer, archbishop of Sao Paolo being the front runner there. Canada is also said to be a place where the next Pope could emerge from.
I think it would be nice to see any of these things happen. Pope Benedict XVI was someone who believed in a return to the rules of the church, and spoke out against cultural relativism, but with new generations seeing the world in vastly, more global way, perhaps someone who can take in to consideration the totality of the church’s subjects might be a welcome change.