Sunday, February 17, 2013

Father Barron: A Potential Papabili?

At Fishers of Men - our Saturday morning men's group - this past Saturday the topic of Pope Benedict's resignation naturally came up. Amid some thoughts about why he might have done it (with lots of sympathy and support for him), we also briefly talked about who the next pope might be.

The consensus seemed to be that it's up to the Holy Spirit, and whoever the next pope is he will be facing many challenges.

Then I tossed out a name.

Father Robert Barron.

As part of our meetings we are watching Father Barron's wonderful and informative Catholicism series. Prior to that he had produced great programs for EWTN, and has a channel with commentary on Youtube. He's personable, articulate, intelligent. He's also a teacher and the head of a major seminary (Mundelein Seminary in Chicago), and holds all the right graduate theological degrees. He's in his 50s - old enough to be seasoned, but young enough to bring some energy to the papacy.

I know - he's not a cardinal. But one does not have to be a cardinal to be elected pope. He also has the misfortune of being an American, which apparently is considered a liability in Church circles given this nation's super power status and the growth of the Church in places like Africa, Asia, and Latin America. But he has studied and taught in Europe, and is fluent in not only English, but also Latin (naturally), French, Spanish, and German. He is a world traveler, as evidenced in his Catholicism programs. He has been an educator and communicator, not a power player.

With the focus on evangelization, with a need for articulating Church beliefs in a way that appeals and can be understood, he's a natural.

So - Why not?

Of course, given my track record when it comes to Presidential candidates over the years (I supported only one winner in 11 elections in which I have voted or worked for candidates) my support may have doomed him before voting even begins.

Pax et bonum

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