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February 12th 2013 print

Philippa Martyr

The next Pope probably won’t be a black lesbian

Until white smoke rises over the Vatican, predicting who will lead the Catholic Church is going to be a game to keep many "informed" sources very busy


As QED’s token practising Catholic, I suppose I have to say something about the Benedict XVI thing.


I think the most difficult thing for me about the Pope’s only-slightly-unexpected resignation (he’s been dropping hints for at least a year now) is that it has condemned us to at least six weeks of tedious speculation in the global media about the next Pope.

This time, of course, he’ll be:

  • black
  • Hispanic
  • gay
  • married
  • female

and will:

  • ordain women
  • sanction the Pill
  • make abortion a sacrament
  • perform gay marriages personally
  • eschew Gammarelli for something from John Galliano’s autumn collection.

[delete options according to personal prejudice]

This morning we had the Catholic-but-pro-abortion Joe Hockey having his two cents’ worth on the matter. I look forward to similar contributions from other Catholic-but-opposed-to-most-major-Catholic-teachings politicians the world over.

Not to mention vox-pops from elderly ladies called Agnes outside their local parish churches, saying that ‘if only women had been priests, then maybe there wouldn’t have been sexual abuse of children.’

And prominent US Catholic religious superior Sr Mary J Thwackhammer holding forth on the irrelevance of the Papacy compared to the groundbreaking theological work of the Helder Camara Navel-Gazing Centre in Burbank, Illinois.

And Fr Kevin Lee, and Fr Bob, et hoc genus omne.

The good thing about it all is that the world – for whose salvation the Catholic Church exists – sees the Church as genuinely everyone’s property, and something about which everyone can and should have an opinion. It was actually always meant to be that way – out in the open, big enough for anyone who wanted to join, and plenty of room for all comers.

It also shows that, far from being moribund, the Catholic Church continues to stride along on its unusual and unique journey through history – bewildering, angering, fascinating, but never ignorable.

The trouble begins when everyone thinks the Church should be moulded to fit them, rather than the other way round. But this has been an ongoing problem since the day Judas Iscariot started having second thoughts about the whole Messiah business.

So anyway, buckle up, folks. And as the joyful season of Lent arrives tomorrow, what a good opportunity to offer it all up for the salvation of souls – including that of Sr Mary J Thwackhammer, God bless her and her sensible shoes.  

Philippa Martyr blogs at Transverse City, and will be trying to give up vitriol for Lent