Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Man Who Would Be Pope

Some jobs require applicants to go through several interviews, because experience and education aren't  the only indications that this particular job is a good fit.  The experience and education won't matter, if the applicant can't get along with the rest of the department.  That is why applicants meet with the employees they'll be working with.  There is an informal question and answer session for both the employees and the prospective employee.  This has proved very valuable.

I thought of this when I read Father Peter Daly's wish list, for qualifying a prospective pope.  Father Daly wants a pope who has worked as a parish priest, as opposed to an academic, or monk, or lawyer.  These are admirable and valuable positions, but serving as a parish priest is people experience.  The kind of people experience that most of the world lives in.

It's a very good article, as far as it goes.  I'm adding my own qualifications:

The man who would be pope must have done prison ministry.  I mean more than offer a Christmas Mass.  Working with inmates would benefit any priest, because here is where redemption becomes concrete, and not just an abstraction.  Once you've witness this koinoia, you have been blessed.

The man who would be pope must pray the Rosary.  This is how you can tell a holy priest from a regular guy.  Priests should be close to Mary.

The man who would be pope must attend to supplications, promptly.  Just answer people.  He doesn't have to give a definitive answer, just an acknowledgement of receipt of a letter, email, or verbal request.  No "cop-out" I'll take it under consideration, and then forget about it.  Communication is important.

The man who would be pope must love women.  He must have worked under a boss lady.  He must have women friends.  He must treat nuns with deference.  He must listen to women seriously and address their concerns.

The man who would be pope must not tolerate any pedophilia.  He must be sensitive to victims and respond in a pastoral manner.

The man who would be pope must not be averse to conflict.  He has to be strong, steadfast, consistent, and true to the Gospel.

The man who would be pope must sell a papal tiara, or some other long forgotten, past era attribution.  The proceeds will go to the poor.

Finally, the man who would be pope must hire the best public relation firm he can, so he won't be perceived as a fool.