Recently, Pope Benedict XVI very unexpectedly announced that he is going to resign. Now, the world is guessing who will be the next Pope and what the destiny of the Roman Catholic Church in the rapidly changing world may now be.
Quite a few analysts are predicting that, most likely, the next Pope will be of Latin American origin, and that he will lead a very tolerant policy towards Muslims.
His Holiness Benedict XVI is now 85 years old. He is known for his tough attitude towards homosexuality, abortions and the Harry Potter book series. Besides, he has made several tough statements against Islam during his pontificate. He has always sharply condemned people who turned out to be engaged in pedophile scandals.
Taking all this into account, some analysts now suppose that the Pope’s decision to resign was not really his own. They suspect that he is probably being ousted from his post by certain forces.
However, John Moody, a former correspondent of The Times magazine in Vatican, believes that for all his conservatism, Benedict XVI has prepared the grounds for a radical reform in the Roman Catholic Church.
As it was said above, quite a few analysts are predicting that the new Pope will be from Latin America. After all, more than 40% of the world’s Roman Catholics live in South America. However, about 50% of the voices in voting for the next Pope belong to European priests.
Among the most possible candidates, analysts name the Archbishop of the Sao Paulo diocese in Brazil Odilo Scherer, Milan’s Archbishop Angelo Scola and Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana.
One of the main criteria for choosing the new Pope will most likely be his ability to defend the interests of the Roman Catholic Church in the modern world.
“This is a very acute problem for the Catholic Church,” former Russia’s ambassador in Vatican Vyachelav Kostikov says.
“At present, Europe is full of Islamists, and their influence on the Christian world is becoming stronger with every coming day. The task of the new Pope will be to resist this onslaught of Islamists, being at the same time tolerant and friendly towards peaceful Muslims. On the other hand, for all this tolerance, the Pope should firmly stand for Christian values, because these values are traditional for both Europe and America.”
As for the new Pope’s home policy, analysts also have practically no doubts about what it most likely will be. The new Pope will have to take the mistakes of his predecessor into account. He should be capable of compromises.