There’s speculation on who’ll replace Pope John II but I can’t understand one thing: why do they always pick a Catholic to be Pope? Don’t they believe in diversity?
Just wondering…and if you’ve been wondering about who may be the next Pope, Time offers this:
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the chief architect of Pope John Paul II’s traditionalist moral policy, has long been a bugaboo for liberal Catholics. But they had stopped worrying that the German might one day ascend to St. Peter’s throne. His hard-line views and blunt approach had earned him the epithet of panzerkardinal and too many enemies. Well, their worrying may now resume. Sources in Rome tell TIME that Ratzinger has re-emerged as the top papal candidate within the Vatican hierarchy, joining other front runners such as Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan and Claudio Hummes of Sao Paolo. "The Ratzinger solution is definitely on," said a well-placed Vatican insider.
There are no immediate signs that John Paul’s health has taken a turn for the worse, and he has publicly ruled out becoming the first Pope in eight centuries to retire voluntarily. But as his long papacy grows ever longer, some feel the next conclave will seek a shorter-term "transitional" figure. Ratzinger, 77, may fill that bill.