The Pigsty And The Rose Garden: Conclave Scenarios For A Saturday Afternoon.
I like the idea of Francis humbly looking at the world from six feet under its surface. Therefore, in the last days I have often surprised myself thinking – as I am always the optimist – of a world after Francis. A world in which you wake up in the morning, and the hatred emanating from that man does not stink out all of Catholicism with its insufferable stench anymore.
However, as I wallow in such joyful thoughts of Francis-free days, I cannot but reflect that this status would only be a temporary one, and after a while we would have another guy selected for the job. As you all know, those who do the hiring are the Cardinals, not the Holy Ghost, and the Cardinals might, or might not, pray for inspiration from the Latter for a good choice. More realistically, we know that some of the Cardinals in the next conclave will just be evil, depraved people; perhaps homosexuals, perhaps freemasons, perhaps paedophiles, perhaps with some other skeleton in the closet. If the Church were, therefore, a mere human organisation, one would say that hoping in a good successor of Francis is like hoping that a pigsty begets a rose garden.
However, the Church is not a mere human organisation, and God can make a rose garden out of every pigsty. In fact, at times one has the impression that God enjoys showing us how He can, at any time, foil the plans of the pigsty makers. Russia is now 70% Christian, and growing stronger in the faith every year. If one had told me when I was 20 or 25, I would have laughed out loud at the great fantasy of the one showing such developed imagination.
We will enter the next Conclave (hopefully soon; I’d be fine with Francis checking out sometime in November and the new guy already in place by the Feast of the Immaculate Conception) with Cardinals who are Cowardinals at best, and total scoundrels at worst. However, we know that God can, if He so wishes, move them to a decision that turns out to be a good one for the Church.
Let us see some scenarios.
Pope Francis II is elected. We all prepare ourselves for many years of fight. Then Pope Francis II has a sudden, or slow, change of tack and suddenly starts to do it right. Or he dies of too much love for the Panda. Or he just dies. Even if we get a walking disaster as the next Pope, know that, if this is His plan, God can turn even him, or get us rid of him at any time.
The Prudent Choice
If the next Pope is a Benedict XVII type, we know that there will be a lot of problems ahead but, at least, the wrecking ball will be set aside for a time. At that point, it will be easier for the phase of convalescence from the FrancisVirus to morph into an outright restoration of Catholic sanity. One does not need to look very far to see that, in the end, this has been happening everywhere for many years now, with not only entire Orders like the Franciscan of the Immaculate, but countless priests getting more and more conservative as they age and get in touch with the Tridentine Mass. Every V II priest of good will can morph, with God’s grace, in a staunch Traditionalist. In fact, the latter phenomenon might well have been the main motive behind Traditionis Custodes: the number of ordinary, run-of-the-mill V II priests the Tridentine Mass was straightening up.
This is less likely but, if we look at the rapidity with which a huge number of bishops have undermined Francis on Traditionis Custodes, not impossible at all. This would be, for lack of a better example, the JP III type. More balls than Benedict or, to be exact, a Benedict with balls. A guy elected exactly in order to apologise for Francis and send a reassuring signal that the Church will continue to be Catholic. The jump from a JP III to sanity would be much shorter and much easier than the jump from Francis to Sanity. At that point, the proper Catholic troops would start piling up the pressure for the end of the failed “hermeneutic of continuity” experiment and for its substitution for the “hermeneutic of sanity”, where the failed experiment is thrown in the Tiber (hopefully together with Francis’ exhumed body, like in good old times) and everything goes back to its proper way. JP III, having (other than Benedict XVI) an actual pair of balls, would also be able to implement the restoration, rather than merely wishing it.
This is the scenario in which the new Pope assumes the name of Pius XIII, appears in St Peter in traditional garb and with a tiara on his head, greets the people with the traditional papal blessing, uses the pluralis majestatis, and thunders to the square below Laudetur Jesus Christus like he is the Great Inquisitor on a very, very bad day. This would be a miracle because, simply put, there is no Pius XIII among the Cardinals, so God would have to make one on the spot out of the extremely poor material He has. But hey, God can do everything.
Summa summarum, I do not think a sane, balanced Catholic should give in to any sense of despair because of the Cardinals that will take part in the next Conclave, or because a Francis II type is elected.
It might get worse before it gets better.
Still, we all know we will win in the end.
Posted on August 14, 2021, in Traditional Catholicism. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.
I would still love to see Pope Francis finally carry out the collegial consecration of Russia, which manifestly has never been done as asked. He wouldn’t shrink from compelling all the world’s bishops to participate on pain of excommunication; but best of all, since he’d be the least likely man on earth to do it, God would get all of the credit. Also I think it would definitively resolve the whole Benedict-is-the-true-Pope controversy.
Highly unlikely, but, as you say, God can do everything.
I believe you’re right, Mundabor. I have been telling people for the past several years not to assume that the next elected Pope will be a Francis II. The old saying comes to mind: To make God laugh, tell Him your plans. We could be pleasantly surprised, or not. It is a perfect time to work on our trust in His providence.
I loved the comment: the experiment being ‘thrown in the Tiber, like in good old times’. It cheered me right up!