Friday, April 15, 2005

The Next Pope May Well Not be Black OR White:

Many are descending on Rome hoping to see who will ascend to the throne of Peter or even to try and influence the decision. The Press is buzzing about whom it might be when the decision goes up in smoke. The Cardinals are not talking.

What a waste of time such speculation is! Recall that, last time around, all the pundits failed to pick a young Cardinal from Poland. Oops!

Why do we assume that, this time around, it will be any different? Martini, anyone?

Will the next Pope be black or white they ask? Here is a tip: it might be someone who is neither black nor white and, were I a betting man (which you can bet I am not) it would be on someone from Africa and not, by the way, Cardinal Arinze (who is black).

Don’t misunderstand me here. Anyone who has heard that Cardinal speak and deal with a hostile audience, as I was privileged to do when he spoke at Westminster Abbey near Vancouver a few years ago, knows what a gifted man he is. His age, however, is against him.

No. Having said it is pointless to guess and that only fools would speculate upon it, my speculative guess is that the next Pope will be neither black nor white but coloured and will be, like the last one, young and like the last one on nobody’s list (except this one, and it isn’t even a list).

I think he comes from Durban and his name is Wilfred Napier. We met there a week before the Pope died and I found him charming, intelligent and courageously holy. I think he’d make a great Pope.

You heard it here first.

Of course I could be wrong, so let’s keep this to ourselves just in case.

CENTREBLOG: Volume 75(a)
Iain T. Benson ©