I would like to take this moment at the end of the year to make a few predictions about what our Pope Francis will and will not do in the year to come.
• He will not (he CANNOT) change Church teaching.
Fornication will remain a sin, women will not be ordained, and auricular
confession will still be required for the remission of sin. Right now,
liberals are hoping for “change,” but they won’t get it and will soon enough become disillusioned.
• He will continue to hammer away at social justice. I sincerely hope
that this will actually lead to changes, not of Church teaching (which
already kick-ass on economic teaching), but in breaking the un-holy
alliance of socially conservative Catholics with anti-working-class
• He will continue to demonstrate the kind
of radical love that is at the heart of the Christian message. It is
plainly his ministry not to lead the Church (as Leo XIII or John Paul II
did), nor to rule the Church (as Pius XII or Benedict XVI did), but to
set an example of how Christians should live.
• Finally, when
Pope emeritus Benedict dies, I predict that Francis will issue a
statement to the effect that he was the right pope at the right time,
that the Church was in a condition of disorder (with badly chosen
bishops, a liturgy rife with abuses, and the scandals associated with
sexual abuse), and that Benedict set the house of the Church in order,
so that Francis would be free to exercise his very different calling.
I LOVE these two popes (almost as much as I love Leo XIII and Alexander
VI) and I see the working of the Holy Spirit in first choosing the one,
and then the other.