by Jean-Jacques COURTEY, Doctor in Economic Geography, Ph. D
On February 11th 2013 (another 11), the Pope Benedict XVI announced he was going to resignate the position next February 28th around 20 PM (Roman Time). This created a schock worldwide, and not only in the Catholic Church. The precise reasons are quite unclear for them, although he is claiming to be old and not strong or fit enough to carry on the duty. To us, he should have stayed to make some important reforms he seems to have in his modern mind.
So even some can consider it's very modern to resignate, in spite of the precedent of 1415, most people don't understand at all what's happening.
And Catholics - but not only them - are a bit worried.
We can understand it's difficult to lead such a power. And in a so huge entity or body, it is not astonishing to find divisions or differences in Gospels' interpretations.
Anyhow, it's very surprising to accelerate the conclave in order to start before the legal date of March 15th 2013, by a "proprio motu" decree.
It is also astonishing to discover the present Pope is fed up with the hypocrisy of religious people, and stresses the need to really find back the spirit and unfulfilled propositions of Vatican II (1962-1965).
Nevertheless, we agree fully with him about the fact "religious people" must ensure themselves, that they are authentically linked to God in order to represent him.
And in that case, why not a "proprio motu" decree of the last day to come back to regular marriage for priests and above, as before the eleventh century ? It would definitely cut the grass below the feet of a lot of opponents to Roma, and might solve some drastic problems.
On this point, it is remarkable the next speedy conclave will be held in the absence of Cardinal n°118.
We call him like that to recall he was the last one nominated by John-Paul II in 2003, with the title of "Cardinal in pectore" (secret Cardinal)...and also because it is his number as a potential elector.
If his nomination was connected to the third secret of Fatima, and was a way to conjure its unterminated translation from the full words of Maria the Virgin (1917), it's not very wise to ignore it. She warned clearly about a good listening.
Another surprise for a catholic is to discover a main preoccupation of Vatican seems to be about the Old Testament, and not the New one introduced by Jesus Christ.
Whoever will be elected pope very soon, and especially if he was taking or carrying the name of "Peter", he will be obliged also to take on account what wrote Saint John.
Of course, it wasn't about the Old Testament, but clearly a major Gospel of the New one, if not a vital pillar.
Jesus Christ has to be understood and accepted fully now, by taking on account his youth and family or dynastic preoccupations also.
And he will be this time, whatever the way the holy spirit will choose to follow...even God had suddenly to step over human beings' bad will.
Ruling the biggest religion in the world, counting more than 1.2 billion followers, wouldn't be an easy task for the coming pope. Whatever the continent he will come from - especially if Europe was losing its preeminence for the first time in history -, he might be very conservative.
So instead of leading to a renovated Church to adapt present times, and stick more to Jesus original words and wishes, it might quickly result in the opposite. And being "Peter" or "not Peter" might not be so meaningful then, litteraly speaking.
Most commentators are excited by this accelerated election, in order to discover which continent will predominate this time.
But often, the election of a pope is at the opposite of classic logic, and has got little to see with a political election in its functioning. Being favourite is not a so sure sign of victory.
The pope finally chosen is usually an outsider proposed to reach a final consensus.
Said differently, a cardinal is not directly candidate by himself.
It is not known if France, which didn't introduce officially any candidate is supporting more the advent of an African pope, than a South American or an Italian one. But it might be, if you consider the media' s clues.
It is a bit a pity our country didn't seize this opportunity, to reaffirm its historical background of previous "eldest daughter of the Church". As a matter of fact, France's creation in the Vth century Anno Domini was consubstential to the Church. And it's so exceptional that it must be underlined. Its universalism is coming from that very fact first, even you don't take on account a descendance of Jesus Christ and Maria-Magdalena in our land.
We wouldn't conclude on Saint Malachy of Armagh (1094 - 1148) and his last motto for the pope to come, which is absolutely devastating with "the Great Judge" promised : prophecies have always to be considered with some skepticism.
But the fact is there is clearly one, and if it didn't work it would be the first great time Saint Malachy is taken on default. Anyway, the only certainty is that God, Jesus and his mother, Maria, will definitely show their will this time !