Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/11/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The pope will be the head of the world's largest empire in history.

We know you want to be pope, who doesn't? You get your own little country to govern, you get the ruby shoes, and of course there's the popemobile, which is a one-of-a-kind ride. You have servants and secretaries galore and everything you say is carefully considered. Who wouldn't want that?

Heave will be the head that wears this crown.

Heave will be the head that wears this crown.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/11/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Pope, criteria, resume, who, cardinals, election, conclave


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - There's one other detail we ought to mention before you accept the hat. You will also lead the world's largest empire of people in all history, and you are responsible for their well-being on Earth as well as their souls. Good luck!

That's right, the pope is the world's greatest emperor, ruling over the world's largest empire - ever.

With over 1.2 billion Catholics on the planet, and faithful in every county, the pope cannot be an ordinary man. The work is crushing and the responsibility is overwhelming. What more proof do you need that God exists than to see one, typically elderly man, is actually able to manage such an empire himself?

In all world history, no individual has ever been responsible for so much. That's why the selection of the pope is such a grave matter. The pope is an absolute monarch in an age of republics and tyrants. He must be a moral man, faithful to his very core. His every syllable will be recorded and studied for generations. It's a tough job, which is why the Cardinals of the Church pray so mightily for God's guidance, so they might select the one man on a planet of seven billion souls, who can shoulder the responsibility.

How exceptional must this man's resume be? Here's a list:

He must be the world's greatest manager, ever.

A pope is many things, including a CEO. Under his direct supervision are several other heads of major worldwide corporations, archdiocese, religious orders, and semi-secular institutions such as the Vatican bank. The pope must work with each archbishop and director, must know them personally, and must coordinate and direct their efforts for the betterment of the Church. It's not an easy task.

How hard is it? Imagine how hard it is to get your family to agree on what's for dinner, or to get your friends to agree on the best sports team. Now imagine directing dozens to hundreds of people to agree on matters that affect the eternal souls of all human beings. Yes, it's like that.

He must be charismatic.

People want to follow a man with charisma. Indeed, at this time, the Church needs stronger leadership than usual. The next pope will need to have charisma and will have to be more than an iron-fisted emperor. Instead, he will need to motivate and inspire reform and development within even the highest ranks of the Church. That he must also be popular with the people is obvious.

He must be able to communicate.

Communication means speaking clearly, conveying thoughts and ideas so they are easily understood and can be acted upon. This is a standard requirement for any leader, from powder-puff football captain to pope. However, to be the pope, that quality alone is still not enough. To be pope you must also be able to communicate clearly in multiple languages.

Not one, not two, but multiple. Plus Latin. English, Spanish , and Italian are the primary languages expected for a pope, as well as Latin. Any papal contender should have these four languages down. Beyond that, it's value added. Pope Emeritus Benedict speaks, his native German as well as, English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Latin. He also knows some Portuguese and can read ancient Greek and biblical Hebrew.

This goes to show that it's not enough to be a smooth talker at home. You also have to speak effectively around the globe.

He must be an evangelist.

The heart of a good religious leader is his ability to gather in the flock. It's more than speaking clearly. It's also telling a story that is so compelling that people will be inspired to act. With the Catholic Church facing tribulation both within and without, the winning of new souls and the retention of the old is a serious challenge. People need to hear good and encouraging news if they are to follow as they should.

This means the next pope cannot be camera shy, nor can he be a cloistered theologian. The next pope will be expected to behave almost as a rockstar at times, presenting himself to the faithful, and particularly the youth, in a way that resonates with the crowd. A pope who is aloof, who cannot work the crowd, will be quickly downplayed as the faithful lose interest. The ability to evangelize then, is an important quality.

The next pope must be a man of integrity.

What good times we enjoy to feel that integrity is implicit in any leadership position. It hasn't always been the case, even with the popes. Unfortunately, recent scandals have caused many Catholics to question the integrity of the Church's hierarchy.

It will be up to the next pope to lay those concerns to rest. The people must trust their Holy Father to clean up any scandal within the Church and to ensure that scandals do not repeat. There will need to be transparency, a break from the traditional veil of secrecy that until now has been an inherent part of Church culture.

The next pope will need to clean up the Church from the top down, removing poor and failed leaders, and replacing them with good, honest servants of God. People are expecting some spring cleaning within the Church. A fearless man of integrity at the helm will inspire millions to renew their faith, troubled by recent scandals.

The next pope must be able to connect with the people in the streets.

It's well and good for popes to be theologians and brilliant leaders, but at the end of the day, all their work is to serve the common individual. The parishioner in the pew, the man in the street, the sick in bed, and the downtrodden and destitute in the house of charity.

The next pope must be able to connect with these people much as he can connect with his cardinals and archbishops. The conversations will be different. He must be able to speak plainly, comprehensibly, and on topics that matter to the individual.

If the next pope can connect with the parishioners on the street, then he will go a long way to building a lifelong rapport between the Church and the believer.  Ultimately, this may be the most fundamental criteria of all. Although he directs from Rome, the point of every decision is to do what's best for the flock.

Now are you ready to start? You have a busy first day already lined up.

Some of the cardinals have been leaking some inside perspective on what they're looking for. You can read about that here.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Living Faith

Take the Catholic Online Thanksgiving Challenge! Watch

Image of Reaching out to others is precisely the way to show that we are thankful for what we have.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a holiday filled with family and food, often spent on televised parades and football, and naps after lunch. Kids play in the yard or the streets as everybody generally has a good time. However, this is not the case for millions of ... continue reading


Pope says he's willing to speak to Islamic State - says nations are likewise guilty of 'terrorism' Watch

Image of After addressing the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, Pope Francis also told journalists that the threat of terrorism was not the only horror weighing on the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Asked about the possibilities of discussion with Islamic State, Pope Francis said, "I never count anything as lost. Never. Never close the door. It's difficult, you could say almost impossible, but the door is always open." The Pontiff went forward to say that ... continue reading


Unborn, terminally ill and elderly are treated as objects in Europe, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of If we uphold the dignity of the person we are acknowledging the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Despite talk of human rights, too many people are treated as objects in Europe: unborn, terminally ill, and the elderly," Pope Francis said. Speaking at the European Union Parliament in Strasbourg, the pontiff said that "We're too tempted to throwaway lives we ... continue reading


Church recognizes six new saints as Pope Francis canonizes in Sunday ceremony, speaking about how we too shall be judged Watch

Image of Indian well-wishers gather at the Vatican for the Canonization ceremony.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has canonized six new saints, two Indians and four Italians, praising their lives as "extraordinary" and reminding us all that we will be judged by how we treat others. VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis recognized six new saints on Sunday, ... continue reading


Pope says church must extend help to immigrants, 'so that all may be treated as children of God' Watch

Image of The world must now recognize the advantages of migration. Host countries get new workers to meet production needs,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking to the 300 participants in the Vatican-sponsored World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants, the Pope says that the Catholic Church "is a mother without limits and without borders." He says that the church must welcome and assist all of God's children, ... continue reading


Feast of Christ the King and Advent: What Does it Mean? Watch

Image of The Church really IS the Mystical Body of the Risen Christ. That Body is inseparably joined to the Head. Jesus Christ is alive, he has been raised, and he continues His redemptive mission now through the Church, of which we are members. As we choose to actually live our lives liturgically, not just go through the motions, we can move through life in the flow of the liturgical calendar. We can experience the deeper mystery and meaning of life, now made New in Jesus Christ, the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6,7) Jesus Christ is King! Jesus Christ is meant to become the Lord of our whole lives, and inform the very pattern of how we live them.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

On November 23rd we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Liturgical Church year offers to each of us consider the creature which is called time, receive it as a gift and begin to really live differently. Yet, for ... continue reading


Two bishops dine and dialogue with peace activists

Image of War doesn't decide who is right, just who is left.

By Tony Magliano

During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops fall assembly in Baltimore, two bishops decided to forego the military chaplains dinner sponsored by the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains Office, and attended instead a simple supper and discussion on peacemaking. On the evening of ... continue reading


'God always forgives, but the earth does not,' Pope warns Watch

Image of The Pope urged the world's leaders to rein in their greed and help the hungry.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A doomsday scenario in which Mother Nature would exact her revenge is possible, even likely, Pope Francis warns. The pontiff was speaking out against the exploitation of natural resources for profit. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pope urged the world's ... continue reading


Pope Francis' special message: Why Poverty? 'And while we speak of new rights, the hungry remain'

Image of When we give our loaves and fishes to Christ, there is no end to the Good that can come from it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has asked the world to do more to help those who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Despite gains made in infrastructure and outpourings of food, too many people with plenty have done too little to help. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With ... continue reading


How do you raise a good, upstanding child? With daily prayers, weekly church attendance and the knowledge of God Watch

Image of Billy Graham, now 96, has reached out to millions with his joyous words of the truth of God and Jesus Christ.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Reverend Billy Graham, the world famous television evangelist and founder and chairman of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has said that the reason the world seems to be in such dire straits is that children are not being raised right. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 20:1-4, 11--21:2
1 Then I saw an angel come down from heaven with the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 8
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 28th, 2014 Image

St. Catherine Laboure
November 28: St. Catherine Laboure, virgin, was born on May 2, 1806. At an ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter