Preparing for the Next Conclave

Open Tabernacle (blog)

September 25, 2020

By Betty Clermont

Two books were released this summer: The Next Pope: The Leading Cardinal Candidates, by Edward Pentin and The Next Pope: The Office of Peter and a Church in Mission by George Weigel.

“The Holy Father is considered to be getting on in years and he himself has occasionally hinted he would like to follow Benedict XVI into retirement at some stage …. Some of the Pope’s close associates have said privately … it will happen this year.” Pentin explained. Pentin, the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register owned by the right-wing EWTN media giant, is one of the best-connected and experienced Vatican reporters in the world.

His book “consists of highly-detailed profiles of 19 leading papabili with the aim of better equipping the cardinal electors to know who to vote for, or not vote for, as the case may be,” Pentin wrote. “Revealed in each cardinal’s profile is where they stand” on internal ecclesial issues like liturgy and interpreting the Second Vatican Council, but also “key contemporary issues such as priestly celibacy, the role of women in the Church, contraception [and] abortion.… Enormous spiritual battles are taking place in today’s societies, not least in the United States, as well as inside the Church. These will require strong papal leadership as they increase,” he warned.

In Weigel’s book, the author “proposes the qualities needed in the man who will lead the Church … in the wake of grave institutional failures, mission confusion, counter-witness, and the secularist challenge.”

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