Today, a lot of attention is fixed on The Vatican. It seems that the Papacy of John Paul II is in its final hours.
I had hoped to present, sometime in the next few months, a program at the Karl Hess Club entitled: "Who Will be the Next Pope? Geopolitical Considerations." That idea as originally conceived is out the window now as the questions will have been rendered moot by the time we could make such a presentation at the club.
The plan was to have someone who could speak with authority on the topic of who the next Holy Father likely would be, what challenges and opportunities would confront him, and possible world political consequences.
The talk was to explore the influence of the Papacy and what policies, foreign and otherwise, might emanate from the Holy See (We could still do a review of current events and their consequnces sometime in the indefinite future).
The next best thing, I thought, and what might be useful right now and in the next few weeks before the conclusion of a Papal Conclave, is a discussion on the above points while they are still in play. You should have about a month to make some educated guesses before the white smoke rises.
So I invite you, with the kind permission of our Blogmeister Tom, to contribute your informed and supported commentary and reasoned analyses in a discussion on the following query: "Who Will be the Next Pope and What are the Likely Geopolitical Consequences?"
You might include a review of the "front runners" among the 117 Cardinals who will decide among them who will succeed JPII in Peter's Seat. Also take a look at the "dark horses" such as Cardinal Ratzinger or a candidate who hails from The New World or The Third World. Consider what would the likely ramifications of a Third World Pope (Eg. from Africa) and what political course Rome might take in the case of each prospect.
Here's a link you might review to get you started:
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