An Interim Pope ?Now that Benedict XVI has been selected by the College of Cardinals, the usual MSM explorations "why" and "what does it mean" run rampant across the airwaves.
As a non-Catholic, just looking at some things which seem to me apparent, I have a thought or two on the subject.....
1st - Ratzinger (is it now not proper to call him by that name?) is a true hardliner, and even rumored to be more conservative....perhaps almost dictatorially so according to some rumors from Rome....than John Paul, II.
2nd - Pope Benedict XVI is also quite elderly to assume the mantle...he is in his 78th year....just 6 years younger than was John Paul, II upon his death.
3rd - A church coming off the reign of the most-seen, possibly one of the most-popular Popes ever (at least in modern times when media matters) does not wish to seem suddenly to be veering at sharp angles away from his positions.
So.....Is it just possible that the new Pope is an "interim" Pope? One who will be outspoken, less charismatic than JP2, and thus less popular by his position...and likely to be a short-termer due his age?
If he manages to alienate many by his strong words and actions of conservatism, then his successor could easily be a popular choice to be much more liberal, and perhaps younger? Thus would hopefully ensure (by the thoughts behind the scenes of the College of Cardinals) a long-term liberal Pope to drag the church forward into modern times....with the blessing of the Catholic Church members worldwide.