< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: The Next Pope - A Thought Exercise

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Next Pope - A Thought Exercise

This is how some of my friends, including my collegue from El Salvador, are looking at it:

The World is at war, first versus third, and the first battle of that war is one of faith. Fundamentalist, reactionary forces across denominations are intent on seeing the battle as existential and so are using the rhetoric of spirituality to recruit warriors and sway public opinion.

Caught in the middle of this initial battle are the world's poor. On the one hand, the poor offer fresh recruits to fundamentalism. On the other hand, the poor offer a vast supply of cheap labor for wealthy nations to exploit.

Only one religion, in their view, is charged with the care of the poor, and that religion is Christianity... and the Pope is its most visible leader. To end this war before it spirals out of control, the Pope, in their view, must:

1) strongly denounce the self-destruction of fundamentalism and evangelize against its rebirth,
2) firmly reject the exploitation of the world's poor by unchecked capitalism,
3) loudly proclaim that Christ's resurrection has liberated the poor from their condition

It is said these three keys are the only way to prevent a generations long struggle, ending in untold bloodshed across the globe.

If you look at the world this way, which I stipulate has a sort of martian like quality to it, who is the best candidate to serve as Christ's Vicar?