We have the Internets to thank for disseminating all the speculation and humor surrounding the upcoming papal election. It is curious to note how so many in the mainstream media dislike the Catholic Church and are eager to pick her apart, yet this conclave has garnered so much attention! This fact has formed my interpretation of non praevalebunt: not only will this generation never destroy the Church, it will in fact pay her unwitting homage, until the end of days.
Not unlike the patriotism of the left, right, and center, Catholic pride and Catholic interest resurface around election time, even among lapsed and former Catholics.
I am only one priest among the thousands in these United States, but surely others have experienced this: whenever conclave time rolls around (and yes, this is only the second time for me), people suggest that maybe you should pack your bags for Rome, because, after all, can't any priest, indeed in theory any baptized Catholic male, be selected for the papacy?
In bygone days it was more widely considered an honor to be related to, or friends with, or even mistaken for, a priest. Now, not so much. But I recognize with no little gratitude that my family, friends, and associates show due respect to the sacred office, or at least to my personal priestly commitment, as they rightly expect me to pay to their worthy occupations. Their endorsement of me as Supreme Pontiff is flattering, if facetious.
But let me assure you, dear flock: I am not in the running for Pope. I am not in the walking, or in the crawling. I have delusions not of grandeur, but of adequacy. We'll leave the office of Chief Shepherd to the professionals. Just pray for me and for all our terribly human priests--one of whom will be elevated in a day or so to that fearsome office.
|La stanza delle lacrime (The Room of Tears), where it all comes out before His Holiness does|