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My latest for Quadrant Online:

One  of the most interesting phenomena of the last weeks has been the  enthusiasm with which media pundits who have previously expressed the  opinion that the Church is dying and irrelevant have expounded upon the  importance of the right person being elected to be the new Pope. Like  liberal nuns and other anti-Catholics, most of these media persons (I  decline to call them personalities) believe the world would be a much  better place if someone was elected who had the same opinions they do.


Alas  for them, it is likely, as Philippa Martyr has pointed out in her usual  delightful style, that the next Pope will be a Catholic. Which means no  gay marriage, no women priests, no abortions.

Going  to Mass, trusting in Jesus, reading the Bible and the whole religious  thing will still be a large part of what the Church is about. It might  be interesting to spend some time talking about whether it is possible  to identify exactly where any culture is less than healthy, by noting at  which points its demands conflict with the teaching and practice of the  Church. In our case, I suspect, in the areas of gender, sexuality, and  ‘self-realisation.’ But instead I’ll stick with wondering who the next  Pope might be.

We start with a potential field of all unmarried baptised adult male Catholics. Betting website paddypower.com  offers odds of 666 to 1 on Richard Dawkins. You can also bet on Fr. Ted  at 1,000 to 1 if you are absolutely determined to lose your money.

Read the rest at Quadrant.

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