A friend wrote to me on Facebook, asking the following question:
. . . how is the Pope considered a ‘holy man’ when he is elected by a group of individuals? It seems too Democratic a system to be pure and holy.
- A: God Himself
- B: A person, place or thing consecrated to God (set aside as belonging to God)
- Gen 28:16 – the place God appears
- Ex 19:6 – God’s people
- Ex 28:43 – the Tabernacle
- Is 48:2 – Jerusalem
- Lev 10:17 – the sacrificial goat
- Rom 1:7 – what Christians call each other
- C: Someone who has an outstanding relationship with God and lives an exemplary moral life. (This is probably the most common use in our ordinary vocabulary.)
|Photo Credit: Fotographia Felici|
Like Our predecessors, We strongly exhort the cardinal electors not to be guided by likes or dislikes in electing the pope, nor influenced by the favor or compliance of anyone, nor moved by the interference of persons … nigh places or pressure groups, or by the suasive language of the masters of the communications media, or by violence or fear or love of popularity. Instead, with God’s glory and the good of the Church as their sole guide, and having asked for divine help, let them vote for him whom they judge most fit to rule the universal Church in a fruitful and useful way.
UPDATE (3/1/13): A friend linked me to this article at the Deacon’s Bench, quoting Cardinal Ratzinger 8 years before he became pope:
I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope. … I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined . . . There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked!