I suppose I should, as an ostensibly Catholic blogger, say something about our new Pope, but in truth, I know absolutely nothing about the man, and anything I would say would be mere ignorance. I have seen and heard a lot of speculation over the last few hours, quite a few prognostications of doom, but these are almost entirely fact free. Whatever he was, he is now our Pope, or as I like to think it, chief bailer on the barque of Peter. It is our duty to pray for him, as he has asked.
I was reflecting a little on the conclave, and what I thought and felt about it. I suppose, in the end, I failed to fully heed my own advice. While I tried to maintain a cold demeanor, and tell myself not to have an opinion or desire for any particular outcome, I found that a small part of me was hoping for Ouellette, because he was a Canadian.
I thought of his home province of Quebec, and how it was once one of the most Catholic places on earth, and now it is nearly a wasteland for the faith, its people dying. I thought how he might inspire a turnaround, and start to help them return to their roots and the faith of the ancestors. But there are bigger, more important things out there than Canada and its provinces, and we all had the grace and the freedom to, as Milton put it, stand or fall on our own, whether we had a familiar Pope or not.
It was a purely nationalist wish. I admit it. I believe, from the little that I know, that Ouelette would have been a good Pope, but I wanted him for the wrong reason. I wanted him for Canada's glory, and not God's. I hardly know more of Ouellette than I did of Francis. The Cardinals, wiser than me, saw past their nationalism to elect this Pope. If there was ever any need of evidence that I am not made of the stuff to choose pontiffs, this was it. God bless our Pope and all the Cardinals. May he be a good father to us,. and may I be a dutiful son.