By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Pope as the Face and Statesman of Catholicism

When you see the speculation on the qualities of papal candidates, I am struck by the strange overemphasis on administrative management of the Vatican. A pope is not a manager; he is the face of Catholicism all over the world.

A pope can pick a manager to do just that: manage and thus free the pope for his real task of traveling, meeting, listening, and speaking. All we need is a pope who can select from a qualified pool of managers to handle administration. That should be easy to do.

In addition to being the face of Catholicism, the service of a pope also means implementing needed reforms. But that role is not the same as administrator or manager. The pope is the statesman with vision who enacts reforms--the administrator implements it.

If a prime qualification for a pope is being an administrator, then there is something fundamentally wrong with that expectation.