The New Pope (Same As The Old Pope?)

A postal clerk was the first to tell me that a new Pope had just been elected. I didn’t know much about Joseph Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict XVI, other than the fact that he was one of the frontrunners. Now that I’ve read up a little bit, I wonder if any Catholics out there are worried that the new guy is only six years younger than the old guy.

It would worry me, if I were a member of his flock, that we’d be going through this same process again very shortly. I mean, I’m sure they’ve checked out his medical background and they’re pretty sure he’s not going drop dead any time soon, but he’s getting up there. At 78, he is, as they say, not getting any younger.

I also worry, as a citizen of this planet, if we’re best served by having another world leader who can be described as “a hard-line guardian of conservative doctrine.” Do we need any more conservatives governing us? I understand that choosing the name Benedict is “a bid to soften his image”, but how soft is this guy going to get? Is he going to be willing to make the changes that the chuch seemingly needs to have made?

I don’t know. The crowd in Vatican City may be cheering, but this decision has me, as an outsider, a bit worried.