A comment came in, attached to the Panier de Crabes posting, asking me why I care about the Roman Catholic Church. Surely, one Pope goes out and another comes in, business as usual for another 2,000 years.
Why do I care? I care simply because I care about other people and their spiritual good. I live in a country where those who care about religion are Roman Catholics or Muslims, and the condition of the Church here will not be improved whether the next Pope is a conservative or a liberal, or just a cynical bureaucrat. I care because I am a priest and am often called upon to answer questions asked by people whose faith may depend on the fortunes of ecclesiastical institutions.
I think the day I cease to care would be the day I will have lost faith and the will to go on living. Much of what is wrong with the world today is that people don’t care. Je n’ai rien à foutre has become one of the most common expressions said in French these days.
However, I agree that Vatican speculation is unhealthy and we run up against brick walls wherever we go. We might as well play billiards with a cloth untrue, a twisted cue and elliptical billiard balls! There are limits and times for letting go. That is a point on which I agree.
Perhaps we might care if it is Cardinal Kasper taking the name Boniface X, depending on how you look at it! The railway service might indeed become very unreliable, if you get my meaning…