The next Pope will not be who the media expects. You know how I know this? Because the last two Popes have not been who the media expects. This is, quite simply, because the media model is flawed.
The media consistently makes the mistake of treating Church affairs as they treat the affairs of government. We witness this daily in their treatment of doctrine as just the latest policy fad and subject to the whim of the current president of the Vatican State.
Of course, this is not to suggest that there are no politics involved in Church affairs. Wherever people are present, politics follow. But the affairs of Church are different than the affairs of State. The media love a horse race and they love lists. The selection of a Pope allows them to indulge in these two loves. So we get lists of ‘papabile’ and we get odds from Paddy Power.
But there is a dynamic that the media just doesn’t get. The men making this selection have dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ and His Church. They have dedicated their lives to teaching what Jesus taught. They are not looking merely for someone who represents their political preferences, they are looking for someone who is completely dedicated to Truth with a capital T. And they don’t just vote, they pray. They pray a lot.
The media misses all these things, but most of all they miss what the Church IS. The Church is not an institution of man, it is God’s, and God defends it. If you go back and read the Didache, if you read the Father’s of the Church, you will find that what the Church taught then is what the Church teaches now. That simply does not happen with institutions of man. No, God did that. Moreover, God does that.
That is what they miss. The Church belongs to God and God has a say.