What Makes for “Papabile Autentico”

Papabile © The Tablet

Papabile © The Tablet

If you have already grown tired of the seemingly endless speculation over who is and who isn’t papabile – a likely candidate to become pope – consider enacting a self-imposed media blackout for the next two weeks or so.  Things are about to escalate… quickly.  Alternatively, you could brush away the residual shock,  interactive features, and odds-makers, and do what few others are doing: think about what papabile really means.

My $.02?  Ignatius says that Jesuits should regard the Superior General, i.e., the head of the Society of Jesus, “as a mirror and model” (Constitutions, §726). I say likewise for anyone who would be papabile.

Which leaves me asking: is this person a mirror and a model for me, and perhaps more importantly, for people who are not like me, people with whom I struggle?  And even more: are this person’s joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties, those of the people of God?  If so, then papabile sit.

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