Garry O’Sullivan: Why the Irish church must learn from mistakes of Benedict's reign
IT is very likely that we will have a new Pope on or before St Patrick's Day leading to some speculation that he could take the name of the Irish Saint. A Pope Patrick would be a heavenly gift for Irish branding in recession-hit Ireland causing Tourism Ireland to pinch itself and wonder if it wasn't just dreaming and had gone to heaven.
While the next Pope certainly won't be an Irishman, though a fair constituency would argue that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the boy from Ballyfermot who came back from the Vatican to clean up Dublin abuse, is just the gritty can-do operator to get into the Vatican and clean up the mess, the church crisis that has occurred here over the last decade or more could be very instructive to the next papacy.
There is widespread acceptance among commentators and cardinals alike that game-changing lessons need to be learnt and employed for a new Pope's strategy to navigate the choppy waters in which the Barque of Peter finds itself.