Thursday 14 December 2017

Like St Francis before him, the 'black pope' must repair the church

Garry O'Sullivan

A LEGAL friend asked me recently about the prophecies of St Malachy and that the next pope, if black, will signal the end of the world, a contention that met with a strong rebuff from me for resorting to such old wives' tales.

However, the head of the Jesuits is known as the 'black pope' and with a Jesuit now in the chair of St Peter, sales of St Malachy's books and rumours of the world's end are sure to gain credence.

What has happened is that the lead candidates, Cardinal Scola of Milan and Cardinal Scherer of Brazil, must have cancelled each other out in the early votes. As the saying goes, go in a pope and come out a cardinal. The compromise candidate is Argentinian, Jorge Mario Bergoglio (76), the first leader of the church ever chosen from South America. As Pope Francis, the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, is also the first non-European leader of the church in more than 1,000 years.

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