Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Catholic Church isn't ready for a pope from Africa?

A very interesting on-line poll from CNN:

Which region do you think the new pope should come from?

Europe outside of Italy--17%
North America--13%

Latin America--28%

The results are very interesting. It's CNN of course, and an on-line is not scientific. And some one is likely to whisper: "The Church is not a democracy."

But a statement like: "The Church isn't ready for a pope from Africa" is a statement about public opinion. It's a claim that Catholic public opinion wouldn't accept an African pope.

But who are these Catholics who won't accept an African pope? The Cardinals? They've worked with African leaders in the curia for over twenty years. Catholic young people? They were ready for an African pope a generation ago.

One sociologist warned of the "Abilene effect": a situation where everyone reads everyone else wrong. I asked a class of mine if the Church was ready for an African pope. About 40% said no. Then I asked each one individually how they personally felt about the idea of an African pope. Every single one was enthusiastic.

When the Holy Spirit sent Jesus as messiah, he didn't ask Israel if they were ready for a Saviour from Nazareth.


At Monday, 25 April, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where can one find any other source for this Aiblene effect?


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