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Ask A Catholic: Who Do You Think The Next Pope Will Be?

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Ask A Catholic: Who Do You Think The Next Pope Will Be?

What questions do you have about Catholicism? Submit them online, or fill out the form below. 

By Mitch Finley

Do you have any guesses who the next pope might be one day?

What a question! In most cases over the last couple of millennia there have been far more surprises in this regard than otherwise. In my own lifetime, I can think of only two popes who were not a surprise to most observers, and that was  Paul VI (Giovanni Montini, 1963-1978) and Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger, 2005-2013)—who surprised everyone by retiring to become only the second pope to do so. As of this writing, he retains  the title of “pope emeritus.”

Whenever you hear someone predict who the next pope will be, usually that simply reveals who the one predicting hopes the next pope will be.  Progressives predict that the next pope will be progressive, conservatives predict that the next pope will be a conservative.The only observation I would make is that the current pope, Francis, is perhaps the most popular pope in modern times, although more than a few conservative Catholics don’t care for him. So, personally I think that Francis’s successor may be someone not unlike Francis. But don’t tell anyone I said so.

About Mitch Finley

Mitch Finley is the author of 30+ books on Roman Catholic theological topics and spirituality, all written to appeal to both non-academic and academic readers. Mitch holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Santa Clara University and an M.A. in Theology from Marquette University. He and Kathy Finley have been married since 1974 and are the parents of three grown sons. To learn more visit mitchandkathyfinley.com.

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