Why a book about the “next pope” now?

George Weigel discusses what the next pope should be doing in an attempt to link future to past and present.

It’s important to distinguish what I’ve done here from what (indistinct) and (indistinct) did in the past. They were publishing scorecards and racing forms … portraits of men who might be the next pope.

My book “The Next Pope” is not a scorecard. It’s a reflection on the state of the Catholic Church in 2020 viewed through the prism of the three popes that I have known personally and have been in intense conversation with, namely John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. That’s been a singular privilege for me.

Through that and through other facets of my work I have been in contact with a really remarkable and remarkably heartening range of Catholics throughout the world. Most recently at the three most recent Synods and the Summit Conference on Abuse and it seemed to me useful for everyone, for the whole church, to reflect upon our future through the prism of this question what aught The Next Pope be about. So that’s why I wrote the book.

It’s very brief. It’s almost telegraphic in its literary style. I wanted this to be something that’s easy for people to digest and I hope it helps all of us think about the Catholic future really through the experience of the past 50 years or so.

We ought to have learned some lessons in that time and those are the ones I try to draw out through the prism of this question what should the next pope be doing which is not all that different from the question of what is the Pope doing and what have his predecessors been doing? So it’s an attempt to link future to past and present.

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