HAVANA TIMES – In Vatican City, tourists and the faithful awaited the verdict of the conclave of Cardinals; but the first show of smoke was black, indicating that the 115 cardinals had not arrived at any consensus.
As a result, the Holy Seat was still without a Pope and people began to scatter, waiting for the second round to see if the white smoke would then be rising from the chimneys of the San Pablo Basilica.
The prelates who were gathered in the Sistine Chapel were trying to designate a successor to Benedict the XVI. It was a difficult task at a time when, as we all know, the Catholic Church is facing one of the greatest crises in its history.
Scandals of economic and moral corruption have abounded, especially the cases of child abuse that have been denounced in several countries, some involving several of the Cardinals themselves. This would make the selection a thorny one.
How to avoid a mistake and show the world a tainted Pontiff? How delicate a matter is this responsibility of choosing the representative of God on earth (according to Christianity).
What a dilemma of credibility the Holy Seat must confront, one where the veracity of their sacred commandments could be cast into doubt.
Nonetheless, several names were being mentioned early on as possible successors to the Pope: Angelo Scola of Italy, Marc Ouellet of Canada, Timothy Dolan of the United States, Reihard Marx of Germany, Francis Arinze of Nigeria and Peter Tukson of Ghana, among others.
As if it were a political election campaign that was trying to demonstrate its democracy, two Africans were touted together with the representatives of the great powers. But the media didn’t give much publicity to the names of the Latin American Cardinals, whose qualities could possibly be considered far superior to those of any other candidate.
Days later and following several more rounds, the Pontiff was selected: to the surprise of many, a Latin American. In the end, this was a fairly logical move, given that the greatest number of believers in the Catholic faith are in Latin America.
So those who still believe in or need a Pope, the lay sisters and ordained nuns who clamor for the approval of a female priesthood, or simply the media and other curious people who waited between the black smoke and the white outside of the Vatican now have their Holy Father.
Will he be able to extinguish the dark clouds of smoke that surround the Holy Church?