Soon all eyes will be on the Sistine Chapel roof waiting for the puff of smoke which will tell the world that there is a new pope or, more likely, commentators will be trying to discern whether it is black or white while waiting to hear the bells to confirm their hopes or if there is to be another anxious wait.
Speculation has been rife ever since Pope Benedict XVI announced that he was to retire with much talk of an African pope. Watching Pope Benedict's final audience I was intrigued by a question put by a BBC commentator to a black African in the crowd. Did he think it was time for an African pope? Back came the answer that it was not where he came from but that the right man would be elected. Not to be thwarted the commentator tried again asking a black African nun a similar question. Looking rather astonished at the question, her answer was the same. How refreshing that the response of these two pilgrims had no political motivation, just trust in the work of the Holy Spirit, so different to the claims and counter claims we have become accustomed to in the Anglican church dominated by a liberal agenda that demands re-writing the rules if the Holy Spirit is thought not to be moving in the direction indicated.
I was particularly interested in another question about the desirability of electing a pope of African or South American origin because congregations there are growing so strongly. - The fact that these countries are growing so strongly suggests that what the Catholic church really needs is a man to reverse the decline elsewhere, particularly in Europe. Pray that whoever is elected is for the good of all the church.