The Question of Papal Succession

Though there is no sign of any imminent health crisis for Pope John Paul II, his advancing age and admitted health problems raise the issue of his succession. It is an issue that attracts little attention in the West among nonCatholics. Nevertheless, the significance of papal succession is hard to overstate. In an age of increasing secularism, the Catholic Church remains a significant worldwide religious influence, including representation at the UN.

The present Pope has maintained the Catholic Church's "conservative" positions on issues such as abortion, gay marriage, cloning, contraception, and many other issues. Though I am not a Catholic and I disagree with some Catholic positions, I appreciate the Catholic Church's positive influence on some of these issues.

So, I was interested to read that an "arch-conservative" is the leading contender for papal succession. Although at 77 his tenure will not mirror that of John Paul II, this at the least indicates that there is strong support for continuing Pope John Paul II's policies.


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