- Posted March 13, 2013 by
Muntinlupa City, Philippines
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Catholics: Your views on new pope
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About the Conclave and Politics in Vatican City
There's now a conclave in Vatican City which is about to elect a new pope. Many Roman Catholics are saying that there's politics involved in choosing a would-be pope. I believe there's really politics in choosing a pope. We must remember that the pope is not only the head of the Roman Catholic Church; he's also the head- -of-state of the city-state of Vatican. Vatican City became an independent state in 1929 by the Treaty of Lateran. Vatican City today is represented in some international organizations and the pope has envoys on special missions. Hence, electing a pope also means electing the head-of-state of Vatican City. Therefore, there's really politics when it comes to choosing a pope due to the fact that the pope will also be the head-of-state of Vatican City. The said city-state has an absolute elective monarchy. The would-be pontiff will assume the position of being the absolute monarch of Vatican City once elected to the position.
Vatican City has its own military force and police, It has its own government and flag. It is a key-player in today's global affairs. The pope, aside from being the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, will also be the "absolute king" of the city-state of Vatican. Vatican is the smallest independent state in today's world when it comes to territory's size and population. The total population of the city is only more than 800 people.
There are certainly lobbyists among cardinal-electors themselves who would like to influence the voting of their fellow-electors. Why? It's because of the fact that such opportunity might lead them to gain some key positions in the Vatican once the person they favored to become the pope actually wins the papacy.
The conclave would elect a new pope who must solve such problems like sex-abuse scandals by clerics, financial difficulties within the Roman Catholic Church, bureaucratic infighting, charges of corruption on certain church leaders, shortage of priests and the decreasing number of church-goers in both Europe and North America.
Many Roman Catholic thinkers want to enlarge the electoral college that would elect a new pope. Such thinkers want to include bishops as electors for the would-be pope. Personally, I believe that all sectors of the Roman Catholic Church should be represented in the conclave. I think priests, nuns, church workers, active church-goers and lay-preachers should also be among those who would vote for a would-be pope. I hope that future conclaves can involve priests, nuns, church workers, active church-goers and lay-preachers as electors of a would-be pope to make the process of choosing a new pope a little bit democratic and truly-participatory. Since the Roman Catholic Church is a "universal church", future conclaves should involve all sectors of the church. All sectors of the Roman Catholic Church should have a voice in choosing a new pope since such would show the universality of Roman Catholicism.