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BLACK SMOKE

And so we wait. Meanwhile, Biblical scholar Geza Vermes has suggestions on where the Catholic Church should be heading. I’ll have to get hold of his book. Judging by his Telegraph op-ed, he's on Andrew Sullivan's side in the big debate:

It would be presumptuous for an outsider to offer advice to the conclave, but may be be allowed a dream? In this dream, the new Pope is urged by God to revitalise Catholicism from within by concentrating on the authentic gospel of Jesus, on the message conveyed by him to his disciples, and not on the doctrine about Jesus developed by St Paul and two millennia of Christianity. This is a simple and moving message, which Jesus formulated in his own language for his simple Galilean audience, about God, the heavenly Father, the dignity of all human beings as children of God, a life turned into worship by total trust, an overwhelming sense of urgency to do one's duty without delaying tactics, a sanctification of the here and now, and, yes, the love of God through the love of one's neighbour.

PS The American Scene linked earlier to Richard John Neuhaus's Rome Diary. Both should be well worth checking in days to come.
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