In a very strange response to the announced resignation of Pope Benedict, the Catholic Church has apparently picked Cardinal Richelieu as Pope Benedict’s successor. This move surprised many commentators, no one less than the Catholic Church itself.
After all, popes are not generally merely ‘selected.’ It is not known at this time how or why the normal procedures for selecting a pope were dispensed with in this case. However, despite the radical shift in Church procedure regarding this decision, not a single Cardinal was willing to speak with us regarding this matter. Clearly, the selection of Cardinal Richelieu as pope must have their support…or at least their acceptance.
It is also surprising that the Church has selected a person who has been dead for almost 400 years. Cardinal Richelieu isn’t exactly fresh anymore. However, if you consider how old the average pope looked, perhaps they just thought nobody would know the difference.
Are they hoping to transform France into a strongly centralized state? Are they just big fans of Alexandre Dumas? There is just no way of being certain at this time. No explanations have been forthcoming and any theories would be pure speculation (and just as imaginary as the rest of this post). We will just have to be patient and see what develops from this situation.