Can Catholics have a preference for Pope?

Sorry about two threads in two minutes lol…

erm, I was thinking about the new (ish) pope, and how some people maybe wished it had been one person, or another wished they’d come from one country etc etc.

Can a Catholic hold a preference for one Pope over another or do they accept that all Popes are equally as valid as the church is guided by the Holy Spirit? I was talking to someone the other day who had a preference for a Latin American Pope as she likes Liberation Theology etc…

I’ve also noticed within my secular family and friends a definite affection and preference for JPII… though whether this is due to the amount of time he was in office I don’t know, and I wondered whether Catholics had similar ideas, officially.


I prefer a Pope just like Pope John Paul II, one who travels a lot and visit the poor. I don’t agree in Liberation Theology and the CC condemns it. I do like the current Pope but I do wish he was more like the travelling Pope JPII.

I do understand that you can’t always have it your way. Pope Benedict XVI is 80 and I don’t know if he is physically up to travelling the way Pope John Paul II did early in his Papacy. I think the next Pope should be conservative as Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

I feel these two men are the perfect Pope, next in line with St. Peter.

It’s only natural that some Catholics will feel closer to some Popes or Cardinals as opposed to others, if they share certain beliefs or characteristics or what have you.

Just like you will certainly prefer some of your Archbishops of Canterbury (or Bishops) over others. As a good Anglican hopefully you’ll recognise all of them as validly chosen and obey them all in all things lawful as St Paul tells us to do. Same with us and our Popes.

To be honest if an archbishop said something I disagreed with I wouldn’t do it, or if i thought it contradicted scripture. I know a lot disagree with women priests etcf.

I also prefer the Archbishop of York to the archbishop of Canterbury…who actually are equals even though one is seen as more of the figurehead…

but then I’m not a very good Anglican lol


Well, on big issues like women’s ordination … if a Pope came out with that one most of us would disagree too - I’d probably leave the Church over it. Course we believe it could never happen - the Holy Spirit would prevent it, and certainly strange things have happened in the past to Popes who’ve had funny ideas :getholy: :crossrc:

well i’ve always thought that the Catholic church was more lead by its leaders, apostolic tradition etc etc…whereas the anglican church has less of this structure and people don’t feel as strongly tied by the hierarchy, though everyone obviously knows that the leaders are called to their work.


what strange things have happened?

There have been times when candidates who have had some pretty radical ideas have been elected Pope, and have done a complete 180 when actually installed in office.

Well, one candidate for the Papacy was a heretic (Arian I think), put onto the office by one of the Byzantine Empresses who was also heretical. He got his butt on the Papal throne, did a complete turnaround on his beliefs and stood up good and proper to the Empress. :highprayer:

Another Pope fancied himself as a biblical scholar (he wasn’t really) and produced his own translation, which was riddled with errors. He died suddenly shortly before his translation was due to become THE official translation of the Church.

Then there’s the very sudden death of John Paul I - he only had like 40 days in office or something. You’ve got to wonder about that.

Well, you can’t have more valid or less valid Popes. A Pope is either valid, in which case he is a Pope or he is “invalid”, which actually doesn’t make much sense because he he can’t be invalid Pope if he isn’t Pope in the first place. So basically there are only Popes…and those who are not Popes but claim to be Popes (Antipopes).

Now, while a Catholic must accept all Popes as valid succesors of Peter, they also should recognize that Popes are humans - because that’s simply what they are. Humans with a holy mission in the Church as Vicars of Christ. So yes, of course one can prefer one Pope over the other. If someone holds John Paul II as his/her favourite Pope doesn’t mean that they consider Benedict XVI as invalid or bad.

Anyone may have a preference of course but we must all submit to the authority of the Pope. The Church isn’t like the State; when Cardinal Ratzinger was elected to the papacy it wasn’t like a presidential election where one party one and one party lost and entered opposition status, no matter that the media chose to present it so.

Pope John Paul II’s appeal certainly extended beyond the bounds of the Church. I think it was less due to the length of his office than to the influence of the Holy Spirit and his own considerable God-given talents.

Do you think then in practice that ALL Catholics submitt EQUALLY to any Pope?

Or do their preferences and personal opinions get in the way? Is that something you can simply keep seperate from your actions as a Catholic. I think this is what scares me about submitting to Rome.

What if they voted in a complete idiot… I don’t mean that t sound flippant or offensive…it’s a real reason why many/most Anglicans would be hard pressed to ever come back into Union with the Catholic church.


Well we try - we’re human though, most of us are at least a bit influenced by personal likes and dislikes.

We deal much more with our local priests and bishops anyway, they’re the ones who have to implement the Vatican’s decisions, and sometimes pretty much ignore them :eek: so they’re the ones who cause more trouble if they’re idiots (and plenty of 'em are!)

thanks for replies…
(Edited, see Forum Rules Under “Enforcement” Rule #3) see you another time… question asked and answered!


they voted in a complete idiot… I don’t mean that t sound flippant or offensive…it’s a real reason why many/most Anglicans would be hard pressed to ever come back into Union with the Catholic church.

SYou can “what if?” yourself to death, but I haven’t seen a pope that qualifies your concern in the last half century or so and in fact they seem to be getting better and better.

It doesn’t matter if everyone submits “equally” to the pope. Most of us are learning for our whole lives anyway and frankly I figure His Holiness has forgotten more than I’ll ever know about our most holy faith.

It’s not just a case of submission to what he himself says anyway because of the level of Biblical and historic teaching that backs him up on any given subject. People seem to forget that.[/size]

What if they chose an adulterer and murderer? Or if someone purchased the seat?

These aren’t hypotheticals—the Borgias are a good example of what you might consider “bad popes”.

And yet the Church survived, the faithful persevered, protected by the Holy Spirit.

Do you think David was a good man? It is hard to say that he was, at least by our standards, and yet he fulfilled God’s plan.

We are all fallen. And yet God continues to call us, to inspire us to rise above.

Regardless of what we think about a given Pope, the fact remains that God works through him. If God could love and use David, it is hard to see how any of the Popes would be somehow unsuitable.

Who can stand against God?

Given the ascension of the former bishop of Nevada to the head of the Episcopal Church, and the rift she has produced within it, this is surely a valid concern on your part.

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