If you have already grown tired of the seemingly endless speculation over who is and who isn’t papabile – a likely candidate to become pope – consider enacting a self-imposed media blackout for the next two weeks or so. Things are about to escalate… quickly. Alternatively, you could brush away the residual shock, interactive features, and odds-makers, and do what few others are doing: think about what papabile really means.
My $.02? Ignatius says that Jesuits should regard the Superior General, i.e., the head of the Society of Jesus, “as a mirror and model” (Constitutions, §726). I say likewise for anyone who would be papabile.
Which leaves me asking: is this person a mirror and a model for me, and perhaps more importantly, for people who are not like me, people with whom I struggle? And even more: are this person’s joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties, those of the people of God? If so, then papabile sit.