Magazine
Latest Issue

The next Pope

Popular in the developing world, John Paul II is a liability for Catholicism in the west. Will the new Pope be liberal or conservative, Italian or, even, black?

By Tobias Jones   December 2002

It is supposed to happen once every decade or two. It happened, amazingly, twice in 1978, but never since then. It is so rare that it has given rise to an Italian phrase-equivalent to “once in a blue moon”-“every death of a Pope.”

The rare event is, though, undeniably near at hand. In recent months the Italian press has been anxiously reporting on the health of John Paul II, and quietly pondering who his successor might be. Most nights on Italian television we are treated to the sad spectacle of the pontiff, shaking with Parkinson’s, leaning heavily on his staff.…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect