Over the last few weeks the media has been buzzing with bizarre ideas about what a new Pope could do.
The fact is - a new Pope can NEVER change the dogma of the Catholic Church as he simply wouldn't have the authority. The Church will never change its mind about the immaculate conception, women priests, the sanctity of human life or the number of Persons in the Trinity.
What the new Pope could do however is make truly radical changes in policies in other areas such as social justice, the liturgy and clerical abuse.
In the unlikely event a radical new Pope were to read this, here are my suggestions:
Social Justice: If the church wants to truly show that it's on the side of the weakest members of society how about amending canon law to impose an automatic excommunication on anyone who votes to destroy innocent lives? Whether abortion, euthanasia or an immoral, unjust war those who use their power to kill the innocent could be resisted.
Liturgy: The Second Vatican Council refers to all of the faithful as the pilgrim People of God. A powerful way of demonstrating this would be for the priest to celebrate Mass facing the same direction as the people (except on those few occasions he is addressing them). This would focus our hearts and minds on Christ and His sacrificial love for us and not the person of the priest.
Abuse: The new Pope could "invite" all bishops who have abused their position by cosying up to anti-life politicians or covered up child abuse to retire to a life of prayer and penance. Any who are even suspected of breaking the law should be reported immediately to the police.
Now let's pray.