Does God Choose the Pope?
Dr. Jared Staudt:
I don't see why this topic is treated as if it were already decided, simply by an off-the-cuff comment by then-Cardinal Ratzinger.
There is able support for my position, that the grace and providence of God chooses the Pope, including Church document which state "by divine providence Pope" after the name of various Popes.
Some Magisterial documents teaching that the Pope or the rulers of Christ’s Church (which definitely includes the Church’s highest authority, the Pope) are selected by God:
“They (priests) must preserve and strengthen a necessary oneness with their brothers in the ministry, especially with those whom God has selected as visible rulers of his Church.” (Decree – Presbyterorum Ordinis – On The Ministry And Life Of Priests # 15, n 3; Vatican II).
“But this authority (the Pope’s), even though it may be given to a man, and may be exercised by a man, is not human, but rather divine power, having been given by the divine mouth of Christ to Peter, and to him as well as to his successors, by Christ Himself, that is, to him whom He had disclosed to be the firm rock, just as the Lord said to Peter himself: “Whatever you shall bind,” [Matthew 16:19] etc. Therefore, whoever resists this authority, such as it has been ordain by God, resists the ordination of God. [Romans 13:2]” (Unam Sanctam).
Pope Francis Coat of Arm’s motto “Miserando atque eligendo” based on Matthew 9:9–13 clearly teaches that he was chosen by God. So this is something that the Church authoritatively believes.
If the Decree Optatam Totius considers those in the licit hierarchical priesthood as "divinely chosen", how much more the Pope.
"The effective union of the whole people of God in fostering vocations is the proper response to the action of Divine Providence which confers the fitting gifts on those men divinely chosen to participate in the hierarchical priesthood of Christ and helps them by His grace." - (Decree - Optatam Totius - On Priestly Training # 2; n 3; Vatican II)
In Pope Francis' recent meeting with new Bishops, he stated the following:
So we see this teaching constantly stated by Church authorities.
"3. These individual Churches, whether of the East or the West, although they differ somewhat among themselves in rite (to use the current phrase), that is, in liturgy, ecclesiastical discipline, and spiritual heritage, are, nevertheless, each as much as the others, entrusted to the pastoral government of the Roman Pontiff, the divinely appointed successor of St. Peter in primacy over the universal Church." - (Decree - Orientalium Ecclesiarum - On the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite# 3, n 1; Vatican II)
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