Pope Benedict’s decision to
retire resign abdicate was a surprise, and it has shifted the world’s attention to the Church and its future. Some are lamenting that we were likely to get another conservative pope who will not bring any radical changes. Recent reports of declining participation among the faithful and the impacts of recent scandals in the Church have weakened the ability of some of the faithful to trust the hierarchy. In the face of these challenges many hope that the cardinals will elect someone who can engage the world. I've even heard it said that failing to elect the right pope will result in the Church continuing to answer questions nobody is asking anymore and thereby spiraling into irrelevance in the eyes of the world.