#Hopes4aNewPope

03.01.2013 | Catholic, Hot Topics

The pope may have shut down his Twitter feed, but the University of Dayton's Miguel H. Díaz, former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, wants young Catholics worldwide to let the College of Cardinals know their hopes for a new pope.

Díaz started the campaign Friday through @profmigueldiaz with: "Young Catholics, what is one quality next pope should have? Share your #Hopes4aNewPope."

Díaz invited Catholic youth around the world to pray, fast, talk with one another and tweet one quality they would like to see in the next pope. He says it's their responsibility to weigh in.  

"The Pastoral Constitution of the Church says, 'By reason of the knowledge, competence or pre-eminence, which they have, the laity are empowered — indeed sometimes obliged — to manifest their opinion on those things which pertain to the good of the Church," Díaz said.

Díaz, who serves as University Professor of Faith and Culture at the University of Dayton, shared the idea during a discussion March 1 at Catholic University of America with other Catholic leaders on advice the College of Cardinals should hear before the conclave.

"The future of this church lies with the world's youth, so how can those of us who love and care for the church not listen to their hearts' desires?" Díaz said. "The Holy Spirit can speak through them at this crucial point in history.

"With the advent of social media the cardinals have a great opportunity to listen to what people are saying about who the next leader should be. The next pope will encounter the world's youth in Rio in 2015. Twitter can open a window of opportunity to begin the process of relating to them."

As a theologian, Díaz acknowledges the church is not a democracy, but is a community called to give and to receive from one another in service to the common good. Young Catholics have an important perspective to share and to be considered, he said.

Portions of the roundtable discussion are posted at the related link and will air at a later date on PBS' Religion & Ethics Newsweekly.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.