Taylor, I am glad you brought this up because it is an issue I have been thinking about a lot. It irks me when I hear the rhetoric, even by cardinals, about him being a transitional Pope. He is the Pope, end of story. This is not a political party or even a country. This is the leader of the largest Christian denomination in the world. He has been chosen by God and God works in mysterious ways. To illustrate this point, lets talk about unlikely saints and “reluctant servants” for a moment.
Augustine of Hippo was born to a devout christian mother. He was well educated and reckless, given to drunkenness, licentiousness, and heresy. He was part of the Manichean heresy. Well, many years later Augustine of Hippo became Saint Augustine. At age 32 he had a conversion and was baptized. He then became a prolific writer and defender of the faith. He was ordained a priest, then a Bishop, and started a new monastery. And all this, not because he wanted it, but because God revealed the truth to him.
Thomas Beckett was an assistant and friend to the king of England. They visited brothels together and had great fun until the king wanted him to be ordained and become the archbishop of canterbury so that he would no longer have any trouble from the church. Beckett pleaded with him, but the king insisted. Beckett was ordained a priest and then a Bishop and at the cost of a friendship and eventually his life, he defended the faith and authority of the church against the schemes of King Henry II. He was reluctant, but when put into the situation became a saint.
St. Paul was a persecutor of Christians. He hated them, but as you probably know, Jesus appeared to him and he accepted God’s will.
And the most reluctant leader of them all: Moses. Even though he believed in the God of Israel, he gave the Lord every excuse in the World why he should not lead Israel. God didn’t listen.
Sorry, if this seems dramatic, but the point is, God has something in store for Pope Gregory XVI and only time will reveal this to us.