Prayer for a new pontiff

Holy Spirit, you hear the voice of your people. Hear us now as we prepare for the election of a new pope. Move the Church’s leaders to select a head who unites rather than divides; who brings the church beyond mere obedience to law and into deeper faithfulness to the gospel; who rejects self-righteous calls to cut more of the faithful from full communion; who chooses dialog over fiat; who calls the church to grow in spirit, love and community; who moves beyond arguments and viewpoints that were brilliant in their day, but have been eclipsed by new and deeper understandings; who recovers, not assumes, the Church’s moral authority in the wake of appalling scandals, through true repentance and a change of hearts and habits; who seeks to hear the voices and prayers of all of the faithful, not those of an insulated few; who exhorts both laity and clergy to exhibit a standard of love and holiness that, as in the earliest days of the church, attracts others to a life of faith.

We know that, in the hearts of people of good will, you are working to lead the church in ways of goodness and holiness. We also know that it is possible to refuse your call. Keep us from falling into error. Preserve the church during this period, and strengthen it, that it may be for all a sign of the coming kingdom – a place where all may rest in safety, peace and love. We ask you this through Jesus Christ, our Lord, our model, and icon of the holy face of God.
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