The Church’s Prayer for the Next Pope

If you’re looking for something to pray in the weeks to come, here’s the Collect for the Election of a Pope or a Bishop from the Roman Missal:

“O God, eternal shepherd, who govern your flock with unfailing care, grant in your boundless fatherly love a pastor for your Church who will please you by his holiness and to us show watchful care. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

We will be praying it daily here at the seminary, until a new pope is elected.  It would make for a good private devotional, as well, particularly for those shaken by the announcement of Benedict’s resignation.


  1. “You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.” Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima

    When will we get a Pope that will grant God’s wish?

  2. Let it be a man able, willing, worthy to carry out God’s will. The public clamors for an African pope, a Latin Pope, another Pope Joan, but it is not up to them.
    Joseph Ratzinger had a difficult role to fill, coming after the beloved John Paul II, the next pope knows he will have to carry on in the wake of Benedict XVI, a man still alive in both wisdom and body.
    How does a Protestant pray for the Pope?

    1. Ann,

      Great question. Perhaps something like:

      “Lord Jesus, You promised to provide shepherds after Your own heart, to feed Your flock with knowledge and understanding (Jeremiah 3:15). Raise up within the Catholic Church a shepherd after Your own heart.

      And may we all be completely one, even as You are One in the Father, so that the world may believe that You were sent by the Father, and may know the depth of His love for us (cf. John 17:20-23). Amen.”

      How does that sound?



      P.S. “Pope Joan” is a Reformation-era myth: there was no such figure.

    2. Thank you for your help. These are good words to use.
      I know about the truth about “Pope Joan”, but some myths refuse to go away, like a dandelion stuck in a crack in the sidewalk.

  3. Joe,

    I am a CofE member who has recently been trying to find out more about the Catholic Church, and have found this website (and the Catholic ministers at my school) fantastic in dispelling many of my prejudices and presuppositions about the Catholic Church and faith.

    I was wondering whether you think it is necessary for the Church to have a Hispanic Pope, considering that Latin American constitutes the greatest number of Catholics by region in the world. Do you think that this is a genuine consideration when selecting the next Pope, or have I misunderstood the criteria and methods of selection?

    Also,is there any Catholic literature which would give me the best overview of the Church so that I can continue to learn more.

    Thank you for the blog!


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