If I could pick the Pope, I ‘d pick someone who is a passionate and obedient follower of the living, resurrected Jesus Christ — who puts intimacy with and obedience to the Holy Spirit, above every other consideration.
If I could vote in the Sistine Chapel to pick the Pope, I’d choose someone who would call for all Catholics, all other Christians, and all non-Christians to lay down their pride and opinions; to turn away from every wrongful thought and behavior; and to seek to personally follow the living God with all their being.
If I was a member of the College of Cardinals, I would vote for someone who believes that every Christ-follower is equal to every other believer and has a ministry to other believers and to the world at large; and that every person who attends a church meeting should be allowed to openly share testimonies, encouraging words, Scriptures, prayer requests, gifts of the spirit, and prayers; as the Spirit leads him/her, as the New Testament teaches in 1 Corinthians 14:26.
If I could vote in the papal Conclave, I’d vote for someone who recognizes that official membership in a church or religious institution and/or participating in certain religious ceremonies, do not constitute a relationship with God or eternal salvation.
If I could help pick the new Pope at the Vatican, I would choose someone who believes that the true church is invisible; that it is built on the rock of spiritual revelation that was given to Peter when he declared that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God;” and that people are added to the invisible church when they personally receive supernatural revelation and then surrender their life and their obedience to the living, resurrected Jesus Christ.
If I was privileged to help pick the Pope (or the leader of any Christian denomination), I’d vote for a Steve Jobs of Christianity — someone who is willing to allow Spirit-led innovation in order to make the Catholic institution more effective in reaching people with the life-transforming power and presence of the living Jesus and making them sold-out and passionate Christ-followers.
(After writing this, I realized that if I did have a vote, I’d have to choose from among the Catholic Cardinals. So I did some research and found one who is my front runner, even though he doesn’t meet all my criteria. It is Chinese Cardinal Zen from Hong Kong. Here’s an article about him: http://www.cfnews.org/page88/files/e3fce8b856a31ce3c25f86599f9e48c8-50.html)