What a year! Muslims, Muslims, everywhere. We had cartoon riots, Minnesota voters send first Muslim to Capitol Hill, New UN ambassador a Muslim, the first female Muslim in space, Muslims taking over Catholic Churches in Belgium, and one-fourth of the world is now Muslim.
Although Pope Benedict XVI seems to be in good health, he is nearly 80 years old. Considering his near fatal encounter with Islam last September, it is probably likely that the 117 cardinal electors will consider making the next Pope a Muslim.
A little history: The Vatican held Muslims (as well as apostate Christians) in contempt since the time of Pope Boniface VIII (c. 1235 – October 11, 1303) with his pronouncement "extra ecclesiam nulla salus" or "If you ain't Catholic, you're going to hell."
But that all changed in October of 1965 when His Holiness Pope Paul VI proclaimed the DECLARATION ON THE RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS - NOSTRA AETATE: "Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom."
The next Pope will face a declining Christian population and a fast exploding Muslim community in Europe which has been pressing for Shariah Law to be used in secular European courts.
Christians have declined worldwide and only gained significant population in Africa. In 1955 there were 16 million Catholics in Africa; in 1978 there were 55 million, and in 2004 almost 149 million. [Statisical Yearbook of the Catholic Church] Although this may seem as if Christians as a percentage are growing it is misleading: in actual fact Africa is now mostly Muslim. What's really happening is that Africans (both Christians and Muslims) are breeding faster than nature and Muslim terror can moderate. Of course, a lot of this is the fault of well-intentioned, but misguided American Philanthropy.
Since the whole world seems hell-bent on knee-bending to Islam, I fully expect the next Pope to indeed be Muslim. Oh well, at least some nuns will not have to make major changes to their habits.
History News Network - Is Dealing with Islam the Next Pope's Great Challenge?
Catholic.com - Can Non-Christians Be Saved?, Excerpt: We don’t know what God will do for those outside the Church, so it’s best not to presume to judge. We can only hope and pray that God will have mercy on them.