According to the New Message from God, the next pope should probably be a woman. If you are unfamiliar with the New Message from God, what it is and what it has to do with the leadership of a 2000-year-old institution, let me catch you up quickly.
The New Message from God is a religious movement based on the revelations of the prophet Marshall Vian Summers. Over the past 30 years, Summers has recorded hundreds of hours of teachings from a reportedly Angelic source representing the will of God. These revelations have been assembled into sacred texts and around the world the people of the New Message from God gather together in person and online to practice and study this nascent religion.
“There is a New Message from God in the world, and one of the things that it calls for is the emergence of women leaders, particularly in the area of spirituality and religion. It is time now for certain women to be called into these greater roles and responsibilities, and it is important around the world in different quarters and in different religious traditions that this be allowed.”
The New Message from God proclaims that women are already the backbone of many religious institutions and traditions yet they are held back from positions of power and authority. In recent decades, women have begun to take roles of political and commercial leadership. "This is a natural evolution and should be continued. There are now heads of state who are women, but they are still blocked from becoming religious leaders in many, many traditions and in many cultures. They can become the president of a nation, but not a priest or a rabbi or an imam, in many circumstances."
While men generally excel in the realms of the practical and material, says the New Message, women often have a natural advantage at the psychological, emotional and spiritual levels, with inherent powers of empathy and service. This advantage is wasted when women cannot serve as a pope, ayatollah or grand mufti.
"The New Message from God is not just a new religion to compete with the existing traditions," said Darlene Mitchell, a teacher and religious leader. "It is here to inform, empower and inspire the world's religions. Without the gifts of New Message, other faiths are at risk of becoming irrelevant and lifeless."
As the cardinals convene in the coming days to choose the next pope, will they heed the New Message from God and consider female candidates to lead the world's largest religious institution?