Angelo, I really like your cartoons. Their messages are straight forward and the illustratios are good. Is my opinion influenced by the fact that I very much agree with your idea of social justice and equity? We most likely have some theological differences, but that doesn't mean we can't work together for our ideals of justice and individual freedom.
Who the next Pope is and what his agenda will be should be of great concern and interest to all people, Protestant Christians, Catholics, other religious identities and those who claim no religious identification. The new Pope will be the leader of approximately 2 billion people. The Catholic organization is not Democratic. The Pope will be appointed by a hyerarchy of only a few men at the top of the order. He has the 'bully' pulpit for 6 or 7 times as many people as the President of the United States.
Your comments about him being more intellectual than practical or pastoral is true for many religious leaders of all faiths and denominations.
Some folks will say that 'practicality' has no place in religious theology or doctrine. How does Scripture or any religious history have any real value if we can't see practicality? If the Christian cannot make a rational comparison of culture and time when a particular scripture was written, how can we make it relate to our present situations? That doesn't take anything away from the idea that all Scripture was inspired by God. The stories and messages were given to a particular people in particular circumstances. Basic human nature has not changed, but circumstances, cultures, and technology have changed and those changes are coming more rapidly every year.
We need intellectuals to research and interpret history. Language changes are a tremendous challenge. Word meanings and phrases have done a lot of changing, just in my lifetime and can have great difference in application by regions. We, the common folks, have to rely on educated and dedicated research and interpretation. But, we also need dedicated pastoral leaders, who understand the real world of the present and leaders who can relate and communicate with all people of all faiths.