The Last Pope
Great article over at Tech Central Station....
In fact, many commentators think that his advanced age (the oldest in over a century) indicates that he's meant to be a short-term, transitional pope, until a new one can emerge for the new century. In addition, some say (including many of those who think him transitional), that his selection by the College of Cardinals was also at least partly to send a message of continuity of the Church and its teachings as they evolved under the previous pope.
Despite his years, though, they may get a lot more continuity than they bargained for. This is, after all, the twenty-first century, in which technological breakthroughs in general, and medical breakthroughs in particular, are coming along at a breakneck and accelerating pace. Such advances, described in the recent books More Than Human by Ramez Naam, and Joel Garreau's Radical Evolution, may upend (among many other things) the stately applecart of traditional papal successions if (as seems increasingly likely) they result in extreme life extension and indefinitely-long healthy human life spans.