Skip to comments.Habemus papam: the new Pope needs our prayers
Posted on 04/19/2005 3:13:15 PM PDT by Pokey78
Aspellbinding pause came after the words "habemus papam" were pronounced on the balcony of St Peter's at 5.43 yesterday, before the name was given. Then came "Josef" - Josef Ratzinger. Those watching, in the city and the world, waited during those seconds, agog to know the identity of the new Pope. But why should the world care who the new Pope is?
The answer lies in the extraordinary influence of the last papacy, of Pope John Paul II. Geopolitically, it changed the face of the world, not least by bringing the Soviet empire tumbling down. John Paul's importance was recognised by the turnout of world leaders at his funeral, and not just those who agreed with his principles.
Cardinal Ratzinger was one of two cardinals in this conclave who had voted for John Paul II. Yet he is not John Paul III, but Benedict XVI. It was 1978 when we last had a new pope, and many have forgotten the interest and uncertainty such a change brings. No one can predict the reign.
Some hopes of the secular world certainly will not be fulfilled. Western liberals are shocked by the Church's attitude to abortion, contraception, practising homosexuality, the ordination of women and the ordination of married men. But the Western world will be disappointed if it expects Pope Benedict to countenance abortion or sex outside marriage. Movement might have been expected on the ordination of married men, a matter of discipline, not moral doctrine.
But in whatever years are left to Pope Benedict, 78 last Saturday, no betting man would put money on change even here.
Cardinal Ratzinger was no monstrous obscurantist. He did not tolerate out-of-line theologians teaching in the name of the Church, but at least he was a proper theologian with an international reputation himself. As a theologian he attended the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), and he intends to continue its engagement of the Church with the world. But, in line with that council, how open will he be to collegial authority, and will he see the laity as prime movers of the Church in the new century?
His choice of the patronal name Benedict invokes his unfortunate predecessor Benedict XV, elected at the beginning of the First World War, and dead eight years later, worn out by unsuccessful efforts for peace. But the name also refers back to St Benedict, the builder of Western monasticism.
At the opening of this conclave, Cardinal Ratzinger delivered a sermon stressing continuity of religious doctrine in contrast with the endless experiment of secular ideologies, seesawing from "Marxism to free-market liberalism, even to libertarianism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism". If St Benedict of old built a new Christian society for a Europe ruined by the fall of the Roman Empire, Pope Benedict is confident that he knows where to look for a vision to transform newly decayed Europe and the world.
It is no business of a national newspaper to decide the pastoral priorities of a man Catholics call the Vicar of Christ. Some readers will be very interested in his reverent attitude to liturgy. As far as Britain, its Queen and Government go, there is a presumption of friendship with the Pope, cemented by the visit of John Paul II in 1982. Society shares with the Church the furtherance of family values, education, social cohesion, peace and aspirations to human fulfilment, with a rejection of a culture of pornocracy or drugs. Christian rivalries no longer turn the Pope into Antichrist. Pope Benedict's task is daunting, and he asked in his first public words for prayers. He surely has those of Christians and the good wishes of many beyond his flock.
so, if you are rude to me, come into my house, trash my rules, make fun of what I believe in, and I ask you to go, I have a heart of darkness for doing it?
This is what a lot of people have been doing with the church.
You interested, Meek?
That you characterize a courageous zeal for truth as "an internal heart of darkness" says plenty about you, and nothing about the Pope.
Popes are Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, not libertarian worshippers of their own bellies. Deal with it.
"Habemus 'Possum." (?)
Cardenal Ratzinger defines the libertarian first principle of following one's own conscience, as relativistic tyranny. He affirms his faith by condemning alternate perceptions of holiness. He accuses those whom he has censured, and silenced of being themselves the dictators. To infallibly hunt down and excommunicate external evils, suggests an internal heart of darkness, projected onto others.
Ratzinger, the enforcer of orthodoxy, might remember the words Pogo, the marsupial philosopher, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
Oooo, pretty sparklies!
Prayers for Pope Benedict XVI.
May God bless his reign as servant-leader of Christ's Church.
This neglects a simpler explanation, viz., that he may just love the Almighty and neighbor enough that he hates evil and does not want anyone harmed by the spread of false doctrine.
"We have met the enemy and he is us."
No, we have met the enemy, and he is Satan and his modernist, liberal useful idiots.
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