19 April 2005

Habemus Papam

"Habemus Papam!" We have a pope, Benedict XVI, the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. All the conservatism of John Paul II, and none of the charisma. Where will he lead the ship of the Church? I suspect he will keep her headed on the same course as his predecessor (whom he advised for 24 years). Other than that, I think he will have the crew swab the decks. I hope that will entail some house-cleaning, especially in the American Catholic Church. The American Catholic hierarchy has for too long tolerated (and in some cases protected) the breaking of the vow of celibacy, which, as long as celibacy is the rule, is the breaking of the office of the priesthood.

Benedict XVI, in his younger days, was instrumental in the suppression of Liberation Theology. This may sound like a bad thing, but Liberation Theology was essentially a syncretism of Catholicism with Communism. The two didn't go together well at all in Europe, and one could hardly expect a European pope, or his theological advisor, to be sympathetic. Liberation Theology, which was used as a tool by the Sandinista insurgency, is less popular now that most of the autocratic regimes in South America are no more. But it had the merit of raising social justice concerns that the Church must address if it is to do the Gospel and not just proclaim it.

So, may God help Benedict XVI. In his opening remarks as Pope, the Urbi et Orbi blessing, he pretty much said he's counting on it.

1 comment:

old gal said...

And what is Benedict XVI commenting on at this point? Homosexuality laws in Spain! Of all the problems we have in this world that could be cured by our "leaders," why are homosexuals so threatening to them? I have MY opinion and it ain't pretty!