Benedict XVI – “To Work in the Fields of the Lord”

On the feastday of St. Leo IX, a German pope, another German pope.

I like the name.

The press is unhappy – Benedict indicates a more conservative bent, and folks in the press are speaking through their teeth as they bemoan the fact that the progressive agenda will not be moved on.

John Allen is suggesting that Ratzinger took the name Benedict to indicate that his reign would not be a long one.

I respect Allen enormously, but I think he’s being a bit silly with that. There were too many Benedicts to make such a statement. And ow funny, to hear CNN grab on to that, saying, essentially, that hopefully Ratzingers reign will be short, also.

Benedict. Father of Western Monasticism. I think there is much more behind his name than “brevity.”

In his homily yesterday, Ratzinger said it was time to take on the Dictatorship of Relativism.

Today – a pope.

John Paul II was a pastor and a pastoral pope.

Benedict XVI was never a pastor, but he is a writer, and a theologian, and an administrator.

Many thought administration was JPtG’s weak spot.

So, perhaps, the Holy Spirit is balancing things out. We will wait and know more as time goes on, no?

Many people thought Malachy’s prophecy would mean a Benedictine pope. “Glory of the Olives.”

Ratzinger is not a Benedictine.

Well, he took the name, anyway.

Perhaps it means he’ll be the best of the Benedicts? Who the heck knows! :-)

May I suggest you head over to NRO, where K-Lo is going strong. I steal this from her.


Today what people have in view is eliminating suffering from the world. For the individual, that means avoiding pain and suffering in whatever way. Yet we must also see that it is in this very way that the world becomes very hard and very cold. Pain is part of being human. Anyone who really wanted to get rid of suffering would have to get rid of love before anything else, because there can be no love without suffering, because it always demands an element of self-sacrifice, because, given temperamental differences and the drama of situations, it will always bring with it renunciation and pain.— The Question of Suffering, the Response of the Cross | By Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Thus the moral theologians of the Western Hemisphere, in their efforts to still remain “credible” in our society, find themselves facing a difficult alternative: it seems to them that they must choose between opposing modern society and opposing the Magisterium. …

Thus we stand before the difficult alternative: either the Church finds an understanding, a compromise with the values propounded by society which she wants to continue to serve, or she decides to remain faithful to her own values (and in the Church’s view these are the values that protect man in his deepest needs) as the result of which she finds herself on the margin of society. …

But one cannot struggle against nature without undergoing the most devastating consequences. The sacrosanct equality between man and woman does not exclude, indeed it requires, diversity.

… Christianity is not “our” work; it is a Revelation; it is a message that has been consigned to us, and we have no right to reconstruct it as we like or choose.
— The Rupture between Sexuality and Marriage: Reflections on unnatural liberation by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Excerpted from The Ratzinger Report

Many in the press are carrying on about this “extremely controversial” pope.

Can an “extremely controversial” pope be elected in 24 hours? He is only controversial to those who wanted to get on with the de-construction of the church. Chris Matthews is expectorating all over himself, I’m sure. A pal of mine in the news bidness says the Jewish folk are concerned and feel that they are now “doomed.”

How silly.

My son Buster cannot get over all of the young people in St. Peter’s Square. He seems very moved by it.

Meanwhile, Sr. Joan Chittister has got to hate this.

Here is John Allen’s 1999 profile of Cardinal Ratzinger. Leans left, so be forewarned! :-)

Final thoughts: You know what I keep thinking of, what keeps running through my brain?

That moment at JPII’s funeral, when the crowd chanted SANTO, SANTO and Ratzinger stood there, watching, blinking, hearing it.

At that moment he seemed very human and humble to me, and I couldn’t help thinking that he truly HEARD them, really felt their faith, and their optimism, and thought: We must keep the faith with these people.

I had a sense that it was a major moment for HIM.

God, through the Holy Spirit, is not done working on any of us, including the new Pope, Benedict XVI. I suspect that that particular moment at the funeral was one that reached into Ratzinger’s own soul. I think that’s why so many of us were moved to see it.

Just a feeling I had.

I wonder if folks who agree with Benedict XVI will become the new Benedictines?

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About Elizabeth Scalia