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?

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Jennifer

    The priest on FoxNews said that the choice of the name Benedict suggested a “moderate” stance – whatever that means.

  • Jake

    This is AMAZING!!! Praise the Lord!! Maybe the world will quiet itself a bit, eh Anchoress?? ;) Just long enough to actually hear THE TRUTH, not noisy cloudy relativistic truths??? :)

  • Jennifer

    FoxNews interviewing priests on the streets in Rome, and they are doing a fabulous job of communicating the joy and excitement that news of this Pope brings.

  • http://ohhowilovejesus Jeanette

    Never mind what the press says and never mind what people of other faiths say if they don’t like him. He was just elected. Give him time to show what kind of pope he is and pray the Holy Spirit will be with him as he goes down this lonely road of service to the Church and to the believers of the Church. The Church is what matters and I am very happy for all of the Catholics and for myself. What excitement! I was working when the two JP’s were elected so I wasn’t part of the excitement. This is so wonderful! May God shine His blessing on Benedict XVI both now and forevermore.

  • Matteo

    I watched a little Reuter’s video snippet online. According to what was said at the end, apparently Ratzinger is a polarizing figure who drives a wedge between conservatives and moderates in the Church. I guess there aren’t any liberals. I mean liberals wouldn’t be in Church at all, or something.

  • Frances


    Sorry to yell, but I’m thrilled. My dreams came true today, Anchoress, everyone. Yes!!!

    When I saw him at the funeral, I got tears in my eyes to see how momentarily stunned he looked to see the unstoppable energy rising out of the crowds of faithful. It was as if the Holy Spirit filled him at that precious moment. I was amazed to see his face soften, and become so very fatherly. I have been haunted by that look. Anchoress, I am glad you also noted it and pointed it out again today. And didn’t he look adorable smiling?! Smiling!

    There is much jubilation here in SF. There is also a lot of anger. I already fielded one call on the matter. A lady who wanted someone more moderate, even tho’ she doesn’t practice her Catholic faith. My opinion is that those who dissent ought to find another religion. I’m so glad we got a man who is unafraid to live his and defend his 100%.

    Praise the Lord!

  • WG

    I wish I’d been able to see the entire funeral – that single moment has been mentioned many times already. I watched the live EWTN feed at my office, and they played pieces of an interview Raymond Arroyo did with him in 2001.

    I was surprised and impressed by his soft, gentle voice and thoughtful words. I suppose that after all the buildup about this ‘controversial’ man, I somewhat expected a sharp, clipped personality who speaks only in absolutes. He appears to be a ‘gentle man’, personally if not ‘doctrinally’.

    Thanks to the Anchoress for posting some of his earlier writings. I am very interested to read as much of them as I can to learn about our Holy Father.

    Godspeed, Pope Benedict!


  • Kevin

    “Controversial” = “We don’t like him.”

    “Very Controversial” = “Not only do we all not like him, but all of our friends here in Manhattan really hate him.”

    If you ever needed proof that it’s not at all what one actually does, or how one actually behaves, that makes one “controversial”, the proof is here in this Pontificate declared “controversial” before it even takes its first breath.

    This meme in the MSM / Leftosphere is getting *so* very tiresome.

    But let us be joyous. Last night, watching the usual suspects on the evening news, all I could do was laugh with pure mirth. I still find them extremely tiresome, but as of now, this week, this day, I don’t have it in me to get upset. On days such as this, the events, the sights and sounds, the ceremonies, speak for themselves, so much louder than even Chris Matthews.

    May our new Holy Father confound the world as his predecessor did, and lead us with joy, and in fidelity, into the new Benedictine era.

  • tmt

    Andrew Sullivan is apoplectic (had to look up the spelling-I love that word) and Cokie Roberts sounded really, really irritated just now on TV…This new Pope is growing on me by the minute. I’m enjoying this way too much. It reminds me of…wait-…it reminds me of…right after our 2005 presidential election. Oh the wailing and gnashing of teeth-a CONSERVATIVE in the Vatican!

  • karen

    This morning my husband and I attended Mass at a Benedictine monastary in Westfield,VT. My hometown. In memory of our friend’s daughter’s tragic death one year ago. It was peaceful and eretheral(sp?). Then, to come home and watch with anticipation for the name of our next Pope. Benedict XVI. :D Only good will come of this and I pray our new Pope great health and many, many years of Shepardhood!

  • Anne Elliot

    Oh, phooey on John Allen. I usually trust him for relatively objective reporting, but he was really down on Ratzinger yesterday, and I smelled a, well, a “rat”. (Sorry.) Lots of others were saying Ratzinger had peaked, but Allen doesn’t follow the conventional wisdom. I think he just couldn’t face what he knew was coming – how do you tell your core audience of NCR subscribers, or your editors, that it’s almost certain to be Ratzinger? – and now he’s trying to minimize Benedict. C’mon, John, you wrote the guy’s bio, you know him better than that.

  • Joe

    If we have this Pope for even 6 years, we will have nailed down firmly the legacy of JP II for centuries in the church. In 6 years he will replace about 50 Cardinals which will include many of the remaining liberal leaning ones. These will be replaced by those who became bishop under JPII and were strongly influenced by him. Liberals hoping to change the church teaching have lost any chance and I see many now faced with the choice to leave or finally shut up.

  • monk1000

    There was a time, when mankind looked to the Church for innovative guidance through difficult times. Unfortunately, today’s Holy Roman Catholic Church seems helplessly ensnared in its own doctrine.

    The College of Cardinals has decided to move the Catholic Church into further obscurity as it tries, ineffectively, to solve the most pressing problems of our modern age by strict adherence to ancient doctrine. It seems futile to point out to the mule-headed Holy See, that laws written thousands of years ago to deal with the problems that existed thousands of years ago may not be well suited to our world, as it exists in the present.

    Clinging blindly to ancient laws encouraging man to spread out and multiply, the Church stubbornly opposes civil rights, ignores it’s contribution to the overpopulation crisis, and treacherously encourages AIDS to spread wantonly.

    The modern Holy Roman Catholic Church needs a courageous pontiff to step forward and recognize the harm done by existing Church policies. Sadly, Benedict XVI, does not appear to be this man. I pray that God brings us a more progressive pontiff as soon as He sees fit.

  • Jeanne

    Within 24 hours of the election of our new Pope, the liberal news media began its criticism. I, for one, intend to give our new Pope Benedict my love, respect and confidence. I was practically offended with Keith Obermann (or whatever his name is) on MSNBC.) He actually spoke of the new Pope in a sneering, condescending manner.