Fausta has an interesting post on Benedict XVI:
Papa Benedicto XVI pidió ayer más libertad para la Iglesia católica en Venezuela con el fin de que se ”disipen” las dificultades actuales en las relaciones entre el gobierno de Hugo Chávez y las autoridades eclesiásticas.
Pope Benedict XVI asked for more liberty for the Catholic Church in Venezuela so that the current strains in relations between the government of Hugo Chávez and the ecclesiastical authorities “would dissipate”.
Fausta asks: “Solidarity, anyone?”
Benedict lacks the stature and charisma of his predecessor…but he is a towering intellect, and by all accounts he is fearless in his faithfulness. Everything John Paul the Great did was larger than life. I think good Pope Benedict will be a quiet riot. A man who brings about change while simply moving about with his unassuming air.
UPDATE: Gerald has a very well-done post here on what he sees are Benedict’s “street credentials.”
Now, how does a Pope approach such a world? Certainly it wouldn’t make much sense to talk about morals when people are no longer aware of its underpinnings. All this would produce is ridicule, tuning out etc. Pope Benedict XVI. thankfully knows this and basically, as he has said many times, considers in particular Western Europe “mission territory”. Thus his approach is “first comes faith, then comes morals.” He tries to relate the joy of being a Christian when he talks about the Sacraments, and especially the Eucharist. He is the Ueber-Catechist, facing a world whose slate often is as blank as those of pre-schoolers when they start Sunday School.
Much to his credit as a teacher, he is able to “talk down” to us, in a positive sense. Certainly he could use high-falutin’ words that only a few German theologians would understand, but his talent is to take the complex and present it in a universally understandable way. His passion shows but not in a creepy televangelist-type way. It’s a quiet passion and certitude, free from theatrics. He solely relies on the power of the message itself.
Just right. Well said, G.