What They are Saying About the Pope
Some of the best stuff on the Pope.
Ttony at the Muniment Room has an excellent post here where he remarks:
His decision was taken some time ago: he told his brother six months ago, but he started dropping in on Celestine V rather longer ago. It's not unreasonable to suppose that everything he has done in the last two or three years has been done with his leaving in mind, and with his leaving everything in as good a condition as possible for his successor.Ttony explains that his...
...initial reaction - that he should have stayed on to death - is being replaced by an appreciation that Pope Benedict probably has a rather better idea of what he should do than me. We have had eight years - eight game-changing years - from a Pope who couldn't have been expected to last anything like this long. We are seeing the supernatural eddying into the natural world through his decision.The historian Timothy Stanley suggests that Benedict XVI will be known as...
...a leader who tried to assert theological principle over fashionable compromise.
Importantly, Stanley explains how talk of 'liberal' and 'conservative' factions are disconsonant with the reality of Catholic faith:
The word "conservative" is actually misleading, and the monk who received me into the Catholic Church in 2006 -- roughly a year after Benedict began his pontificate -- would be appalled to read me using it. In Catholicism, there is no right or left but only orthodoxy and error. As such, Benedict would understand the more controversial stances that he took as pope not as "turning back the clock" but as asserting a living tradition that had become undervalued within the church. His success in this regard will be felt for generations to come.Stanley observes the gentle liturgical influence the Pope has exerted, trying to encourage communion on the tongue, increased reverence and dignity. He also explores the criticisms levelled at Pope Benedict XVI, that he has been closed and insular and suggests the evidence directly contradicts their assertion. He notes the Church's involvement in the ugly culture wars that currently rage around sexual ethics and suggests that
Benedict would rather it played the role of reconciler and healer of wounds, but at this moment in history that's not possible. Unfortunately, its alternative role as moral arbiter has been undermined by the pedophile scandal. Nothing has dogged this pontificate so much as the tragedy of child abuse, and it will continue to blot its reputation for decades to come.You can read Timothy Stanley's full article here.