Friday, April 24, 2009

Thoughts on Benedict

William Oddie, author of John Paul the Great, the Maker of the Post Conciliar Church

"Everyone supposed that Pope Benedict would be very like the hardline Panzer Kardinal we were supposed to have at the CDF. He never was that but it was his job to say no so that John Paul II could say yes.

As soon as he became Pope his first encyclical was all about love, everyone was bowled over by it and supposed, because he was talking about the love of God, that he must have become liberal like them. But he was always the same Ratzinger, and was always going to emerge as the defender of Roman Catholic tradition that all Popes are supposed to be.

The secular press imagine on a story like condoms in Africa for example that that what the Pope says represents his personal views. But Popes don’t have personal views. So when the Pope said that condoms were not going to solve the AIDS crisis he was simply taking the Catholic view that the real root of the problem was promiscuity. (Some completely secular authorities have supported the Pope’s analysis)

The view of George Weigel (the official biographer of John Paul II) is that what Benedict needs is a Roman Revolution in the Curia. Incompetents who land him in it again and again surround Pope Benedict. It is really not the Pope’s job to scan the internet to google people like Bishop Williamson.

What he needs [in his press office] is a rapid reaction unit — like that Clinton had — to deal with misaphrehensions in the secular press. It should be ready to deal with inaccurate distorted reporting of off the cuff remarks made about by the Pope in the Church, and issue rebuttals on day one, not two or three weeks later.

However despite this, Pope Benedict XVI will go down as one of the great Popes in history. He’s safeguarded what he inherited from John Paul II, the recovery of a general understanding of the objective character of Roman Catholic truth. What is required now is for a whole generation of bishops to die and to be replaced by faithful and orthodox pastors.

He has established the principle of what he calls the hermeneutic of continuity and has shown that there is no serious conflict between the present and the tradition of the Church before Vatican II. That is his great achievement."

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