Benedict XVI

So it’s Ratzinger. Andrew Sullivan is obviously not thrilled. But I fail to see why the Church should change its values for him, or any of us. Look, if you disagree with Church Doctrine you can leave the Church. It’s really quite simple. Is there RCC doctrine I disagree with? Sure, tons. It’s a human institution, run by humans; it has its faults and failings like all of us do. In fact, by its very nature it is fallen, as we all are. I left a while ago (marrying a Prot helped). But I respect all the good that its done while acknowledging the bad. It’s easy to tear something down, and sometimes that task is made easier by the actions of the institution; the RCC is no exception. But what are you left with? A thousand, no, a million people each trying to be Pope, each trying to play God and have their ideas followed. Me me me me me me.
Nope. Real courage comes from looking inside and realising we all are sinners; real courage says “I am wrong. Forgive me, and replace my will with yours.”
*Update: Nightfly nails it:

Likewise, worrying about how he’s going to be seen by other religions is preposterous, a red herring. He’s supposed to be safeguarding our faith, not auditioning for other ones.

4 Responses to “Benedict XVI”

  1. Dave J says:

    You know, I’m probaly going to piss people off by saying this, and maybe I just don’t get it because I’ve never really been a particularly observant Jew myself, but I’ve genuinely never understood people who say “I totally disagree with my religion, and so IT has to accomodate ME.” I’m not in any kind of position to tell people how to practice their faith, but that’s always struck me as strange: I’m sure there’s a huge emotional attachment, but no one’s holding a gun to your head to stay, and maybe there’s something else out there that would be a better fit with what you actually believe.

  2. Mr. Bingley says:

    Exactly Dave. And some of these folks really need to ask themselves who they are worshiping.

  3. Well said, Dave. We were all baptized Roman Catholic and that’s as far the religion thing went, until Bingley and Crusader were well into their dotage (I’m still the family Druid). But I never understood the folks I met in North Carolina, who would move from church to church to church, Baptist to Fundamentalist to Methodist, to basement and storefront congregations affiliated with only the ego claiming himself ‘minister’, until they heard something they wanted to. And when something struck the wrong note, off they’d go again, sometimes within weeks of declaring ‘oh, this church feels right’. I had never seen that before and it struck me as a perpetual fishing expedition.
    As for Pope Benedict, I wish him all the best and think there might be a surprise or two ahead. Major Dad compared Ratzinger’s role to that of the executive officer in a squadron. (JeffS and our military swillers will relate to this.) The XO’s job, which Ratzinger’s was, is to be the hammer, the implementer of the guidance and policies set forth by the Commanding Officer; the crusher of dissension and enforcer of discipline. He doesn’t set the policy and rarely influences it. Whatever directives are issued in his name are written in the interests of the CO. Like a point paper done in think tank circles. Oftentimes, when that same XO everyone thought was the dick from hell rises to be a Commanding Officer in his own right, he seems the very imbodiment of enlightened leadership. Pope Benedict XVI has spent the past decades as the mouthpiece and ‘hammer’ for John Paul. He, if his beautiful words at the funeral and his humble acceptance of the Papacy are any indication, may well turn out to be more moderate than anyone could have expected.

  4. Dave J says:

    Oh, and I’ve also always found the Catholic Church and particularly the Vatican endlessly interesting as a historical institution. Call this crazy, but I was speculating about papal names over the past couple weeks, and Benedict was the one that seemed look the best choice for whoever the next pope might be.

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