Friday, August 05, 2005

How's the Pope doing?

Several Readers give their 2 cents. Reviewing a New Pope's First Steps | Reader Response | Deutsche Welle | has their account here. They range from the profound:
I would not count the pontiff's days because the Church is not a political institution. The Church is corresponding to eternity -- the past, the present, the infinite future. The pontiff is not a prime minister and the responsibility of his ministry is of a higher level. Being an Orthodox Christian, I can feel a deep concordance in the appearance of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and that what a Church means to me. In particular, his promise of striving for the Christian unity and the presence of the most prominent Orthodox theologians on the liturgical celebrations held by him has granted me affection and hope. His entire theological, pastoral and human attitude is very familiar to me as an Orthodox believer.
to the silly:
I don't expect much from our new pope. He lays down the law, but he doesn't come up with any realistic solutions to the problems we face in the church today. People are smarter than that. They need direction, and they're not getting it. You don't tell a married couple: "If you don't want children, just don't have sex." If the couple you are talking to is under 30, they will laugh at you. It is possible to get married and be a good priest.
I feel comforted so far by Pope Benedict XVI's ministry so far. I can't identify any one thing he's said or done. Mostly, I still feel the hope that I experienced when I first learned he'd been elected Pope. I knew that he'd continue the great work that John Paul the Great had accomplished. In my mind he's done that while being himself. He's allowed the Church--and Christ--to take the center stage. This is appropriate. When JPG became Pope, the world ignored the Church. The world needed a new voice crying out in the wilderness. John Paul the Great became that voice. He always directed his audience to Christ, but his persona was such that he filled the stage that gathered people's attention. It was necessary. Today, that's no longer the case. No one's ignoring the Church. Whether they love her or hate her, nearly every one acknowledges her. Pope Benedict understands that. There's no longer a need for the Pontiff to stand amist the millions and exhort them. There's a need to guide the masses that turned out for JPG to Christ, as JPG himself had intended.

I'm comforted. Christ has raised up for us another loyal and talented sheperd to be his Vicar. God be praised. May our Lord continue to bless and strengthen Pope Benedict XVI as he guides the Baroque of Peter toward home!