Ainulindalë: The God Who is Music and Beauty - “In the beginning,” the inspired writer declares, “Elohim created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the...
20 hours ago
I wonder if the BBC mentioned this incident. I doubt it. I am beginning to believe that the BBC lacks integrity when talking about the role of Christians in world affairs. A couple of days ago,Some stupid woman in her BBC commentary, asked rhetorically about what the Vatican has to do with the Syrian peace talks. In the same vein, this helpful gesture will be either passed over in silence or will be mentioned when most people will not hear it. (Thanks to Jim Forest for this contribution.)
One thing that annoys me is the wide contrast that is drawn between Popes Benedict and Francis. Before he was called to Rome, Ratzinger's preferred mode of transport was a bicycle; but he wasn't popular, so it was ignored by the press. When he came to Lima as papal representative, he went to an official function in Villa Salvador, a poor area of the city, not by car, but by public bus; but he wasn't popular, and it was ignored by the press. When he worked as a cardinal in Rome, he preferred to walk to his office. One day, a young couple went up to him and said that they wanted a photograph. It never occurred to him that they wanted his photograph. He said, "Certainly," and took the camera from the man and told them to stand closer to one another. It was only when he had taken the photograph that they made it clear that they wanted to take a photo of him; but he wasn't popular, and such stories were ignored by the press. Below, he is in a question and answer session with ordinary priests; and it seems to be forgotten too easily how he impressed the English in his visit to the country. In his interview he is seen to have identical views on evangelisation, attracting people by "the good, the true and the beautiful; and there are many other points at which they hold identical positions.
Of course, there are differences. If there had been none, one pope would not have resigned and the other taken over. One is an academic, while the other is a pastor,bearing the smell of the streets. One was a major contributor to Vatican II, but had been hurt by the aftermath; while the other was inspired by the work of Ratzinger &Co. in the council. Perhaps, it seems, the greatest difference was that the Church organisation needed a thorough overhaul according to the mind of Vatican II - collegiality was needed at diocesan, national, regional and universal levels to provide a balance for the primatial power of the Pope as expressed in Vatican I; and Benedict lacked the inclination, and even possibly the ability to bring this about; while Pope Francis was already an advocate of such a move, as Fr Joseph Ratzinger had been during the Council. He, therefore, humbly resigned: he saw that the change could no longer be put off.
The whole affair shows the world, not a battle fought between "conservatives" and "liberals" - let us leave that kind of interpretation to the likes of Michael Voris - but the undulating lights and shadows in the "epiphany of holiness" as expounded by the two popes. - Fr David.