Wednesday, April 20, 2005

What the Cardinals Meant to Say

Long live Pope Benedict the XVI. I found the selection of Cardinal Ratzinger from Germany to be a very telling one. And I think his selection reflects the attitude of the Cardinals to the world.

The biggest message they are sending is that they continue to endorse the policies of John Paul II. Ratzinger was the Pope's right hand man, and helped him hold the line on doctrine, so there is no reason to believe that we will see anything different than we have from the Vatican. And the endorsement should come as no surprise, as John Paul II appointed them all.

But by the endorsement of John Paul II's papacy, the College of Cardinals may have sent a corollary message to many of the louder voices we heard after John Paul II passed a few weeks ago.

Many from the media and the left predictably dragged out the tired 1960s rhetoric which many of us could recite in our sleep--women priests, marriage/acceptance of gays and the lifestyle, approval of abortion, premarital sex and a litany of other "ugly stepchild" philosophies. The cardinals surely were not oblivious to such talk. And they could have very easily elected a more liberal Pope than Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. That is not to say that they would have elected a "liberal Pope" but certainly one who was not as vocal about the moral standards or the doctrinal teachings which John Paul II and Benedict XVI advocate. But they avoided whatever temptation may have been there.

The message is that the Church does not change to suit the world, but rather the Church seeks to change the world. And the choice of this Pope indicates that the Cardinals want to make it known that it is not man's prerogative to change the church, but rather to uphold what God has given.

And no matter how old John Paul II got, no matter how many times I heard creepy and ignorant people mock him for the waning health of his body, that someone so frail could be a representative of God, his spirit and attitude remained young, strong, and joyful. And the choice of Benedict XVI shows that John Paul II wasn't the only person who thought that a high moral and spiritual standard needed to be upheld.

But I wonder why the left bothers. Many of them don't bother attending the Catholic Church or holding to its teachings. Why bother trying to fix something that they dislike in the first place?


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