Saturday, April 23, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI Roundup!

The elated . . .

  • Fr. Sibley relays an eyewitness account of the announcement from a friend from Rome:
    It was great being with people my age (in our 20's) who were so fired up about the "Hammer of Heresy". That was another great thing - the crowd was so young. We tried making new cheers for Benedict XVI. When it was dark, my group of friends sang the Salve Regina together. Immediately afterwards we spotted two men with black coats and hats trying to walk casually through the square. But bits of red were poking out. Most of the girls kissed their hands and thanked them. Their faces were beaming as they in turn patted the young people's faces. Part of their joy I think was seeing the young people so happy and supportive. They were humble cardinals from Zagreb and Sarajevo. One of them granted our request for a blessing. So we knelt to receive it in Latin. Not long after, we went out for German beer, shouting "Viva il Papa!" along the way.

  • Carl Olson posts another Seminarian's View from St. Peter's Square . . . (InsightScoop April 19, 2005).

  • All your base are belong to Ratz., by Meredith (Basia Me Catholic Sum). Hilarious (put down your coffee before you read).

  • The Curt Jester:
    Right now I am so full of adrenaline I think I could explode. . . . Probably one of the quietest place on earth was the offices of the National Catholic Reporter. For myself I was jumping up and down and screaming with excitement when his name was announced.

  • Axios! He is Worthy!, from Teófilo at Vivificat:
    What his election portends for the Church is continuity and consolidation of the work of Pope John Paul the Great. We can expect continued, strong doctrinal clarity, leadership, and discipline, as well as the continued authentic interpretation of Vatican II. All-in-all, steady as she goes for the Ship of Peter.

  • Padregio @ "Not So Quiet Catholic Corner" posts photographs from his diaconate ordination in 1999 at St. Peter's Basilica. Recognize the Cardinal?

  • Dr. Philip Blosser, aka "The Pertinacious Papist", issues a pro lepos in iocando mea (or "A Defense of My Sense of Humor") -- after he was prominently featured by CNN and the international press for having prominently displayed Robert Duvall's words I love the smell of napalm in the morning ... it smelled like victory ..." in Apocalypse Now as a foil for introducing reflections on the election of Pope Benedict XVI. You know, Blossers do have a strange sense of humor. =)

  • The Old Oligarch:
    Men I work with who haven't smiled in a month were as giddy as children. It was very hard to give a coherent lecture with all the thoughts of the coming pontificate. I am sure at the other educational establishment I frequent they have to keep a suicide watch over certain members of the theology department. . . .

  • According to Patrick Henry Reardon, the election of Cardinal Ratzinger was a big hit among the staff at ecumenical Christian magazine Touchstone.

  • JMiller @ Fiat reports on the mood from a Benedictine seminary.

  • From Anthony @ Jumping without a Chute:
    Joseph Ratzinger is not the cruel, heartless, Dark Lord of the Sith turned Theologian that many attempt to portray him as. He is a man of his time and of his place. a man with an artists soul and worldview. He is a man whose intelligence can be measured by his humility. His numerous debates with friends and foes demonstrate this. He is a man who was given one of the hardest jobs in the Church. The Head of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has a thankless job. It is his responsibility to ensure that the eternal truths of our faith are maintained. This is especially hard in the world of today where somehow we have come to believe that every idea has equal importance and relevance. Just as a child resents a parent telling him "No.", many theologians resented being told that their ideas and theories could possibly be flawed or in fact wrong.

    For the past quarter century we've only seen one side of Benedict XVI. While that side is very important to understanding him, we need to learn more about the other sides of him that we haven't seen. This Pope will be more complex than most people realize or expect. He is a man who lives in a world that demands everything in as great a quantity as possible in as short a time as possible. Quantity over quality. Action without consideration. Activity without meaning. The world that believes a song should only last three minutes will be confronted by a man who understands the beauty of symphonies.

  • "The Cafeteria is Closed", by Mark Shea:
    You know, one of the funny things about the media hysteria about Benedict is the faux fear that "sincere believers" from other traditions are going to somehow feel deeply threatened if the Pope, like, you know, believes that the Catholic faith is, you know, like, true.

    In reality, one of the things that serious Protestants (like serious Jews and serious Muslims) *respect* is the fact that Benedict actually believes there are truths which are revealed by God and not simply the product of whoever happens to have won the raffle for Power in the great historical process of warfare between race, class and gender. The one and only alternative to Truth is Might Makes Right.

  • Chris Burgwald @ Veritas: "I couldn't be happier! This man is a towering intellect, one of the greatest theologians of our time... and I've got a book of his he signed for me!" -- Lucky guy! =)

  • Dave Armstrong shares his thoughts on the Current "Mind of the Church". A very good post, including the prediction:
    . . . Pope Benedict XVI will probably be one of the most persecuted and even hated men in the world (the most hated since President Ronald Reagan). The liberals and secularists already take a very dim view of the man, because he is strongly orthodox and stands up for the truth. There is a place for this. All the early popes were martyrs. There is also a martyrdom of sorts which comes through slander and lying and severe opposition from the waves and currents of the presently fashionable zeitgeist. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger is precisely the sort of man, I think, who is willing to suffer in that way, in order to strongly assert doctrinal, theological truth. It is good to be loved by the world, as Pope John Paul II was, if it is for the right reasons. The world saw the goodness and holiness in John Paul II. But it is also good to be willing to be persecuted for His name's sake, and to draw clear lines and boundaries.

    Judging by the present hate-fest that's going on in the press, the persecution has already begun.

  • Fr. Tucker @ Dappled Things:
    So, I'm thrilled at the election of Benedict XVI. I don't think he will be divisive at all, any more than the Gospel itself is divisive. Certainly, some will not be happy when he hands on the Tradition that he himself has received. But, really, what does anyone expect? A Pope does not invent new things, but simply hands on the Deposit of Faith intact. . . . People who simply want to try to follow the teaching of Jesus Christ under the guidance of Holy Mother Church, though, have every reason to rejoice and support our new Pontiff with their prayers.

  • The stereotype-defying "gay, Catholic and conservative" Australian John Heard, aka. Dreadnought:
    Watch out limpid European religion, especially ailing German Catholicism! Watch out moral relativists! Watch out heretics! More importantly, however, watch the world fall in love with this magnificent man who has for too long been the straw man of anti-Catholics of every description.

    For decades the Vatican enforcer of doctrine, a scintillating intellect focused on rooting out heresy, Benedict XVI served as the bad cop to John Paul's good cop. Any serious Vatican-watcher, however, knows that there is no such thing as a bad cop in the Church. The Pope served at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith out of love.

From the mildly disappointed to absolutely horrified . . .

  • Liberal Catholic JCecil3 "gets something off his chest":
    The election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI while George W. Bush is in the White House feels like the world is collapsing.

    It feels as though Adolf Hitler is in the White House in control of the world's sole superpower, and Benito Mussolini is in the Papal Palace in charge of the largest religious institution on earth.

    It feels as though a dark cloud has settled over the whole earth as we prepare for the final confrontation between good and evil.

    Paging the authors of Left Behind, we have all the makings of a new novel. Disputations responds. (I must add in all fairness that JCecil's simply venting and his 'Bush = Hitler' / "Ratzinger = Mussolini" comparison is not necessarily indicative of the tone of his blog).

  • Calling for necessary restraint, Nathan Nelson pens "an open letter to Progressive Catholics" in response to the election of Joseph Ratzinger," (responding to some nefarious tactics by Call to Action "to pit victims of sexual abuse and their advocates against the newly-elected Universal Pastor"), and urges a cease-fire in light of Hans Küng's reaction: "Küng says that we should give Pope Benedict XVI at least a hundred days before we initiate the firestorm of condemnations and Progressive anathemas, and I agree with him."

  • Barbara Nicolosi @ Church of the Masses had difficulty finding a celebratory mass:
    I called four parishes in L.A. this afternoon trying to find a celebratory Mass in the archdiocese. At the gay parish in West Hollywood, the secretary sniffed and was almost shocked at the inquiry, "Oh no," she said. "We don't have anything planned." At the North Hollywood parish which has the newly installed homo-erotic Jesus staue in the sanctuary, the secretary defined desultory. "No. Father has no plans to do anything yet. Check back in a few days." The Jesuit parish phone answerer just said, "NO."

  • We are One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and damn it . . . European!. The omnicient Ono Ekeh sees into the hearts and souls of the Cardinals:
    The election of Pope Benedict XVI affirms one thing. The Church is primarily about one region and "race." The Catholic church is about Europe. The cardinals of the Catholic Church unanimously gave one big "F__ you" to all of Africa, all of Latin America and all of Asia. . . .

    I'm not bitter, angry or anything (My shaking fingers on my keypad indicate unfilter blissfulness and joy). I decided to give all this more time to sink in but the more time passes, the more unpleasant the whole experience is. There really isn't much of a bright spot.

  • Andrew Sullivan:
    And what is the creed of the Church? That is for the Grand Inquisitor to decide. Everything else - especially faithful attempts to question and understand the faith itself - is "human trickery." It would be hard to over-state the radicalism of this decision. It's not simply a continuation of John Paul II. It's a full-scale attack on the reformist wing of the church. The swiftness of the decision and the polarizing nature of this selection foretell a coming civil war within Catholicism. The space for dissidence, previously tiny, is now extinct. And the attack on individual political freedom is just beginning.

  • Disgruntled ex-Dominican Matthew Fox has "22 Questions for Cardinal Ratzinger and the Silver Lining in the Election of this first Grand Inquisitor as Pope." (And you thought Rev. Fox's fulminations against Pope John Paul II were bad . . .)

  • Anti-Benedict Comments - Fr. Sibley is leaving space for compilation of "links to sites or quotes from other sites that bemoan the election of Ratzinger as the new Pope. It should provide a large amount of amusement." Indeed. =)

  • Rabbi Michael Lerner at Tikkun thinks The New Pope is a Disaster for the World and for the Jews. Not all Jews agree. Yitzchok Adlerstein shares his thoughts about Benedict XVI and Me:
    ". . . unwilling to let go of what he believed to be G-d given truth merely because social mores had changed. He nonetheless made a career of interpreting old teaching in a manner that upheld the religious dignity of others – Jews in particular. Even as guardian of the old, he could not give up his feeling and understanding that G-d cared deeply for others.

    If we had to pick a passion to share, I can’t think of a better one.

And . . .

  • Town deems pope worthy of beer, by Christine Spolar. Chicago Tribune April 21, 2005.

  • More reactions to election of Pope Benedict XVI . . . from Monsignor Peter J. Elliott, Sandra Miesel, and Joseph Pearce. InsightScoop. April 20, 2005.

  • Not one, but two roundups of posts on Pope Benedict from John Betts (Just Your Average Catholic Guy).

  • Pundits React to Papal Election, another roundup by Earl E. Appleby @ Times Against Humanity.

  • Three Unimportant Thoughts on the election from Jimmy Akin.

  • The New Pope, special feature of PBS' weekly "Religion & Ethics". April 22, 2005, with Fr. Fessio from Germany:
    But I was waiting, saying, "I wonder, I wonder. Could it be, could it be?" And I saw the curtains open. Once I heard "Ratzinger" I just burst into tears. It was so amazing to see someone that I've known, someone that I've talked to, someone that I've been with there, dressed up like the pope -- because he was the pope. And the joy for me is knowing what a gift this is for the Church.

    More comments from Fr. Fessio here, along with two great photographs of joyful Catholics celebrating the election.

  • Catholic Reaction: Let's Study - Expagan provides two examples of Catholic Women. Example #1 Those who want Women's Ordination . . . and Example #2 Those who are excited with Pope Benedict XVI. (Me? I wanna hang out with the latter).

  • No Honeymoon for Benedict XVI, a well-deserved tongue-lashing by the Anchoress:
    "It seems a shame, really. The man hadn't been pope for two hours when the lefty blogs went (literally) profane and disgraceful (and - of course - adolescent) and the press was hardlining their memes and caricatures of him.

    Benedict XVI, it seems, is a relentless and remorseless hard-ass who takes-no-prisoners and wields a clumsy and undiplomatic sword, cutting a path of hard-hearted destruction no matter where he goes, and he will be a disaster for the church, and oppressor of women, gays, people of girth, people of mirth, people with brains, and people without, little puppies, small furry rodents and children he doesn't like.

    Or, something like that.

    I have one thing to say to all of this - to all of the breathless ranting from the left and the grim, woe-is-us prognostications of SOME members of the press. It is this:

    Fer cryin' out loud, CHILL OUT.

  • Miscellaneous Morning Notes on the Conclave and the Selection of a New Pope, by I. Shawn McElhinney (Rerum Novarum). [audiopost].

  • Bill Cork shares his favorite Ratzinger quote from his volume, Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life.

  • The Psycho Left reacts to a new Pope LogicMonkey has a great roundup of hysterical reactions from the virtual wellspring of hysterical reactions, 'The Democratic Underground.'

  • What's in a Name? Part 1 and Part 2 - interesting speculations by Arthur Chrenkoff on the historical meaning and selection of Pope Benedict XVI's name.

  • Note: To Amy Welborn, the only reason I haven't included her above is because I've yet to finish wading through all of her posts, of which there are plenty good. So perhaps a general link to Open Book should suffice with the recommendation to read her posts from 4/19 through the present for extensive commentary on the election, and coverage of the coverage.


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