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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

New Pope!

The Pope is dead, long live the Pope.

Today should be a celebration for Catholics everywhere as we now have a new Pope.

So much for thin and fat Popes. It would seem that the cardinals have elected a man with similar ideals to the last pope. Though truth be told the last pope was pretty much a liberal coming in and was a conservative going out. In fact I have heard that Benedict XVI is even more conservative than John Paul II. One hysteric on the BBC website is already predicting schisms in the Church. Personally I think it is far too early to make predictions like that. No one knows the path that this Pope will tread, not even himself yet I imagine.

For those who worry that we must expect more of the same I offer the following thought: this man was close to the previous pontiff for 20 years and saw the dangers of ignoring and hiding problems (such as the paedophillia); he is reputed to be an intelligent man and so we might expect more openness. He is also reputed to be a very holy man and as such maybe he will listen to hear whether the Holy Spirit is really guiding him in his decisions.

On a personal note, and noting that I am biased through familiarity, I did not get the same sense of charisma that I always felt from the previous Pope. That aside, I am willing to give him a chance.


Anonymous said...

Kav - Interesting process and timely posting considering the fact that my Grandmother called me from Vatican Square while our new Pope was being introduced to the world.

I think it will be interesting to see how Pope Benedict is able to connect with the younger generations the way that Pope John Paul was able to.

On a tangential note, I am heartened that the Roman Cathoic Church selected somebody based on their own criteria, rather than the more popular choices bandied about in the media. I thought the references to him being "God's Rotweiller" fairly offensive, but I did hear him called a "German Shepherd", which I thought was kind of pithy.


Kav said...


the Rottweiller comment was splashed on the front of one of our papers today. Not sure which one (not the Guardian I think!) and I was annoyed about it. Give the guy a chance, I say.

I like the German Shepherd though :-)

Anonymous said...


In listening to the coverage, and watching some of the footage last night, I was struck by the number of younger people that were so enthusiastically present at the Vatican. I really do think that this Pope, and every other one thereafter, will be well served to follow Pope John Paul's example in reaching out to the younger generations.

I was pondering this thought ... Are there really "conservative" Cardinals? Are there any pro-choice Cardinals? In my upbringing, there were either people that followed the doctrine of the Church, and those who did not. That description of our new Pope just rubs me the wrong way.


Kav said...

Pope John Paul really managed to speak to the younger generation. He really took Jesus' example to heart. In many ways that is what saddened me most about the seeming indifference to the children who suffered at the hands of deviant and errant priests. I hope that the next pope acts in a firmer manner to expel those priests from holding any office.
That said, I had genuine affection for John Paul II and was very proud of many things he did and said.

As to your question about conservatives, I wonder whether this is a case of 'conservative' covering too wide a definition. I doubt that there are pro-choice cardinals (certainly none that would openly be so). I think the 'conservative' label refers more to holding onto traditional church teachings without challenging them. For example a conservative might be defined as someone who believes that Vatican II went too far and that it is unneccesary to pursue the findings any further. Similarly a liberal might be someone who wants to look back at teachings of the church that are not singly based on the teachings of Jesus, the apostles and Paul; issues like women priests and marriage.

that's my take anyway.