Winters on B16 in Slate

Our most regular blogger, Michael Sean Winters, has a provocative article on Slate.com on how Benedict’s papacy has disappointed neo-cons and theo-cons. Here’s Winters: "Three years [after Benedict’s election], as American Catholics prepare for the pope’s visit next week, those same conservatives in the United States have been disappointed. They had hoped Benedict would confront liberal tendencies in the church. Some, like Weigel, sought to purge the presbyterate of gays whom they blamed for the sex-abuse scandal. They wanted the ecclesiastical equivalent of court-packing, with the pope appointing only conservatives to major posts. But Benedict has defied them in his appointments, in his views on capitalism and the war in Iraq, and even in his approach to other faiths." Read it all here: "German Shepherd" James Martin, SJ
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9 years 7 months ago
I was one of those who, to use Michael Sean Winters's expression in his slate.com article, 'greeted [BXVI's] election with trepidation,' and though I haven't been completely won over, I am genuinely and pleasantly surprised by the overall tenor to date of BXVI's papacy. Mr. Winters provided a nice overview of the Pope's efforts to reach beyond Church politics and divisions. I'd add the Pope's two encyclicals, Deus Caritas Est and Spe Salvi, to those efforts. Not only are both documents profound and the work of a brilliant theologian and scholar, but they are (thankfully) apolitical. I remember being especially concerned when hearing the news that the Pope would be releasing his first encyclical. Like many Catholics, however, I was impressed by its timeless message of Christian love. If I were able to be in Washington, D.C., or NYC during the Pope's visit, I would be only too happy to greet him in person.
9 years 7 months ago
Although John Allen of NCR disagreed rather vehemently with me when I proposed, at a conference held in the Archdiocese of Detroit a couple of years ago, that Pope Benedict was elected to be a "transitional pope," I still hold this opinion. I agree with John that he was not elected to 'keep the seat warm' but I do think that his fellow cardinals choose Joseph Ratzinger to 'bridge the gap' between the beloved and a bit cult-worshipped Servant of God John Paul II and a future pope -- perhaps from the Global South -- who would bring a different focus to the papacy. Since Papa Ratzi (nod to Rocco) would be (at least initially) a welcome encore to JPII among more conservative Catholics, the transition would be smoother than if, say, an Oscar Rodriguez of Honduras, were the successor to the See of Peter.

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