I see that it took the
Roman Senate College of Cardinals about two days to pick a new Emperor Pope. I was hoping for someone a bit more moderate, more pastoral, and less imperial this time around. I fear that Pope Benedict XVI is likely to be a Pope that the Dubya will love.
Modern Catholics fall into about three groups. The first are the Catholics who are still out there living the life committed to the Catholic Way: no birth control, lots of kids (one of whom is being groomed for the clergy), Mass every Sunday, and believers that whatever Rome says is literally Gospel. I admire these people because they are willing to put God in the center of their lives (even if it is often in a simplistic, rote way) and buck against the current of modern, Western values. The second group are "buffet" Catholics; they pick and choose what bits of ceremony and doctrine they allow into their lives. The Church is wonderful institution, they say, but it could still use some work, particularly when it comes to women priests, married priests, and birth control. I fall into this group, with one foot on each side of a chasm representing the conflicts over "family values" that seem to rage in the United States right now, hoping for positive, inclusive change. Finally, there are the "recovering" Catholics -- these folks have just left the Church, period, and don't understand why the "buffet" Catholics bother to stay.
The word catholic means "universal". The struggle for liberal Catholics where the Church is concerned is therefore one about which part of "Roman Catholic" to believe in more -- "Rome" or "catholic". I think that the answer of Pope Benedict XVI will be be very imperial "Rome".
God help us all -- and not just with good whisky.
on 2005-04-19 at 10:44 a.m.
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