Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A Catholic Seminarian on Pope Benedict XVI

Roman Catholic priest-in-training Dennis Schenkel offers an excellent commentary on the new pope from one of his fellow seminarians:

...In the sixties and seventies, seminaries were a mess in the U.S. Our professors (who were students back then) tell us stories where classes back then would sit around meditating on a mushroom, etc. Vatican II was very dangerous for America because it coincided with our drug and sexual revolution. Americans likely felt that the Catholic Church was affirming the American revolution in that the Church was finally endorsing a liberation from ancient customs (such as Latin) and the sexual revolution endorsed a liberation from sexual repression. But now, after about a decade of noticing the absolute moral shambles that the sixties and seventies have left our country in, people are starting to realize that what we in America thought was the answer to happiness really isn’t it. So Catholics, on the whole, are beginning to get more fundamental. The guidelines of the Church are more and more once again being looked at as Truth as opposed to suggestions. Cardinal Ratzinger, as head of the CDF, is largely responsible for this....

Cardinal Ratzinger is not a bully. He laid down the pursuit of his own ideas in order to help bring the Church back on track. The fact that he has been so well known and controversial, especially given his proclivity to be a more progressive theologian shows two things. A) He has done one heck of a job (the more the students hate the dean of students in high school, the better dean he is). It also shows us that B) Cardinal Ratzinger has no problem laying aside personal ambitions in order to serve the Church in whatever role the Holy Spirit asks him to fill.
Read the whole thing, and leave a comment on Dennis's blog.