Ave atque Vale, Benedicte
The Roman Catholic Church will soon be without a pope. Pope Benedict XVI renounced his absolute powers as if a last lesson to his flock: for them and the church, the Bishop of Rome freely released his grip on the papal crosier because of his failing health.
The 265th pope succeeded the popular John Paul II. While both are seen as high intellects, Benedict often seemed to play Truman to John Paul’s FDR.
The seemingly mild-mannered pope, nevertheless, pursued his goals, sounding conservative or liberal in his speeches and readings because he thinks on a different moral scale than mere secular political observers.
Read Benedict’s encyclical on love or his essays on Jesus Christ.
As the Vatican is vacant of its leader, all manner of rumors, accusations and grief are let loose. One can imagine a scene from “Angels & Demons.”
The revelation of pedophile and perverted priests -- and the sinful cover-up by superiors -- has poisoned the church. Indeed, for this alone, some condemn the oldest followers of Western Christendom. Regardless, a comprehensive solution must be applied now.
The College of Cardinals is set to do its primary duty. Whom will it choose? Ask the Holy Spirit.
For us, some of whom are Catholic, it is a time of reflection, supercharged by Lent, looking forward to a new pope for Easter. For all of us living in Washington, look to your Federal City, bookended by high-powered Catholic institutions -- Georgetown University on the west and Catholic University, Trinity University and the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on the east.
These educators are impressive influencers, grounded in religion and guided by art and science, that look toward the masonic overlay of Washington’s architecture. They know more than you know, and there is a reason that they are here.
In the coming weeks, much speculation will be offered about the papacy and the church. Reserve your own judgment, and let some prayers and thanks come into your own thoughts.
Hail and farewell, Benedict XVI. Auf wiedersehen, Joseph Ratzinger.
What is next for this 2,000-year Christian institution, full of human achievements, injuries and foibles?
Expect a miracle. ★