Saturday, December 31, 2005

B XVI: failing to make mark?

Geez, some of us are so imptatient! This from the Manilla Times ...comments to follow:

After Catholics bade adieu to Pope John Paul II, a charismatic giant who touched millions across the world, they are still taking the measure of his timid successor Benedict XVI, whose thoughts on the future of the Church remain inscrutable.

Even after eight months as the new leader of the globe’s 1.2 billion Catholics, the new Pope has yet to make his mark on the Holy See, Vatican insiders say.

Shortly after his name was first announced to the masses from the loggia of Saint Peter’s Basilica on April 19, expectations abounded that the new Pope would make sweeping changes in the Roman Curia, the lumbering apparatus of Vatican government.

But Benedict has made only one significant change to the Vatican hierarchy, installing US Archbishop William Levada as his own successor at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Meanwhile, old faces long ago put in place by his predecessor, notably Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano and “foreign minister” Msgr. Giovanni Lajola, remain.

Some members of the Curia said they believe that rather than decree a quick shake-up at the Holy See, Benedict will continue to impose change slowly through a series of careful adjustments.

Some say he still has not communicated how he intends to alter the Church. Veteran Vatican watcher Giancarlo Zizola said: “His choosing to remain silent is itself a sign of reform of the papacy.”

He said the new pontificate marks an end to the worrying “idolatry” of the late John Paul II.

Vatican insiders have inevitably contrasted Benedict’s first eight months to those of his three immediate predecessors.

They point out that John Paul II launched an outspoken defense of the Solidarity democracy movement in his native Poland, and published his first encyclical; Paul VI made a significant pilgrimage to the Holy Land; John XXIII laid the foundations for the ground breaking Second Vatican Council.

Benedict has, however, been scrupulously honoring commitments made by John Paul II, including a visit to his native Germany for the World Youth Day celebrations in August, his first—and to date, only—foreign visit.

All that is about to change, however. The new Pope’s ability to reach out to the masses in the manner of the charismatic Pope will come under renewed scrutiny next year during planned visits to Turkey, Spain, Germany and Poland.

His campaign to forge closer ties with Jews, including an address at Cologne’s historic Synagogue, has proceeded without incident.

But lately Benedict has faced what many see as the first crisis of his pontificate, as homosexual priests publicly rejected his prohibition of gay men from entering the priesthood.

Well, geez! Give the man some time. The vatican Instruction was--is--a big thing, but I don't think it's a "crisis". It's what we've always said, isn't it? He's been to Cologne and spoke at World Youth Day, he's been appointing bishops...there was a lot to catch up on, in a sense. And if he's going to Turkey next year, that alone is going to need preparation. That's a big visit, along with Spain, Germany, and Poland. And he's not 50 something. Not every pope can come up with Vatican II (thank God!). I'm content to let him move along. As the old saying goes, "The Devil works quickly, but God works slowly" Let the man "go slowly"...that's fine with me!

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