Monday, November 14, 2005

Props for Papa Ratzi

This praise for Pope Benedict from, of all people, progressive theologian Richard McBrien of Notre Dame: "I have observed little or nothing from my vantage point that would trouble me or other reform-minded Catholics. . . . Benedict is open and secure. He’s not afraid of discussion. The initial signs are encouraging.”

Much to my chagrin--I almost passed out when "Josephum" was announced from the balcony of St. Peter's--I have to admit that I'm encouraged so far by Ratzinger's "reign." Although the most recent Synod on the Eucharist didn't really do anything, the daily hour of open discussion instituted by Papa Ratzi allowed some frank debate about the communion for divorced and remarried Catholics and even some cracks around mandatory clerical celibacy. Even the National Catholic Reporter was positive in its editorial after the synod's close. (Of course, it could be that reform-minded Catholics have finally been reduced to grasping at straws.)

I think ol' Joseph got an eye-opener as well into the theological acumen of some of the bishops. Though he rarely intervened, he evidently felt the need to give the bishops a little refresher on eucharistic theology, according to the U.K.'s Tablet.

But something tells me that Joseph is up to a little on-the-job learning.


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