Friday, April 22, 2005

Benedict XVI

So, we have a new Pope! From what little I know, I'm pleased with the choice.

I find it amusing how the pundits seem to be grasping at straws at attempting to define this pope in a way that suggests moderation; perhaps it is wishful thinking.

They do this by speculating on the meaning of his chosen name: Benedict XVI, and attempt to draw a parallel with the "moderate" nature of Benedict XV as the "signal" being sent by this name.


What about Benedicts I through XIV???

To focus entirely on Benedict XV as a guide is very shortsighted!

Or what about St. Benedict? Who founded the order of the Benedictine monks, and is credited with developing "The Rule of St. Benedict", which
is one of the most important written works in the shaping of Western society, embodying, as it does, the ideas of a written constitution, authority limited by law and under the law, the right of the ruled to review the legality of the actions of their rulers, a society without distinctions of birth, and one in which manual labor is regarded as a dignified occupation rather than one that demeans the laborer.
In fact, once again, I see I'm not the only one with this idea; poking around wikipedia I see the discussion that:
The choice of the name Benedict (Latin "the blessed") is significant. The new pope's birthday is on 16 April and that day is the feast of Saint Benedict Joseph Labre (26 March 1748 – 16 April 1783), also known as the Holy Pilgrim. In addition, the previous Pope Benedict XV (1914 to 1922) was seen as a conciliator who calmed the disputes between modernist and traditionalist factions with the Church, and the adoption of the name Benedict has been seen as a sign that Benedict XVI has similar goals. Additionally, Der Spiegel reports on an interview with Cardinal Meisner, usually regarded as close to Ratzinger, stating that he chose Benedict because of Benedict XV who "did much for peace in the world".

Theology professor Susan Roll of the University of Ottawa speculates in the Globe and Mail, however, that the new Pope's name may be taken from St. Benedict, who founded the Benedictine Order and is credited by Catholics for preserving Christian civilization during the Great migration in the Early Middle Ages. St. Benedict is also one of the patron saints of Europe. Ratzinger has always been concerned that Europe should do its utmost not to lose its Christian heritage. Some have speculated that the choice of the name of Europe's patron signals an intention to reclaim Europe for Christ.
Of course, I was pulling for a name designed to shock everybody, such as Urban, to recall the crusading Blessed Pope Urban II.

But that wasn't going to happen.

Benedict XVI will do quite well.


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