MartiniPundit

Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

After the White Smoke

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It didn’t take the liberals long to get their knickers in a twist over our new Pope – less than an hour if the comment timestamps at DailyKos are to be believed. Andrew Sullivan has thrown his predictable hissy fit (it’s only a matter of time before he announces what we all know – he’s becoming an Episcopalian) and my how fast the Left grabbed the Nazi card. Is there nothing else in the deck? Or is it the fact that this Pope is a German made it too delicious to resist? The man was drafted into the Hitler Youth because he grew up in – wait for it – Nazi Germany! Then he was drafted into the Luftwaffe and he – wait for it – deserted! Yeah, sounds like he was Hitler’s biggest fan, but don’t bother the Left with facts when they’re entertaining their Hitler fetish – it spoils the mood. All in all many seem shocked, absolutely shocked to discover that the cardinals elected a Catholic.

How very silly. How very predictable. And how very boring.

There’s nothing new here. It all comes down to sex in the end anyway, and it all boils down to the same tired puerile demand that tolerance is not enough so we must all endorse what frankly should be left in the bedroom.

Meanwhile, the grownups will get on with the heavy lifting of running things. I think Benedict XVI is a very good choice. Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria might have been a touch better in that he would have most of Benedict’s virtues but also have the Third World background that will sooner or later be needed. My initial thought was that if Ratzinger were elected, it would be after many days in conclave and he would be a fallback choice. To be sure, I would have been pleased, but as I wrote yesterday, I would have seen him as a caretaker and would have expected him to be Pius XIII, John XXIV, or even John Paul III (which would break with tradition as there has never been three popes in a row with the same name). By choosing Benedict, this man who we know will continue John Paul II’s policies is also signaling that he will be his own man. Our new Pope has the right stuff to tackle the pressing problems.

These are not the things that preoccupy the Left and the MSM, to whit: female ordination, homosexuality, married priests, contraception, and elected bishops. Forget it – those things are not on the table, and frankly, are not the real problem. We Americans tend to think we’re the center of the Church because we’re so central in the political world. But in the eyes of the Pope, we are a small minority – approximately 7% of all Catholics – who tend to be somewhat more lippy than most. We American Catholics also presented the Church with the pedophilia scandal and we ought to think about how the pinking of the seminaries fueled that instead of ignoring that particular elephant in the room. As far as the American Church is concerned, this is Pope Benedict’s biggest issue.

Islam is another problem for the Pope. Militant Islam presents a challenge not only to the world in a terrorist sense, but in another as well. Muslims are achieving by immigration what they could not achieve by force of arms – the conquest of Europe. Benedict XVI understands this, and knows that he needs to remind secular Europe that time is running out. What has been happening in the Netherlands and to a lesser extent in France are early signs of what is to come if they fail to solve the problem of Islamic separatism.

Relations with other Christians are another key area for the new Pope to continue the great work of John Paul II. Much ecumenical progress has been made but much more is left to do to find as much common ground as possible with non-Catholic christians and especially the eastern churches.

We have been given a strong, experienced Pope. Like John Paul II, he is a theologian of the first rank. Let us pray for him that he may steer the bark of Peter well.

A roundup of other views is at the Moderate Voice. A short biography of Pope Benedict XVI is here.

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Written by martinipundit

April 20, 2005 at 8:46 am

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