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The Christ of Benedict XVI [Catholic Caucus]
CatholicExchange.com ^ | 02-18-07 | Dr . Robert Moynihan

Posted on 02/19/2007 7:46:46 AM PST by Salvation

Dr . Robert Moynihan  
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The Christ of Benedict XVI

February 18, 2007

The greatest drama of this pontificate, greater than the drama of relations with secular humanism or Islam, greater even than the drama of the scandals in the Church, is the drama occurring within Pope Benedict himself.

It is the drama of a man whose entire formation as a thinker and theologian led him to regard free theological inquiry as the highest intellectual activity of the believing Christian, but whose destiny was to become the Successor of Peter, and as such, the possessor of the Church's binding teaching authority, the Magisterium (the authority to "bind and to loose," to approve and to condemn doctrine and heresies, to teach, ex cathedra, infallibly). And that is why Benedict's decision to publish a book about Jesus later this spring, but not to give the teaching in the book any magisterial authority whatsoever, is so dramatic. It is dramatic because the decision to withhold magisterial authority from the book is itself magisterial.

And this decision has profound consequences, both for the exercise of the papal office within the Roman Catholic Church, and for relations with non-Catholics, particularly the Orthodox. For this reason, it is one of the most important decisions of the pontificate thus far, and perhaps a defining one.

 The Vatican announced November 21 that the Pope's new book, Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration, would appear in March. The book's preface and part of its introduction were also handed out.

In the preface (signed "Joseph Ratzinger — Benedict XVI"), the Pope writes that for decades he has observed an increasing scholarly distinction between the "historical Jesus" and the "Christ of faith" (the idea that Jesus 2,000 years ago in Palestine was not at all the Jesus Christ, Son of God, that faith teaches he was).

In essence, Benedict wants to argue that the Jesus depicted in the Gospels, the Jesus who performed miracles and rose from the dead is the true Jesus; that the historical Jesus is the same as the Jesus of faith; and that the Gospels are not fables.

"I trust the Gospels," the Pope writes. "I wanted to attempt to present the Jesus of the Gospels as the true Jesus, as the ‘historic Jesus,' in the true sense of the expression."

The Pope thinks this is a reasonable position, that it is in keeping with evidence that all of us can examine and judge. He writes: "Only if something extraordinary happened, if the figure and words of Jesus radically exceeded all the hopes and expectations of his age, can his crucifixion and his effectiveness be explained."

The Pope began the book during his 2003 summer vacation, giving the final form to the first four chapters in the summer of 2004. "After my election to the episcopal see of Rome, I used all of my free moments to work on it," he wrote. "Because I do not know how much time and how much strength I will still be given, I have decided to publish the first 10 chapters."

So we know from the Pope's own words that he has used "all of my free moments" to write this book, and that he is so anxious to publish it — even saying quite openly that he fears he may not live much longer — that he chose to publish part of it now, even though it isn't yet finished. This means, clearly, that the Pope regards this book as extremely important, even urgent. He has little time left.

And yet, he is not publishing it as a papal encyclical. This is the striking point. He is not making the book that he is working on with all his strength, as the final great work of his life, part of the papal magisterium. "This work is not an absolute act of magisterial teaching, but merely an expression of my personal research into the face of the Lord," Benedict writes in the preface. "Therefore, everyone is free to contradict me."

What does this mean?

In a November 21 statement, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, said, "The Pope says clearly, with his usual simplicity and humility, that this is not a ‘magisterial act,' but a fruit of his personal research and, as such, can be freely discussed and critiqued. It is not a long encyclical on Jesus, but a personal presentation of the figure of Jesus by the theologian Joseph Ratzinger."

And he added: "At the same time, it is very significant that he, who was elected Bishop of Rome and has the task of supporting the faith of his brothers and sisters, felt so strongly called to give us a new presentation of the figure of Jesus."

How are we to understand all this? Why is the Pope writing an extremely important book, but choosing quite consciously to not formulate his teaching magisterially? The answer is not entirely clear, and all we can do is offer a few possible avenues of interpretation.

Clearly, Benedict does not wish to use his Petrine authority — at least in this particular case — in a "maximalist" way. He does not want to issue an encyclical and say, "I as Pope understand Jesus in this way, and I declare that this understanding is part of the Church's magisterial teaching." Rather, he seems to wish to publish a book about Jesus and offer it to the world as a proposal, as a text for readers to wrestle with and even to criticize.

And, though he states that he does not wish to define anything about Jesus, by choosing this path he implicitly teaches (with papal authority) that the first thing of all, the starting point for all matters of faith, the prerequisite for everything concerning Christian life, is the free conscience of a man wrestling with ultimate questions, wrestling to find God, to find the truth.

And so the great drama of the present pontificate is right in front of us. It is Benedict presenting himself to us, not as an authoritarian Pope, certainly not as the "Panzer Kardinal" the press for so many years depicted him as being, and not as the issuer of infallible papal formulations of doctrine, but as a fellow pilgrim. The "first pilgrim," we might almost say, or "first among pilgrims."

In short, the Pope's decision to publish an entire book about Jesus, and to withdraw from that book all magisterial authority, is a magisterial act of the first importance. He is saying, without using the words, that "being Peter (for me) means this," that "being the Bishop of Rome means this."

And this has important consequences for the profound crisis the Church is passing through today, which is in part related to the whole question of the role of "Rome" in Roman Catholicism, and to the question of how the Church's unity, doctrinally and administratively, can be preserved in an age where centrifugal forces threaten to tear her apart.

After Pope John Paul II was elected Pope in 1978, he told Ratzinger that he would invite him to Rome, to serve in the Roman Curia. "The Pope told me he intended to summon me to Rome," Ratzinger once told me. "I spelled out the reasons against it and he said: ‘Let's think about it a bit longer.' Then, after the assassination attempt (May 13, 1981), we spoke about it again and he repeated that he felt he had to stick to his original decision. I objected that I felt so bound to theology that I desired to have the right to continue to publish works of a private nature and didn't know whether that would be compatible with this new task."

So a tension between being a "private" and a "magisterial" theologian has always been present in Ratzinger's thought. And it was such an important question to him that he debated it with Pope John Paul II, and for a time declined his invitation to join him in Rome.

Evidently, Ratzinger came to believe that, as other Roman prefects had written as private theologians in the past, so his desire to continue writing as a private theologian was no impediment. And so Ratzinger came to Rome and ceased to be a private theologian.

But Ratzinger brought a new style to the office of prefect of the Congregation of the Faith. His book-length interviews, first with Vittorio Messori (Report on the Faith, 1984), then with Peter Seewald, offered an analysis of the faith and the modern crisis of the Church that was all the more powerful and persuasive because it was private and personal, not public and impersonal. Ratzinger's words, not "officious" but blunt and candid, seemed alive and. . . prophetic.

In other words, Ratzinger's engagement with the issues of our time during his years as prefect came to define the "spirit" needed in this ecclesial generation. (He once used the word "restoration" to describe the needed spirit as opposed to the euphoric — and amorphous-- "spirit of Vatican II," which had promised so much, but had gone so profoundly off track.)

But, and this is key, this spirit of "restoration" was never intended to be a "restoration" of a mold of ecclesial life that had been definitively shattered, with all the confusion and suffering that entailed, by the Second Vatican Council and its chaotic, unanticipated aftermath. Ratzinger did not intend to go back to the Counter-Reformation and hurl anathemas. He intended to go forward . . . but toward what?

That is the question, of course, and it is the question he is answering, in part, by the publication of this new book on Jesus, and by its publication in this way, as a non-magisterial pronouncement.

Clearly, Benedict wants to be read. And he wants those who read him to become engaged in a dialogue, with him and with themselves, but above all with Jesus Christ. And he does not want anything to stand in the way of this possible dialogue, not his triple tiara (which he has quietly removed from his papal coat of arms), not his Petrine prerogative, not even his professorial distinction as one of the leading German theologians of our time. No, he wants to transcend these possible "barriers" to a true engagement with readers, and that is why he has chosen to publish the new book in this unprecedented, dramatic way. So this new book is not "dry-as-dust theology" but a heartfelt plea to people around the world, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, Christian and non-Christian, to consider the central question of all, which Jesus asked of his disciples: "Who do men say that I am?" This will be Benedict's answer to that question, and not Benedict as Pope, but Benedict as a man.

When St. Francis of Assisi finally found his vocation on that day when, not long after the year 1200 in the main square of Assisi, Italy, in front of the entire town, he took off his father's cloak and clothes and stood naked, he became himself: the "little poor man" who took as his bride "Lady Poverty." It was a defining moment for medieval Christendom, which was so tempted to forget the "naked Christ" in the midst of the new commercial wealth and architectural splendor of the High Middle Ages.

This spring, when he publishes his book on Jesus, Benedict will turn 80 years old. He, like Francis, will despoil himself of his "clothes," which in this case are those doctrines and traditions which have elevated yet marginalized the modern Popes as they have attempted to carry out their role as witnesses to Christ in a world that has largely forgotten faith.

He will stand before the world as a simple pilgrim, bearing witness to his own understanding of Jesus Christ, to his own relationship with Jesus Christ, without reliance on the garments of authority in which Vatican I — in keeping with the perennial understanding of the essential infallibility of the papal magisterium — clothed him. Removing himself from the eminence and authority of the Chair of Peter, he will practice what he has preached and what Jesus preached: he will present himself as one exegete among many exegetes.

He will sit in the marketplace with contemporaries, many of whom have contradicted, scorned and worked against his view of Jesus Christ. He will invite criticism. Inevitably this preface, and the book itself, will be compared with the talk Ratzinger gave to many of the leading practitioners of the historical-critical method of scriptural analysis, including Raymond Brown, in January 1988 in New York. (The occasion was the annual Erasmus Lecture sponsored by the ecumenical Rockford Institute's Center on Religion and Society.) In his new preface, Ratzinger makes every effort to identify with scriptural interpreters and praise whatever scholarly enlightenment has resulted from the historical-critical method.

In 1988, the first thing the Cardinal did was to remind the assembled scholars that one of the great creative visionaries of the previous century, the Russian theologian Vladimir Soloviev (in his haunting History of the Antichrist) had described the Antichrist, "the eschatological enemy of the redeemer," as "a famous exegete." Ratzinger elaborated: "He had earned his doctorate in theology at Tubingen and had written an exegetical work which was recognized as pioneering in the field."

There is no such sharp and ironic tone in the new preface. This is the change which has taken place between Ratzinger the Cardinal and Ratzinger the Pope. Now he invites his hearers to follow the case he will make and pastorally pleads with them to carefully consider what he will say about Jesus. He has become a fisher of men.



TOPICS: Catholic; History; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholicchurch; catholiclist; history; jesuschrist
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Coming soon!

The Vatican announced November 21 that the Pope's new book, Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration, would appear in March. The book's preface and part of its introduction were also handed out.

1 posted on 02/19/2007 7:46:48 AM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Lady In Blue; NYer; american colleen; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

2 posted on 02/19/2007 7:48:53 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Are the last two sentences of this paragraph as distressing to you as they are to me?

**

So we know from the Pope's own words that he has used "all of my free moments" to write this book, and that he is so anxious to publish it — even saying quite openly that he fears he may not live much longer — that he chose to publish part of it now, even though it isn't yet finished. This means, clearly, that the Pope regards this book as extremely important, even urgent. He has little time left.

**
3 posted on 02/19/2007 7:51:42 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

So humble.

**a fellow pilgrim.**


4 posted on 02/19/2007 7:56:21 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Please ping your lists.


5 posted on 02/19/2007 7:57:32 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
He has little time left.

None of us knows how long we have left. We knew the Pope was old when he was elected; however, that doesn't imply that he's on his deathbed.

6 posted on 02/19/2007 8:02:28 AM PST by Tax-chick (Every "choice" has a direct object.)
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To: Salvation
I really like the Holy Father. He's got to know he was elected as a transitional figure, and to me it looks like he's exercising his office with notable humility and grace. I personally wish he'd lose the Pradas, but that's not important.

And I love the way he has shown the loving man behind the Rotweiler reputation that had been dumped on him.
7 posted on 02/19/2007 8:09:24 AM PST by Mad Dawg ("global warming -- it's just the tip of the iceberg!")
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To: Salvation

Yes, they are distressing, but I have thought for some time that Pope Benedict has been concerned about his time remaining. He seems to be trying to accomplish all he can, and the dark circles under his eyes seem to look darker every month. I pray for him often.


8 posted on 02/19/2007 8:26:39 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Tax-chick
None of us knows how long we have left. We knew the Pope was old when he was elected; however, that doesn't imply that he's on his deathbed.

**************

This is true.

9 posted on 02/19/2007 8:31:15 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Salvation

The first book of Pope Benedict I read was "Behold the Pierced One." When I read it, I knew that here was a scholar who believed. And could talk to the scholarly types, and communicate to the likes of me at the same time. I knew I would have loved to have been one of his students when he still taught.

I have read several of his books since then. I've been waiting for this one, and have pre-ordered it


10 posted on 02/19/2007 9:19:46 AM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: Salvation
First, only God knows how much time Pope Benedict has been given (unless, of course, the Pope has been given a special personal revelation). It is useless to speculate on it, and even less useful to fret. Ratzinger is a gift of God to His Church. Each and every day of his Pontificate should be numbered a blessing.

Second, there is a disturbing tone in the article that suggests that Magisterial teaching is somehow less than welcome. That it impinges on our "freedom." This is foolish, and is certainly not a proposition that Josef Ratzinger would buy into. The more staightforward explanation for the non-magesterial nature of the publication, is simply that it is a work of research, historical and theological. Of course, the issues of theology embodied in the work, and the opposition to the positions of the so-called "Jesus Seminar" type historical research, is already taught magisterially in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds.

11 posted on 02/19/2007 9:21:29 AM PST by Faraday
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To: Salvation
What is distressing to me is the manner in which he is attacked by the more-catholic-than-the-pope'ers and the reality he walks with Christ unafraid and I am barely able to limp light years behind on the same path walked by the great man and Our Lord and Saviour.

Johannes Paulus Magnus and now Pope Benedict. These are two of THE Greatest Popes ever. They truly were/are Our Sweet Jesus on Earth.

So, what does that signify in terms of how much time we all may have left?

12 posted on 02/19/2007 9:25:27 AM PST by bornacatholic
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To: Salvation

I am looking forward to reading this. I got to attend a papal audience in Rome two weeks ago and see BXVI in person. One thing that struck me is that he is a person of great dignity - but enormously humble. The crowd (of 10,000!) went wild when he came in, and kept cheering for him and calling out to him, and it was interesting to me that a person who is in many ways very self-effacing is loved so. He does nothing dramatic and makes no grand gestures, but people trust him and respond to him.

And then everybody listened silently and intently to his homily and his words to us in our native languages, because we recognized him as a teacher of the truth.


13 posted on 02/19/2007 9:39:14 AM PST by livius
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To: Salvation

Hi:

There used to be an expression that anyone over 65 was on borrowed time. Well I suppose today it is probably 75. Our Lord gives us the time to do our work for Him. All of us at that magic number of 75 must just continue on. It is not for us to worry but do the best we can.

As Pope Paul the XI stated in "Lumen Gentium":

“By reason of their special vocation it belongs to the laity to seek the Kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God's will.”

We just continue "to seek the Kingdom of God" and "not be affraid" and we will come out fine.

God's Love.
Frank


14 posted on 02/19/2007 9:41:39 AM PST by franky (Pray for the souls of the faithful departed.)
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To: Faraday
Of course, the issues of theology embodied in the work, and the opposition to the positions of the so-called "Jesus Seminar" type historical research, is already taught magisterially in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds.

One of the things I like about this Pope is that he does not feel the need to put his personal stamp on existing doctrines by re-expressing them. Unless it is something that is of importance - a truth that needs to be reaffirmed, for example - he keeps his personal observations personal and does not elevate them to Papal pronouncements.

BTW, when I was in Rome I heard that there is a very important document being prepared on natural law. This may not sound earth-shaking, but it will be a foundation for stating that it is obligatory for Catholic politicians to follow natural law (not Church law, but natural law, such as that which dictates union between a man and a woman, or that forbids the killing of the innocent or unborn, etc.) in their votes. The practical aspects are that Catholic politicians may not vote for things that violate natural law and, in the case of laws that already exist, are bound to do as much as possible to attenuate their effects). This is expected to be quite controversial and Italian "intellectuals" and politicians are already shreiking about it. So when BXVI does act in his capacity as Pope, he really plays for high stakes!

15 posted on 02/19/2007 9:45:41 AM PST by livius
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To: livius
Wow,I love this Pope. He has taken all the thunder and lightening that the "enemy" has at their disposal to pelt whatever "official" document Benedict published/publishes.

I would bet that they were salivating for some magisterial pronouncement that they could start deconstructing by throwing a variety of bulls,moto proprios,encyclicals,anathemas and other documents that were promulgated throughout the ages by the Popes and could be admixed and interpreted to be contradictory.

Oblivious,or wickedly cognizant,of the levels of acceptance ordinary Catholics owed to the various documents they (catholics and non-catholics dedicated to destroying the Church) could have used anything he wrote as a start to engaging in yet another long and confusing battle of words,specious arguments,dissembling and outright lies. All activities that distract participants from the focusing on the truth as well as immediate crises and resolution of same.

This Pope is brave and brilliant,with this decision he has defused their ammunition and is doing exactly what Jesus told Peter to do in their last talk in John and that was "you,follow me." Ideally,that is the way it is supposed to work,Peter follows Jesus,the apostles follow Peter (Pope),the priests follow the apostles (bishops) and we who are Catholics follow our priests on that journey that leads us home to the Father.

16 posted on 02/19/2007 10:47:08 AM PST by saradippity
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To: Salvation

I thought that I couldn't love any pope the way I loved John Paul the Great. But I was wrong. God is so merciful.


17 posted on 02/19/2007 1:24:26 PM PST by mockingbyrd (peace begins in the womb)
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To: saradippity

I pray for him every day. I remember what he said about praying that he would not run from the wolves.

I expect this document on natural law to be quite explosive. While I was in Rome, they passed a law basically declaring a gay "union" or heterosexuals who had lived together for at least one year to be the same as a married couple, in terms of their legal treatment, benefits, etc. For it to have passed, at least some ostensibly Catholic legislators must have voted for it. If what the Pope does is essentially tell them that going along with or voting for something that violates natural law means that they are incurring a sin (presumably one that results in excommunication), there's going to be a lot of commotion. The news reports that I heard said that the declaration would be binding on Catholics.

Italian gays, like those anywhere else, are bitter, disruptive and violent in their hatred of the Church and particularly of this Pope. It's not going to be fun when this document is released.

In addition, the Pope is working on another important document to do with bioethics, IIRC.


18 posted on 02/19/2007 2:15:24 PM PST by livius
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To: livius
livius, Pope Benedict's election is what pushed me into my long-considered conversion. When I saw him on the balcony, I knew I was seeing the Holy Spirit shining on his face.

He has a true gift of teaching, which I hope more and more people will appreciate. I will be ordering the book also.

19 posted on 02/19/2007 4:08:36 PM PST by Miss Marple (Prayers for Jemian's son,: Lord, please keep him safe and bring him home .)
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To: Mad Dawg
I personally wish he'd lose the Pradas, but that's not important.

If you mean the designer shoes, they were probably donated to him and the Vatican is surrounded by Italy, where the best shoes in the world are made. If it hadn't been Prada, it could have as easily been Ferragamo, Gucci or Bruno Magli. If you mean the red color of the shoes, that is a papal tradition. Papal red symbolizes martyrdom.

20 posted on 02/19/2007 4:43:17 PM PST by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
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To: ELS

No, I'm not complaining about the color. There was an article early in his pontificate about his being a little bit of a clothes horse and specifying certain mfrs and styles. It didn't mention where the money came from.

Yeah, I know about Italian shoes. I don't know WHY I know about them, but I do ... And I also get the color thing.


21 posted on 02/19/2007 5:01:36 PM PST by Mad Dawg ("global warming -- it's just the tip of the iceberg!")
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To: bornacatholic
So, what does that signify in terms of how much time we all may have left?

I don't know, but if the next Pope takes the name Peter, I'm selling my stocks.

22 posted on 02/19/2007 5:07:38 PM PST by Nihil Obstat
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To: Mad Dawg

Definitely a transitional figure. I think he has surprised many Catholics in his kind way of delivering the message. But he has not bent the message or weakened it in any way.


23 posted on 02/19/2007 5:20:21 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: trisham

Maybe we can do a prayer devotion on Fridays during Lent and include him in our intentions.


24 posted on 02/19/2007 5:21:22 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

**I have read several of his books since then. I've been waiting for this one, and have pre-ordered it**

I think many of us will pre-order it. I talked with my priest about having this book for our book study after Easter. It would be a superb choice.


25 posted on 02/19/2007 5:23:32 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Faraday

I think Pope Benedict is strong in the magisterial teaching. Do you think it was the author? And a Catholic one at that?


26 posted on 02/19/2007 5:26:37 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: bornacatholic

*8So, what does that signify in terms of how much time we all may have left?**

This is the way I took the statement in the article..........not so much that the Pope had limited years, but that we ALL do. (Maybe I'm dwelling too much on the Book of Revelation that we will be finishing our Bible Study on next week. LOL!)


27 posted on 02/19/2007 5:29:49 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: franky

**We just continue "to seek the Kingdom of God" and "not be affraid"**

And I would add "pray constantly" to those two excellent suggestions.


28 posted on 02/19/2007 5:30:56 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: saradippity

**This Pope is brave and brilliant,with this decision he has defused their ammunition and is doing exactly what Jesus told Peter to do in their last talk in John and that was "you,follow me." **

What is so wonderful is that he is appointing bishops that will do likewise! Hooray!


29 posted on 02/19/2007 5:33:17 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Miss Marple

Lump in my throat there, MM.


30 posted on 02/19/2007 5:34:20 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Nihil Obstat

Supposedly, according to Malachy, that will be the name.


31 posted on 02/19/2007 5:35:38 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
HECK No! NO bending there! He's been a champ! I was delighted at his election. (Almost makes you believe in God, y'know?) He was just as sound as a bell, and steadfast. And his evident humility makes him a perfect sequel to John Paul the Great. He is not overpowered by the office, as far as I can tell, but he shows a sense of duty in accepting it and in the way he carries it out.

I do find his prose tough, though. Some of his academic stuff really shows the German background. But it's always worth it. I was slogging through Truth and Tolerance and took a vacation in one of the liturgical collections. Zowie!

32 posted on 02/19/2007 5:39:47 PM PST by Mad Dawg ("global warming -- it's just the tip of the iceberg!")
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To: Mad Dawg
There was an article early in his pontificate about his being a little bit of a clothes horse and specifying certain mfrs and styles.

Yeah, I remember the article. As I see it, the author of the article was just trying to get an article submitted and made a big deal out of nothing. While Benedict XVI did have a regular tailor before becoming Pope, I'm sure he didn't want to offend the tailor that has been making clothes for the Popes for the past ??? years. As far as the designer accessories that he has been spotted wearing, I tend to think they were gifts. Having read about how prayerful and spiritual he is, I just can't imagine him knowing, or caring about, the difference between Fendi and Missoni.

33 posted on 02/19/2007 5:56:31 PM PST by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
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To: Salvation

You wouldn't be the only one with flashes of questions like that!


34 posted on 02/19/2007 6:11:23 PM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: mockingbyrd

I literally jumped for joy when I heard he had been elected. There is something very beautiful about his expression and I don't think it's a human beauty.


35 posted on 02/19/2007 6:15:38 PM PST by tiki
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To: tiki

Honestly I was a little disappointed. I was holding out for an American Pope (George) or Arinze or, my favorite choice, a Pope from an Islamic country. I also wanted a younger man, because I wanted years with him.

Good thing the Holy Spirit was running things and not me. God took good care of His church.


36 posted on 02/19/2007 6:35:21 PM PST by mockingbyrd (peace begins in the womb)
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To: mockingbyrd
I wanted him to be elected in the worst way and I was praying like crazy until I remembered that it is God's will and I would accept whoever was elected.

I left the house on the day he was elected and by the time I got to the church the smoke had gone up. We have a very liberal nun who works in the office and she was horrified when he was elected. I had to leave the room to go do my cheerleading routine. LOL

I'm not claiming any insight but as I said there is something beautiful in his countenance, a beauty put there by a complete trust in God, I think.

37 posted on 02/19/2007 6:53:05 PM PST by tiki
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To: tiki

We had someone driving around our church parking lot screaming "Ratzinger's infallible baby!"

He is a great pope. But more importantly, he is a good man.


38 posted on 02/19/2007 6:58:02 PM PST by mockingbyrd (peace begins in the womb)
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To: ELS
Caring ...

It's funny though. I actually know something about textiles and it played into my running sheep for a while, and spinning and even weaving a little. And the reason was that the church I grew up in and was an altar boy in had unbelievably beautiful textiles. And being an altar boy I spent a lot of time on my knees inches away from them.

So I don't know all that much about fashion and designers, but when I worked the metal detector in Court I used to amaze the lady lawyers by being knowledgeable about what they had on.

So I can see an inquisitive and appreciative intellect having spent so much time in a place like Rome being pretty much on top of who makes the good stuff. It IS a real craft, after all, and textiles are wonderful. And that's before you get to design and tailoring and all the other amazing skills and visions which go into the stuff we drag over our nakedness in the morning.

Can you imagine what a gas it is that my wife wears a jacket the yarns of which I wove, some of the wool of which I sheared, carded, washed, spun, and dyed -- and then her mom, who is a nonpareil seamstress, designed and made into the final piece? -- I haven't done much useful in my life, but I made that cloth, darn it!

39 posted on 02/19/2007 7:15:32 PM PST by Mad Dawg ("global warming -- it's just the tip of the iceberg!")
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To: mockingbyrd
He is a great pope. But more importantly, he is a good man.

+1doubled, vulnerable, no trump. I really like this guy a LOT!

40 posted on 02/19/2007 7:17:22 PM PST by Mad Dawg ("global warming -- it's just the tip of the iceberg!")
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To: tiki
but as I said there is something beautiful in his countenance, a beauty put there by a complete trust in God, I think.

Not only him but in the Cardinal electors as well. Just before the conclave, EWTN had an interview with a few of the electors. One was saying how distraught he had been, how he couldn't imagine anyone taking JP2's place. Then he decided to pray before the Blessed Sacrament about for whom he should vote. The answer came to him in an obvious way. They of course didn't tell EWTN for whom they were going to vote, but they were beaming like they were very pleased and excited with what the Holy Spirit was guiding them to do.

41 posted on 02/19/2007 7:27:34 PM PST by Nihil Obstat
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To: Miss Marple
When I saw him on the balcony, I knew I was seeing the Holy Spirit shining on his face.

That is true. He is a very holy man. But I worry about him all the time. When I saw him at the audience, I was really impressed by the way people loved him. And then I recalled how people had loved Jesus on Palm Sunday - and called for His death only a few days later. Nobody is going to call for the Pope's death, obviously, but I suspect that he is going to start making the hard decisions that are going to make enemies. Pray for him!

42 posted on 02/19/2007 7:33:05 PM PST by livius
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To: Mad Dawg
So I can see an inquisitive and appreciative intellect having spent so much time in a place like Rome being pretty much on top of who makes the good stuff.

Agreed and Benedict XVI certainly has a refined aesthetic appreciation of music, art and literature, so it makes sense that it would extend to fabrics. It's just that as a priest his wardrobe is fairly limited and somewhat specialized, not to mention that clerical garb doesn't change much. Knowing the best tailors of ecclesiastical "threads" in Rome is not quite the same as knowing the latest trends or current "in" designers in fashion.

The better quality priests' clerical garb and liturgical vestments are usually made from wool, silk, linen or cotton. As you probably know, Italy also makes some of the finest textiles in the world, including an amazing spectrum of wool from the lightest summer weight wool to a thick cashmere used in jackets. That is pretty cool about the cloth you made being crafted into a jacket for your wife. Bravo!

43 posted on 02/19/2007 8:19:48 PM PST by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
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To: ELS
I would suggest one other reason. He is a small man and few manufacturers produce clothing scaled down for smaller people. (I am short so I know a LOT about this.) It's not just the matter of making the pants legs shorter. Doing that just makes one look like he is wearing culottes. The tailor must also make the pants narrower, as well as the sleeves. Otherwise the suit simply doesn't fit well.

My guess is a lot of his preference had to do with people who knew how to make clothing for someone of his size.

44 posted on 02/20/2007 4:08:53 AM PST by Miss Marple (Prayers for Jemian's son,: Lord, please keep him safe and bring him home .)
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To: ELS; Mad Dawg
As far as the designer accessories that he has been spotted wearing, I tend to think they were gifts.

From a General Audience on March 2006:


45 posted on 02/20/2007 4:46:14 AM PST by Carolina
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To: Carolina
Are you suggesting he got the yarmulke as a gift, maybe from a synagogue in Rome?

Just asking ....


Crusader Bumper Sticker

46 posted on 02/20/2007 4:59:43 AM PST by Mad Dawg ("Now we are all Massoud.")
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To: mockingbyrd
I thought that I couldn't love any pope the way I loved John Paul the Great. But I was wrong. God is so merciful.

************

Amen. I feel the same.

47 posted on 02/20/2007 5:23:03 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Salvation

Good idea!


48 posted on 02/20/2007 5:23:36 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Miss Marple

It may be that, too, but when I was in Rome, I was amused to see the clergy - including some of our portlier American specimens - running off to the ecclesiastical clothiers that surround the Vatican to get some fine duds! It's a pretty harmless vanity, certainly; and I'd rather have them dressed in a snappy tailored cassock than flopping around in their tee-shirts, as was the fashion not too long ago. I think one of the reasons the Pope dresses well is to emphasize the dignity of the office.


49 posted on 02/20/2007 5:47:52 AM PST by livius
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To: Nihil Obstat; sitetest; BlackElk
LOL

I was just reading, somewhere, about the time Ronald Reagan visited the Campus of Berkley back in the 60s. Studnets were milling about pontificating and yelling and boasting and they surrounded Reagan's car as he was leaving the Campus after a speech. They were yelling "we are the future" etc and Reagan took his papers and wrote on the back a short response. He held it up to the window. It read...

"If you are the future, I'm selling my Bonds."

50 posted on 02/20/2007 6:20:08 AM PST by bornacatholic
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