Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was named Pope Benedict XVI today. Here is an excerpt from his homily at the Mass for the election of the next pontiff a couple of days ago:

How many winds of doctrine we have known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking... The small boat of thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves - thrown from one extreme to the other: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism, and so forth.

Every day new sects are created and what Saint Paul says about human trickery comes true, with cunning which tries to draw those into error (cf Eph 4:14). Having a clear faith, based on the Creed of the Church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism. Whereas, relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and "swept along by every wind of teaching," looks like the only attitude (acceptable) to today's standards. We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires.

He appears to be a man keenly aware of the corrosive effect modernity has had on the Christian Church in general and Catholicism in particular. If so, he will be a worthy successor to John Paul II. Would that a few such as they could be found among the leaders of mainline protestantism right now.

The whole homily can be read here. You'll have to scroll down.