Sunday, April 11, 2010

But why Benedict XVI?

BENEDCIT XVI was 78 when he assumed the Chair of Peter in April of 2005. On that calm Sunday morning he was installed at St. Peter’s square before world leaders and over half a million pilgrims coming from all parts of the world. He spoke of his inadequacies as Pontiff and how the prayers of the faithful would sustain him in his tremendous task. “I am not alone. I do not have to carry alone what in truth I could never carry alone…All the Saints of God are there to protect me, to sustain me and to carry me. And your prayers, my dear friends, your indulgence, your love, your faith and your hope accompany me.”

When asked by the media, he disclosed then that his primary role was not to present a program of governance to the Church and to pursue his own ideas, but to listen to the will of God and be guided by it. Since then, he has never stopped listening to God’s will even at the cost of being personally persecuted and pushed painfully to the very center of world controversies—if only because he had to follow God’s rather than the way of men.

The first onslaught came after his lecture in Regensburg in September 2006 when he was accused of being the enemy of the Islam when all he did was to courageously explain that violence is insistent with both ration and religion. After that the professors of La Sapienza, the main university of his diocese, forced him to cancel his visit to the University of Rome and tagged him as an enemy of modern reason. Ironically, all he wanted to deliver was a talk in defense of the indissoluble link between faith and reason, between truth and freedom: “I do not come to impose faith, but to call for courage for truth.”

Then he was depicted as the enemy of the “aggiornamento” brought about by the Second Vatican Council especially when he issued the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum which opened the floodgates to celebrating the masses in Latin according to the Tridentine liturgy. More tempests were hurled against the papacy to include even the controversy in the lifting of the excommunication of Lefebvrist bishops and the protest of the Jewish world against his person.

And now the sexual abuse that mires him in a controversy of “cover up” of cases of sexually abused children by a some priests. Ironically, he is the one who has done more than anyone else in the Church to heal this scandal.

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