After several well though-out and flawlessly delivered talks and homilies on his plans to carry on the traditions of Pope John Paul II, the New Pope Benedict XVI is already receiving column after column and commentary after commentary of hate talk, vicious criticism and vile predictions as to how badly he will govern the Church.
Pope Benedict Faces the Wolves
It is true that the Holy Father knew this was coming ,and prayed for special strength to withstand it. He was wise in doing so. He asked the 350,0000 gathered for his coronation in St. Peter’s Square Sunday, not only to “Pray for me that I may learn to love the Lord more” and “pray for me that I may learn to love his flock more and more”—but he added, “Pray for me that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.”
Well, the wolves are moving in from every direction. One example is a column by Derrick Jackson in Monday’s Chicago Tribune. Among other things Jackson says the Catholic Church will not be joining the 21st century very soon under Pope Benedict XVI.
He says not to expect bridge building, because the cardinals made a choice so cautious as to edge on the callous. He warns that this Papacy has the potential to irritate and inflame religious and cultural tensions worldwide.
Jackson says Ratzinger was John Paul’s enforcer of stark views, that, that despite the Church’s proclamations of love, only fueled disdain—you know, John Paul’s condemning same sex marriage, adoption by gays and calling politicians who vote for civil unions “gravely immoral.”
Jackson says Ratzinger downplayed the priest sex abuse scandal, got rid of Charles Curran for challenging the ban on contraception and disciplined other nuns and priests for their liberal views. Also, horror of horrors, Ratzinger opposes the ordination of women.
Pope Benedict XVI can be certain there will be lots of wolves coming after him, and we should all take seriously his plea that he will never flee for fear of them. From what we know of Joseph Ratzinger, he won’t.
Much has already been written on the Terri Schiavo case, and how her court ordered murder enraged pro-lifers and even many who do not even consider themselves pro-life. From time to time we receive poems on pro-life events, usually concerning a baby about to be aborted, and while all of them are sincere and touching, most of them are simply filed away.
But occasionally there appears a pro-life poem that strikes one with such force and insight that we publish it. So here is one by Dr. John Shea of Toronto, Canada, which we think is so on-target and insightful that you should hear it. It’s called “Terri’s Thirst.” Dr. Shea writes:
For those who were not by her side,
for those who were not there,
how was it then that Terri died?
She died of “comfort care.”
She found no aid, no remedy,
in her resort to any court.
A world which kills within the womb
will waft the weakest to the tomb.
A court that contradicts God’s word,
becomes at once the tyrant’s sword.
And all who live but for the hour,
have put themselves in Satan’s power:
the first who would not serve.
Terri was among the throng
whose death is masked, and hurried on.
Of those who cannot earn their keep,
from loved ones torn,
and from true caring shorn
abandoned to their final sleep.
Can no one hear that distant bell,
now warning us that all’s not well?
That just as in Augustine’s day,
when Rome was falling in decay,
we too, consumed with self and pride,
have come to terms with homicide?
We think Dr. Shea captures a really basic element of the Terri Schiavo murder.
Krauthammer on the Judiciary
A complicated and argumentative but most interesting article appears on Monday’s Chicago Tribune op-ed page by Charles Krauthammer, “Let’s not lose our sanity on the judiciary.” It’s food for considerable thought. We haven’t time to review it here. We’d have to print the whole column. It’s the kind you can’t leave anything out of or you lose the whole thought.
But you can still buy a paper, read it online or call us for a xerox copy. It’s a mind-twister and you can decide if it makes sense or not. We still haven’t figured it out.