April 12, 2006

Gratitude for a Pope

Pope Benedict XVI is a treasure. At first I wondered how much of it was merely his newness, the novelty of seeing only the second pope in my adult life. But I think there are many reasons he so resonates. Personally, we “have a history” - I read his books seven or eight years ago and in his very familiarity it was like the ascension of a family member to the throne of St. Peter. A father became the Holy Father.

He seemed to me the realist to Pope John Paul II’s dreamliness and his frankness allowed me to trust. He wasn’t afraid to be controversial in that Age Before Controversy, the era before blogs and polarization. :-)

But the primary appeal is that he is a Scripture scholar and that is charismatic in and of itself since Scripture = Christ = charisma. Scott Hahn’s ministry prepared the ground for American Catholics to appreciate Pope Benedict, giving us a craving for the experience of scripture and catechesis that Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, is uniquely gifted to satisfy.

In Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI we probably haven't gotten the leaders we deserve, but we have gotten the leaders we need.

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