All That I Have Written Is Straw. . .

Meanderings of a Catholic Devout

“In Catholicism, there is no right or left but only orthodoxy and error.”

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Today, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation from official duties effective Feb. 28. I am both saddened and somehow profoundly proud of this pope for doing so.

The pope will be 86 years old this year (b. 1927). To recognize and publicly acknowledge the limitations of old age is admirable. In comparison, it was heart-wrenching to watch John Paul II deteriorate before the public eye. But for someone who is charge of making such impactful and long-lasting decisions on the future of the Roman Church, it seems better, in my opinion, to gracefully admit that the Church needs the strength of someone who can make the decisions that will impact over a billion people for many years, even centuries, to come.

Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) is an eloquent writer, among my favorites of all time. He possess such clarity and brevity to take a complex concept and arrive at a simple rationale like no other theologian I have read.

An example of this is in my favorite quote of his: “The highest truths cannot be forced into the type of empirical evidence that only applies to material reality.” I still have to re-read that quote three or four times before I understand the profundity and precision reflected in that single statement. I mean, years and years of philosophy and theology courses on my part. . . and he simply sums it up in a single sentence. I will miss this aspect of Ratzinger most of all as he contemplates a prayerful life in retirement.

In an op-ed piece on today, writer Timothy Stanley wrote, “In Catholicism, there is no right or left but only orthodoxy and error.” I only wish I could have summed up Pope Benedict XVI and the Roman Catholic Church in this light. So many people today quite blindly criticize the Church for refusing to waver to modern culture because it holds on to the one thing that has kept it around for all these years: Tradition. They don’t seem to understand that if the Church ignored Tradition, it would lose its own identity. Benedict XVI held onto to this principle strongly; it is extremely vital that all Catholics hold on to this principle. And if anyone expects the next pope to change, they will once again be disappointed by their own misunderstanding.



Written by Written Straw

February 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm

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