God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Saturday, April 23, 2005


I was sitting and contemplating what the future may hold with the new pope, Benedict XVI. I must admit that I had my fingers crossed for a younger or less fundamentalist pope to lead the church into the Third Millennium, perhaps a pontiff from the third world with a more realistic view of life in the pews. But in hindsight – what was I thinking!? Was it just me, or did Ratzinger look just a bit too happy to be wearing those snappy robes? Like he finally got what he deserved? Scary stuff, no?

After some time to mull it over and read some other opinions, I decided the election of Benedict XVI was as predictable as the pope being, well, catholic. Andrew Sullivan’s hysteria aside, Benny-16 is someone to keep things running while the red birds figure out what in the world has gone wrong. There's priestly attrition out the wazzoo, seemingly a child molester in every parish, and "rebellious" (i.e. educated and modern) American & European Catholics demanding a bit more wiggle room for rubbers and divorces.

Benny-16 is the pope the church was looking for. A fill-in, a place-holder. He’s 78 years old and he's had a stroke, so we know he won’t break any records for length of tenure. And while he is the very definition of dogmatic (you don’t get to be known as 'God's Rottweiler' by being cute and cuddly), I doubt he’ll renew the inquisition anytime soon. Let's not panic until he asks to see the Torquemada blueprints.


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