Saturday, December 1, 2007

Significance of This Papacy

"This Pope will go down in history as the Pope of the ecumenical change." The Patriarch of Moscow made this remark regarding Pope Benedict shortly after his election. I have often wondered what exactly he meant and why he should have that type of hope invested in the present Holy Father. Perhaps he feels more comfortable with a German than with a Pole. Perhaps Benedict's style is more appealing to him. Below I shall give why I think this Pope is poised for the reunification of all of Christianity with the Roman See.

He is the first German Pope since the protestant revolt, which began in Germany. Five centuries after that catastrophic division in Christianity and two and a half centuries of "enlightenment" anti-religious propaganda, the only significant Christian sentiment in present day Germany is focused on the Vatican. Naturally the Germans have, as any nation, a pride in one of their own representing the whole world, even if it is from the Vatican. With the renewed prosperity of Europe and the proximity of Germany to Italy, there is a great increase of Germans travelling to Rome over these past couple of years. Consider this. The Polish Pope returned to communist Poland a couple of times and the Soviet bloc collapsed. The German Pope returns to secular humanist Germany a couple of times, something is bound to happen. This Pope is calling for the recovery of the Christian identity of Europe, and for all men to find themselves by looking at Jesus (cf.Jesus of Nazareth). He is the only world leader who is proposing Jesus to Europe and to the world as our only hope. Someone in Germany is bound to respond, and many are already responding, e.g. Peter Seewald.

This is not a nationalistic or ethnic argument although race is a factor here as it is in every culture and cultural change. The main strength of this Pope is the apostolic office and mission. He is a true successor of the Galilean fisherman who is an effective fisher of men. He strives to bring all men to the knowledge of salvation in Christ our only Lord. In England and America we have been witnessing over the past decades a great increase in the number of prominant non-Catholics becoming Catholic, e.g. Tony Blair's upcoming conversion and that of the Irish Anglican federation, as the most recent examples. That only leaves one to wonder what is happening in the East. Are their leaders also being wooed into Catholicism? With the Regensburg Address (the thesis that the major present day heresies are various forms of the error of DeHellenization), the visit to Turkey, the General Audiences on the Apostles and Fathers of the Church (East and West, last Wednesday on Saint Ephream of Syria, and last week on a Persian Father) and the Motu Proprio (reinstating the ancient Latin liturgy, in Europe's ancient unifying tongue and the tongue through which it recieved the Gospel) and the upcoming Pauline Year. Because of these factors I foresee (with the Patriarch of Moscow) something grand on the horizon for Christianity, through the work of Pope Benedict XVI. We shall see. I have to go now for Mass, more on this later...

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