Sunday, July 29, 2007
Having been a little "out of the the loop," as they say, I had missed the words of the Holy Father to the gathering of priests on his holiday. These spontaneous question and answer sessions are becoming one of the characteristics of this magnificent Pope. He just continues to amaze me - and fill me with admiration; not just because he's got white fluffy hair and is holy - not even because his name is Benedict (a good enough reason to like him), but his analysis of the Church and the World, from the Regensburg address to these Q&A sessions, are just always so right! Yet everything is delivered in his inimitable gentle and winsome manner. I don't know how to do one of those link thingys (help!), but if you go to http://www.chiesa.com/ (oh, that's how you do one of those link thingys - it just happens, like magic) - if you go there, you can read his response to ten questions posed by the local priests. His response to a question by a priest who felt saddened that his dreams of Vatican II had not been realized is stunning! Papa Benedetto has said, for the first time, I think, what so many of us born during or after the Council have felt - and especially those ordained in the last ten or fifteen years: "the periods following a Council are almost always very difficult.....after the Council of Nicea" there was a "genuinely chaotic situation." Having been ordained during this "genuinely chaotic situation," and having ministered in the same "situation" for the past 12 years, it is so heartening to hear the Holy Father's words - his historical perspective, which is so often missing in all the invective - and his wonderful humility and optimism. If, as my friend, Blessed George of Park Avenue, has written, we are living in the most serious crisis of the Church since the Arian heresy of the Third Century, how wonderful that we have a Pope who is truly, as George Weigel described him, 'God's Choice.'