The Associated Press is running a story on Pope Benedict XVI's homily at St. John Lateran, where he was "installed as Bishop of Rome."
The story reports that Benedict XVI "will stick to Pope John Paul II's unwavering stands against abortion and euthanasia"--quite a revelation, that.
Here's an interesting quote that's bound to send some people into confusion: "The pope isn't an absolute sovereign, whose thoughts and desires are law. On the contrary, the ministry of the pope is the guarantor of the obedience toward Christ and his word."
In other words, the Pope can't just change whatever he pleases. He is not the Antichrist, but the Vicar of Christ. As such, he is bound to present the teaching of Jesus, not his own personal ideas or opinions or what he thinks would be popular with people.
In other words, Pope Benedict outlined "his vision for the papacy" only in the sense that he continues to make his own the "vision of the papacy" the Church presents: the papacy as a ministry of fidelity to that which has been received from Christ, rather than as a lordship that purports to be or acts as if it were sovereign, even in relation to Christ.
Here is an irony: those who advocate such things as women's ordination often charge that the pope ought to change Catholic doctrine on the male priesthood to reflect the putative opinion of the people. By saying no to women priests, the pope supposedly acts as a sovereign who can ignore the vox populi. But in fact to insist that the pope permit the ordination of women is to insist that the pope has a sovereignty over Catholic tradition that he does not have. He is not free to act in this way. He is a custodian of tradition, not its author or sovereign. If, per impossible, he were to permit the ordination of women, it would not be an act of humility but of arrogance.