A Figure of Impossibility | Carl E. Olson | Editorial | Catholic World Report
The pontificate of Benedict XVI has been a short, bracing, and often surprising journey in discipleship.
It has been quite a week. My head is still spinning, and I'm sure that only half of it is due to the flu, fever, and medication I've been fighting, enduring, and imbibing (respectively) since last Sunday afternoon.
Where to start? How about with the head of the Catholic Church?
Consider: He is brilliant, yet enigmatic. Some find him inspiring; others think he is frightening. Some insist his reign is the result of mythology, superstition, and ignorance. Others claim he is the personification of humility, service, and true charity. In some corners, he is rejected for his politically incorrect views about marriage and sexuality, and his insistence that only certain men, no women at all, can be priests or bishops. His talk of sin and of eternal judgment has upset many, but his call to discipleship, sacrifice, and humble worship resonates with countless millions.
But there has often been talk of scandal. One of those closest to him betrayed his trust, exposing him to ridicule. There was even talk of arrest and prosecution. Some within his inner circle have apparently been more interested in pursuing power than in service. He is, in short, controversial—a lightning rod for debate, discussion and, sadly, division.