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Thursday, September 09, 2010



What a refreshing assessment of Pope Benedict XVI! And it takes a non-catholic to clearly portay him. He may not be a charismatic pope like John Paul II, but he indeed has those qualities mentioned above. I am not an intellectual but I have enjoyed reading his books. I just wish that some priests would emulate him when it comes to clarity and moral courage. Some do not address issues at all, but rather, stay on the safe side by giving abstract or general ideas in their homilies so as not to offend people and be acceptable, as when they make a stand on issues.
I think St. Augustine says it best: " Now whoever feeds Christ's sheep as though they were his own and not Christ's proves that he loves himself, not the Lord. Christ warned us against such people; of them the Apostle Paul says that they seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. The Shepherds of Christ's flock, then, must not be lovers of self, nor use for personal gratification those for whom Christ shed his blood" (from the Commentary on John).
Thank God for Pope Benedict the XVI, a true Shepherd of Christ!


John Paul II was a crowd-pleasing figurehead who spoke (and indeed wrote) in platitudinous soundbites

Sorry, but these are the words of a fool. Venerable John Paul the Great all too often wrote in the manner of a Ph.D. dissertation -- far, far, far from dumbed down platitudes. If you are really smart and well-versed in philosophy, I would think that he would be easier to read, but his writings are hardly written at a level "for the masses."

Gregory Williams

Honestly, I found some profound thoughts in JP2's "Crossing". I never thought of him as anything but brilliant. I similarly think of B16 as brilliant.


It takes some chutzpah to call someone a fool while at the same time putting John Paul II in the exclusive company of Leo the Great and Gregory the Great. In an age in which religious indifferentism is one of the most serious problems facing the Church and in which Christians are being systematically "cleansed" out of the Middle East, no pope who kisses the Koran can be "the Great". That doesn't mean John Paul II wasn't a saint, but there have been MANY saintly popes. It just means he was not one of the top 5 of all time.

John Paul II excelled more as a pastor than as a philosopher.

For example, saying that executions should be "rare" makes sense from a pastor, but from a philosopher it is seriously deficient. Surely some later pope will flesh this out in much greater detail.

Becky Harmon

I am not Catholic but believe in spiritual fathers of the faith, (especially in this day and age of feminizing the church). I loved this part.

His clarity. You know where you are with the pope. You can disagree with him if you like, condemn him as an obscurantist reactionary, but at least you know what he thinks. What a contrast with our own Rowan Williams, who may well be very clever but whose thoughtscape is so profoundly complex that it can often seem that even he doesn't quite understand what he's saying.

Made me snort laugh as I thought about leadership I have been under in the past that communicates in such a theologically complex way, I had to have my husband explain to me what the message was about when it was over. Which makes you scratch your head and wonder how people can come to know Christ if it is that complicated...the purpose of Spiritual fathers are to guard the faith, model and communicate Lordship. Doesn't take a nuclear physicist. Just a heart of devotion:) just sayin....

Magister Christianus

I am not Catholic...yet...but watched eagerly the election of Cardinal Ratzinger and have followed his writings and speeches since then. As the Lord draws me closer to Rome, I can only hope that Benedict is still the Pope if and when I finally cross the Tiber. He is a magnificent man. We must pray for a long papacy and for his like to succeed him.

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