Tuesday, April 19, 2005

. . . Qui Sibi Nomen Imposuit Benedictum XVI.

As you've no doubt heard by now from more reputable news sources, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger is the new pope. Unlike his immediate precedessor John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI takes office with a public image already formed by years in the global spotlight. Many Catholics have strong opinions - both positive and negative - about the new Pontiff, and in the coming days we all have to face up to the challenge of making a familiar face into a fresh one, learning to see the man we've come to know well as "Cardinal Ratzinger" (a name that means many different things, depending on who you speak to) as that heretofore unknown figure, "Pope Benedict XVI."

All Catholics, regardless of how they feel about Joseph Ratzinger, will greet this papacy with their own particular hopes and fears. I'm particularly curious about the new pope's attitude toward the Society of Jesus and relationships with Jesuits, as this is an aspect of his life that I know little about but would seem to have practical implications for my own life.

On another level, I feel that I'm completing an important milestone: my first experience of a papal death, interregnum and election. When I attend the community Mass in a few minutes and hear liturgical reference made to "Benedict, our pope," I'll get a lump in my throat that tells me the transition to a new era is complete. AMDG.


At April 20, 2005 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I gather he has many Jesuit friends but that doesn't say much about his attitude towards the Society as an institution, does it?

At April 20, 2005 4:27 PM, Blogger LilBucner said...

Hitler Youth, dude, Hitler Youth.

also: what is the protocol on papal names? as in, how does he choose his name? is it legally changed? does he now sign checks "pope benedict XVI" instead of "joseph ratzinger"?


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