15 March 2010

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI is a scholar and a statesman. As a gifted academic, he has written many books pointing people towards the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith and towards an encounter with Christ. As a Bishop he has been a guardian of the flock entrusted to his care with diligence, prudence and loving concern. As Pope, he has produced wonderful writings on love, hope and truth, travelled around the world despite his age and health. He has shown countless acts of charity towards thousands of people, carried his ministry out to the greatest degree of professionalism and continues to teach and preach the Gospel. This is why I think he is a remarkable man. Despite the many attempts to blight his ministry, he continues to serve. Viva el papa!

Just in recent days I have been quite saddened and traumatised, not that I want to over dramatise my feelings, about the net which seems to be encircling Pope Benedict. Specifically, I am talking about the whole issue of allegations of sex abuse emerging in the German Church and it seemed almost inevitable that journalists would seek to find the smoking gun indicating Cardinal Ratzinger in some way.

Now the issue, for me at any rate, is not that I think the Pope is above such allegations/investigations, rather it highlights the devastating and sickening effects which occur as a result of not only the abuse but also the failure to allow the light of Christ to shine into the darkest of corners. It occurs to me, as it no doubt has to many before me, that we simply have to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the hour of our need and be open to to His prompting. Sometimes that means it is uncomfortable. Pope Benedict himself encouraged the German Bishops to "continue with consistency on the path undertaken to obtain complete and rapid clarity", because he clearly has faith in the love of God.

The words in the opening paragraph, from Robert Colquhoun on Love Undefiled, offer some hope in this difficult hour.

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