I wanted to share a note I sent to a friend earlier today who knows better than I how the Vatican works. I've edited out his name so that he is not forever linked with my opinions in the virtual world. I believe it speaks to the issues raised by the Pope's recent visit to the Roman Synagogue and the responses to it as reported in the media.
Taking a break as I am from reading a book on comprehending, E=MC2, I took advantage of the timeout to check some reputable news sites, only to discover that Pope Benedict's visit to the Synagogue was less than an overwhelming success.
How can it be that he seems to be an blending of the intelligence and orthodoxy of John Paul, and the public relations skills of Paul VI ? I'm mean, "discrete"... really that's the best he could come up with? Perhaps coming from the mouth of JPII, as a victim of Nazism such a word would carry the meaning B16 intended, but from the mouth of a German it rings as hollow as the "we were only following orders" defense of the Nazi's themselves. What an incredibly sad illustration of this man's understanding of the media and public relations. You know that I mean this in the most respectful way I can, but really....
Does he not have people with whom he discusses these issues before he makes such pronouncements? ---- (another friend) shared with me that JPII on occasion would ask for his opinion on a document or thought before going public with it. Are there not people who do the same for B16?
The juxtaposition of an action resurrecting the Williamson nonsense in the immediate days preceding this visit (with the statement on the outreach to the Pius X Society), the scheduling of the elevation of Pius XII to venerable with the fact that the archives were not yet ready to be examined by secular scholars was not hard to be problematic. Even if one posits that church makes this decision in its own time, could not the statement on the schismatics have been delayed a week or two, and the Pius declaration not be made "in pectora" (sp?) until the archive was ready? When B16 had twice already as Pontiff visited a Synagogue, why was this visit even scheduled before the archive could be examined? -------, this is the same sort of "tin ear" that seems to afflict those Bishop's who keep improperly handling the sex abuse allegations; those enlightened men who keep doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result... the very definition of crazy!
All I can say is that as sad as this situation with the Holy Father is, it would no doubt have been much worse to have a Pope with the mind anything less than the fullness of the faith, blended with the charisma and understanding of public relations of John Paul. That would have been an authentic disaster for the church. Such a Pope would do more than just "smell the smoke of Satan", he'd no doubt be half way to burning the place down.
Such is the state of my mind today. I think I'll spend the rest of the day with Einstein. He's easier to understand.
Coffee, book, quiet jazz, and my dog lying at my feet. It's a great way to spend a day off anywhere, anytime.
Talk to you soon,
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