Cardinals offer the evolving catholic community the back of their hands by electing Ratzinger as new pope; and he takes the name Benedict. Ironic? Or, simply sad?
Certainly, his chosen name is significant. It puts distance between him and the last pope. Say what you will about John Paul II. He was a bit of a phenomenologist. Read his engaging Faith and Reason.
This pope will find nifty intellectual arguments that further objectify human life and encase the institution of the Church in a tradition that is already passed. Rather than finding a place for discussion of faith and reason, focus on the conjunction and; he will work on promoting competition. His message is likely to be about making a choice: choose faith or reason. He will issue demands rather than promote discussion.
And what does the choice of a European say to the millions of Catholics who support the Church, millions of non-Europeans, non-Anglos, without which the Church would cease to be effective? What does a German who looks back to the Middle Ages for enlightenment have to offer his community?
This is so very Rome. Somebody should remind this guy that objective truth cannot be realized within human institutions; certainly not through intellectual discussions meant to reaffirm orthodoxy. Of course, a strict dependence on orthodoxy doesn't do much for the cultivation of life based in faith.