Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The New Pope

I enjoyed this post by The Anchoress (hat tip Instapundit.) I especially found the comments interesting with some saying, "I'm a Catholic, but change this, change that," and others replying, "Hey, love it or leave it."

I don't believe you have to accept every tenant of the Catholic church to be a faithful member of the church, but it is completely unreasonable to criticize the Church for not agreeing with you. Like any organization, you will find areas of agreement and disagreement. If the areas of disagreement become more important to you than the areas of disagreement, you should probably leave.

Today's OpinionJournal had this comment:
But the Catholic Church, it is worth recalling, is not a one-man show. All the media focus on Rome when a new pope is elected distorts the nature of the church itself. The problems and opportunities facing Catholics around the world cannot be solved by papal fiat or pontifical programs. Bishops and priests can help. But what the church needs most are Catholics who want to be Catholics, who know what that means, and who seek the grace to become true disciples of Christ. That they must do themselves.
Exactly! What the church needs most are Catholics who want to be Catholics. You have to want to be a Catholic because you agree with the church and want to advance the church and reinforce your own faith. Don't expect the church to change to satisfy you. If you want a white jacket, would you check every day to see if your black jacket has become a white jacket? Or would you just return the black jacket for a white jacket? Another alternative is to be happy with the black jacket and modify your wardrobe to work with it.

The Catholic church is what it is. I joined the Catholic Church specifically because it wasn't changing to satisfy the fads of society, like my previous church. I have found great fulfillment in this. I pray that you will, also.

Another good comment, worthy of repeating, from the OpinionJournal:
The papacy changes the man as much as the man chances the papacy. Years before his election yesterday, then Cardinal Ratzinger spoke openly of wanting to retire. Now he has a job for life and seems refreshed.
We should consider Benedict's role now, as compared to Cardinal Ratzinger's job. When I was in the Navy, we recognized that the Commanding Officer of a ship was meant to be charismatic, approachable and "the good guy." However, beware the Executive Officer, the second-in-command, the enforcer. Was the XO a bad or mean guy by nature? No, that was the role in that particular job. I had one XO who was widely feared respected as a strict disciplinarian, but when he got his own ship, was a very congenial and beloved CO. Why don't we think that Cardinal Ratzinger was perceived as a doctrinal enforcer because he was supposed to be in the job that he had; now that he is Pope Benedict, he may present differently.