It’s just a little thing, but it could be a harbinger of something more significant. The headline on an AP story about the highlight of the coming papal visit to the UK—the beatification of Cardinal Newman—reads:
Pope breaks own rule to beatify Anglican convert
The story explains:
It's the first time Benedict will celebrate a beatification; under his own rules popes don't beatify, only canonize.
Not so. Yes, this is a “first” for Pope Benedict, and it does highlight the importance that he gives to the influence of Cardinal Newman. But when he presides at the beatification the Pontiff won’t be breaking any rules. He has chosen not to preside at beatifications; that has been his standing policy. But there’s no rule to stop him from doing so.
It is, again, a small thing. But in the course of the next week, the media will ask approximately 2 million times why the Pope can’t change the “rules” of the Church regarding ordination of women, contraception, homosexuality, abortion, and other hot-button issues. In that context it’s not a trivial matter for the Pope to break his own rules—especially since the media routinely treat Church teachings as if they were merely the Pope’s arbitrary preferences.
An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:
Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($26,911 to go):
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!