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baggage handlers

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 15, 2005

John Allen reports that some cardinals are fingering their collars uneasily at the prospect of a Ratzinger pontificate:

On the other hand, several cardinals have said privately that they're uncomfortable with the prospect of a Ratzinger papacy. It's not just that some don't believe his strong emphasis on the protection of Christian identity in a secular world ought to be the guiding light of the next papacy, but there's also a real-world concern about the election of a figure with his "baggage." Fairly or unfairly, Ratzinger is to some extent a lightning rod for Catholic opinion, and in a church that's already divided, some cardinals worry about exacerbating those divisions. One said April 12: "I'm not sure how I would explain this back home."

Help me out here ... what aspect of "protection of Christian identity in a secular world" that Ratzinger has championed would be considered controversial (among senior prelates), and discomfiting to have to explain "back home"?

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  • Posted by: Fr. William - Apr. 20, 2005 12:44 AM ET USA

    Well, now it is official... Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger). Deo gratias! What a blessing for the Church & for the world! Let us pray for our Holy Father! And we await the joyous responses of such Cardinals George & Rigali & Pell & Arinze & so many others..., and we await the maybe-not-so responses of such Cardinals as Mahony & McCarrick. Thank You, Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Savior of the world! And great gratitiude to the intercession of the Blessed Mother & Pope John Paul II.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 15, 2005 8:56 PM ET USA

    My God how could some of our good Cardinals explain a man who espouses and actually deeply believs in our Catholic faith. Imagine having to explain another Pope like that.

  • Posted by: Meg Q - Apr. 15, 2005 3:57 PM ET USA

    I often wonder what must happen to cardinals once they actually enter conclave . . . does a certain "something" come over them, at least a goodly number of them, as they contemplate their work, sitting between The Creation and The Last Judgment, imploring the Holy Spirit? (Not all of them, of course, but enough of them to elect a pope.) So that whatever are the true concerns of the Church become apparent, and the true qualifications - and detriments - of each papabile become apparent as well?

  • Posted by: Opa - Apr. 15, 2005 11:54 AM ET USA

    All of this really amuses me! Even though I wish to see Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as our next Holy Father, we really need to understand that the Holy Spirit knows what the Catholic Church wishes for our time and we will get exactly what He knows we need. So why all the speculation - we really love confusion, dont we? God bless!

  • Posted by: - Apr. 15, 2005 11:14 AM ET USA

    These cardinals sound like a bunch of whining congressmen, afraid that they might not be re-elected. It actually sounds like the cardinals believe, however erroneously it might be, that the mechanism of the Church, including their jobs, which they seem to describe as dependent upon the opinions of some small portion of disaffected laity, is democratic! What is wrong with these people!

  • Posted by: - Apr. 15, 2005 9:35 AM ET USA

    No...rather, the faithful have gotten tired of non-Italian popes. Or perhaps the cardinals are worried about explaining things to their staffs. But honestly, I think that a Ratzinger election has almost no chance of happening (alas!); I almost wonder if the drumbeat for it is so loud before the conclave to convince the cardinals NOT to do it. "He who enters the conclave a pope, leaves a cardinal."

  • Posted by: patriot6908 - Apr. 15, 2005 9:31 AM ET USA

    The election of Cardinal Ratzinger would not only again show the consummate wisdom of the Holy Spirit, but would exhibit the consummate sense of humor of the Paraclete. The secular and religious Left would have apoplexies. Father Greeley would wear out his tiny fingers typing apocalyptic columns for his elderly liberal readers. Who knows, a Pope Ratzinger might even be able to convert all the agnostic Jesuits who spew out their 19th Century diatribes against the Church?

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Apr. 15, 2005 9:19 AM ET USA

    I believe that the concern -- to put it delicately -- is that the chief prosecutorial theological enforcer may ascend to a judicial role. This raises the possibility of not only being censured by the CDF, but also some grave penance. I imagine wee Cardinal O'Brien is a mite concerned.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 15, 2005 9:07 AM ET USA

    Ratzinger's "baggage" is that he rejects the PACMC (priestesses, abortion, condoms, married clergy) agenda.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 15, 2005 8:46 AM ET USA

    So L.A. Catholics would not tolerate a Ratzinger papacy? (Well, that's the way I read it)

  • Posted by: Ignacio177 - Apr. 15, 2005 5:12 AM ET USA

    Diogenes it seems to be a typo it should read: I don't know how I would explain this, I have no back bone.

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