Tuesday, April 26, 2005

anyone seen my big hat?

From Reuters...

Feeling frustrated because you can't remember where you left something? Don't worry: even the Pope loses things sometimes.

The new Pope Benedict's elder brother, Georg Ratzinger, 81, told Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper Sunday that the pontiff's main weakness was his forgetfulness.

"He sometimes misplaces things, and all of a sudden doesn't know where his watch, his keys or a specific paper are anymore," the paper quoted Ratzinger as saying.

What does Georg value most in his sibling, who is 78?

"His clarity of thought," his patience and "that we help each other out," Bild am Sonntag quoted him as saying.

Georg Ratzinger, who is a priest, has previously been quoted as saying his brother might be too old for his new job.

He attended Sunday's inaugural papal Mass by the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger but said he had not brought a gift for a man who had everything.

He said he planned to ask his brother for just one thing - "His direct telephone number."


Give him a few months and he could very well be wondering where his flock has gone too.


James Howard Shott said...

"Give him a few months and he could very well be wondering where his flock has gone too."

Okay, I'll bite. Why?

Are you Catholic? Do you object to the label he's been given as a "hard liner" and a "conservative?"

JL Pagano said...

Yes, I was baptized as a Catholic. My son will make his first Holy Communion a week from Saturday.

I do not object to the label he's been given, because it is a fair one.

I do not even object to him, rather I have an entirely different viewpoint.

As he made his oration on the occasion of his inauguartion, I could not help but notice the irony in the way he spoke while all the time looking down at the book before him.

He is a not just a hard-liner, not just a conservative, he is a "theologian". This all means his views and his faith are all based on what he has read.

My views and my faith, on the other hand, are based primarily on what I experience. I only wish he could have looked up more often during his speech and taken in his entire congregation as a whole, for believe me, there are millions out there who would love to be accepted into the fold, but who are led to believe that certain life choices they have made make them somehow unworthy.

James Howard Shott said...

I am of the impression that Catholicism is based upon a doctrine established hundreds of years ago, and that that doctrine changes very little as time passes. If that is true, or if something similar is true, the theology of the Pope is the same theology of members of his flock. Is it not the duty of Catholics to obey the doctrine to which they have sworn allegiance by virtue of their being Catholic?

JL Pagano said...

I agree with you to an extent.

However, were it not for Vatican II the masses would still be entirely in Latin and there would be little or no congregation whatsoever. Also, the various sex scandals have not helped. They cannot be ignored.

The church needs a PR makeover. Granted, I believe they handled the whole transition period extremely well. I am in no doubt they were fully aware that Cardinal Ratzinger would be chosen, and this is why they had him front and center celebrating Pope John Paul II's funeral mass.

I just can't help feeling that the church somewhere, somehow, has to find some wiggle room, be it marriage for the clergy, ordination of women priests, SOMETHING to show they are willing to change for positive reasons.

Unfortunately, Pope Benedict's promise to reach out to the male-dominated Muslim church does not augur well for this happening.

James Howard Shott said...

I am a musician by training, and have played quite a few masses at a nearby Catholic church. The first time I performed there, I was pleasantly surprized at the music, which was obviously not just chant. Am I correct to assume that this was a product of Vatican II?

I tend to want to hold to traditions, although I realize that some of them ought to be cast off. I do understand the desire of Catholics (some, at least) to loosen things up. Our country is having similar growing pains. I have been having a running discussion through emails with Buffalo on that theme. I see danger in too much loosening up, especially when there is no better reason to do so than that a lot of people want a looser society. And I also see danger in remaining too rigid, particularly in areas that there may be no good reason to do so. Perhaps there is a happy medium, and maybe it's the Pope's duty to work in that direction.

Why do you see the Pope's reaching out to Muslims as a sign that he is not inclined toward change?

JL Pagano said...

Please note the difference between the phrases "reaching out to Muslims" and "reaching out to the male-dominated Muslim church".

All I meant was that I did not see this prospect as a means whereby the notion that only men can be involved in a clergy's hierarchy stands a chance of being revised.

James Howard Shott said...

In our area, and perhaps in the U.S. generally, I hear that there aren't enough men entering the priesthood, and as a result nuns are starting to take on more responsibility, including some things (and I don't know enough about it to tell you what those things are) that priests once did.

If that trend continues, there may be little choice but to open opportunities up to women beyond the limited duties of the past.

Is that same trend occurring in Ireland and/or Europe?

JL Pagano said...

However many menial jobs are delegated to the nuns, I fear it will be a long, long time before women are given positions of authority within the Catholic Church. Whether it's in Dublin or Detroit, London or Lisbon, Rome or Rotterdam, nothing can be done unless the Vatican says so when it comes to ordination.

That's a giant step I doubt will happen in my lifetime. I hope I'm wrong.