The skewed perspective of a conservative Catholic employee-side employment lawyer living in the most exciting city in the Milky Way, Las Vegas, Nevada USA, who listens to a lot of really strange music and who, for some reason, lives and dies St. Louis Cardinal baseball

4/28/2005

What's in a name?

The Pope speaks out on his choice of name. As most suspected, the name was dual purpose. It was equal parts homage to the last Pope Benedict, Benedict XV, the "prophet of peace" during the time of World War I, who sought to end the horrors of war for all sides, and St. Benedict, the patron saint of Europe.

While more emphasis is placed on the Benedict XV homage, especially given that the last Pope Benedict was one of those "transitional figures" with a less-than-long papacy, I think in time the stronger link will be seen as the one with St. Benedict, the evangelizer of Europe.

Europe has entered the "post Christian" period. The western continent has lost its faith with all the resulting social pathologies. The rise of Nazism and Communism in the 20th Century were a direct consequence of whole cultures losing their faith. Radical Islam has arisen into a void left by the de-Christianization of Europe. Birthrates are falling. Crime is rising. Abortion and euthanasia, the bookend imposition of death at what should be the beginning and the natural end, are rampant. The death of Europe, where Western Civilization began, will have terrible consequences throughout the globe.

I thought the successor to the Great John Paul II would come from the Third World. I thought perhaps Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria would be tapped. I thought it was "time." But I think like a man, not like the Holy Spirit. And it was deemed that the most pressing issue facing the Church, facing all people of faith, is the re-evangelization of Europe. Pope Benedict XVI is uniquely well qualified for that role, for so many reasons.

I was initially elated at the selection of the former Cardinal Ratzinger because this meant continuity. I meant that the muscular orthodox Catholicism of the Great John Paul II would continue. The Catholic Church would continue to be a rock, strong against the prevailing winds of fashion and politics. But it's clear that this was only part of the reason, for there are other neo-traditionalists among the College of Cardinals, most younger than Benedict XVI, who could fill that bill, if that had been the only qualification needed.

While it's only been a short time since his selection, it is now obvious that this is the man who should be leading this Church on this day. The re-evangelization of Europe is tremendously important, as there is much evil that will triumph in this world if Europe is allowed to wither and die. The Scyllla and Charybdis facing modern Europe are unabashed hedonism on one side, Radical Islam on the other. Either destroys the culture, but death would come in different ways. This Pope is the one man qualified in these unique times to steer the ship of European state through these problems.

Forces already are at work. I think even the focus on Benedict as the "Nazi Pope" is going to be, perversely, a positive. I think this will drive a wedge in the heart of secular Europe by making it clear to Germany that they are not part of the modern EU-centric Euro-family. With a German pope ensconced in Rome, I am optimistic of the direction that Germany would go.

This is not a mere "transitional figure" who is the new Bishop of Rome. The name says it all.

(Thanks to the wonderful Roman Catholic Blog for pointing me in the direction of this interview.)
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