Open Forum: Pope Benedict XVI

Posted: February 12, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI has resigned as pope effective Feb. 28, according to the news Monday morning.

The former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was a leading theologian and advisor to Pope John Paul II and a prolific writer whose books I have read, at least 20 in number.

Having done so, I looked forward to a Pontificate of Great Actions. I’m somewhat disappointed, as I can find no real meaningful actions by him except a few words being changed in the Missal. He returns now to a retirement of reading and prayer, and the church wishes him well, as do I.

The news said the highlight of his pontificate was the lack of “scandal” — a sad commentary on the church as well as his tenure.

In a world of values siding into a pit of mediocrity, the church had an opportunity to influence society’s values and improve humanity; at the very least in the West and developed countries.

The ongoing fiasco of separation between Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant wings of the church also remains an unsolved problem. The “ghetto of parochial interests” remains the emphasis of all three wings, unfortunately, and such narrow Christianity will most probably never solve either values or unity.

One of the Pope’s favorite teachers was Monsignor Romano Guardini. He was a professor at both the University of Berlin as well as Munich. The Monsignor’s book, “THE LORD,” is a meditation on Jesus and includes a meditation on John 5:24 which is a favorite of mine.

He states in it: “Thus the human being linked in faith to Christ possesses a life that will outlive death and that already here on earth reaches into eternity. It is as Christ himself once expressed it: ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has life everlasting, and does not come to judgment, but has passed from death to life.’”

I trust we’ll hear more in the way of “teaching” from this wonderful theologian now that he is retiring. I look forward to whatever he deems necessary to relate. Such will be edifying and worthwhile. God richly bless Joseph Ratzinger in his retirement.

L.H. Milotte Jr. is a resident of Stephens City.