The Holy Spirit Has Spoken

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After the announcement today of Pope Benedict XVI many of those in my office wanted my take on it.

One person asked me, "Do you approve?"

My response, "What's to approve? The Holy Spirit has spoken." For the good of the Church and for the good of all. I don't know what this papacy holds, but I trust that the Holy Spirit will never leave God's Church unprotected or led astray.

It seems odd to ask me if I approve. There are many who may have good reason to do so, but who am I that I should pass judgment on the Holy Spirit's work? It is not up to me to approve or disapprove, but merely to humbly, gratefully, and joyfully accept. Or perhaps not. I think my attitude was inspired by one person I know who said with an ominous glowering, "I knew it would be him even though I hoped it would not." I am surprised by the news and overjoyed at having a new leader. I am grateful that it happened so quickly and I stand ready to be the servant of the servant of the servants of God. May God bless him richly in teaching and in health.

Many years to him, may he prosper and the Holy Catholic church with him.

Now, onto my real agenda--how long must I wait until the process for John Paul the Great is begun and ended?

Oh, and by the way, nothing written here should be interpreted as disapproving of those who hold other views or attitudes. This is a season for joy not contention. I was just sharing some thoughts I had when asked about this.

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amen. to everything.

They might have been asking more along the lines of "is this one of the good guys?" I had several people ask me that. Then I had to hold forth on why the pope changes names. It was a good day all around.

Dear Mr. Windsor,

That's a charitable interpretation. It is possible; however, my sense was that this was idle curiousity. But perhaps, as the subject will still be fresh tomorrow, I'll explore the avenue you suggest here.



i'm with mr. windsor on this one, at least in my situation. i've had several friends call today and ask "so, what do you think?" -- as they are all whatcha might call "conservative" protestants, i think what they mostly wanted was assurance that we aren't all going to be faced with heavy metal Masses run by lesbian priests under his pontificate.

viva il papa ratzi!

Dear Steven,

In a response to a similar question from friends this is what I wrote and wanted to share with you:

If we only believe that the Holy Spirit works when we like or approve the decision, then I think that doesn't sound much like the Holy Spirit.

So the Holy Spirit has chosen Cardinal Ratzinger, who seems to me a faithful, intelligent and dedicated man who will continue the teachings of John Paul II. I also feel okay about him, because my favorite theologian -- the Swiss, Hans Urs von Balthasar, was a favorite of Ratzinger!

Clearly, the Spirit could have chosen this moment to make a bolder move, like a Pope from Latin America or Africa, but I guess it is not time yet.

From John XXIII -- : "Obedience and peace," the episcopal motto John XXIII chose in 1934, and "Your will our peace," a phrase he took from Saint Gregory Nazianzen. Speaking of these two aphorisms, he said, "This is the mystery of my life; don't look for other explanations."


The thought did occur to me yesterday that the odds of you living to see the blessed John Paul canonized have improved considerably.

Dear Tom,

Thank you, that is very heartening. However, he's been in office nearly a full day now and there's no progress! What's the delay? You suppose he has more important matters to attend to? After all Santo Subito, does mean subito, doesn't it? :-)





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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on April 19, 2005 6:28 PM.

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