benedict xvi

so our catholic brothers and sisters now have their new pope but my question is how do you feel about yourself when everyone is referring to you as a “transitional pope“? basically benedict is the papal equivalent of eating a cracker in-between items of a tasting competition (wine, chili, etc.) to remove the taste of the previous bite you had. how lousy is this for benedict that he was pretty much chosen because the roman catholic cardinals figured he would be bland enough and die soon enough to prepare for another more significant pope?

interestingly i think the same thing happens with long term evangelical ministers. if you have a long tenure, significant pastor/minister at a church it doesn’t seem uncommon to me for the next pastor to be at that church for a short while and then move on thus preparing the way for another more significant pastor. it’s a “transitional pastor.” of course, that doesn’t usually involve the death of the “transitional poastor” and a “transitional pope” will need to die before the transition takes place.

3 Replies to “benedict xvi”

  1. So – Allen Jackson at NOBTS said that the rule of thumb for the interim period is 1 month for every year that the last guy was around. So at my church, we’re talking about 46 months (almost 4 years! yeah, right!), and for the new pope, we’re talking about 27 months… SO – for the “interim Pope”, I’m predicting 2 years, 3 months. Am I going to you-know-where for that?

  2. i think you’re safe since the cardinals are doing the very same calculations as you. they should have named him benedict the 27th or benedict of the 27 months.

  3. Actually, knowing some of the Cardinals in the conclave, I doubt that the desire for a short papacy was at the forefront of their minds. (I realize that is what the media is reporting, but these are the same people that think the cheap conservative/liberal left/right heuristic that barely explains American politics can explain far richer aspects of the human experience.) It is likely that the fact that Pope Benedict was the closest and most trusted adviser to JPII, is an incredible theologian in his own right and the student of the two most highly regarded Catholic theologians of the 20th century. Plus, continuing the work of Vatican II is high on their list of priorities and Cardinal Ratzinger as a young priest was actually at the council as an expert theologian to the German cardinals. Now, I don’t think anyone is expecting a long papacy, including Pope Benedict, but I doubt that was the real guiding point to their decision. Plus, if you look at recent history, the last time they elected a pope that people thought would die in a few years he only went on to live for decades more and have the second longest papacy in history.


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