Yep, the Pope is defiantly a Catholic

Tim Blair blogs a snippet that neatly sums up much of the initial reaction to the election of Benedict XVI, in one phrase: Cardinals elect Catholic Pope. World in Shock. Spare a thought for Rocco Buttiglione. In contrast, Daily Ireland welcomed him as sign that the church is keen to stablise its post Vatican II position. But in the FT Harold James has a different view of the new man.

He believes his choice of name resonates with an earlier time when belief was also in full flight before the rationalism of the Enlightenment. His earlier namesake resorted (amongst other things) to dialogue:

At the beginning of last year, Cardinal Ratzinger participated in a debate with Jürgen Habermas, the leading European philosopher of secular rationality. It was a conscious reworking of the dialogue of Voltaire and Benedict XIV. Cardinal Ratzinger concluded there was a “necessary co-relationship of reason and belief, which are called to mutual healing and cleansing, and each of which need each other”.

He also posed the problem in a fundamental way: both secular rationality and traditional Christianity had been accustomed to think of themselves as universalistic, but it was very obvious that this claim to universality was contested. The fact that there are big clashes does not mean the modern world can only be interpreted through the lens of Samuel Huntington as a “clash of civilisations”. So Cardinal Ratzinger thought that the clash needed to be ended with a dialogue. He concluded it was necessary to reject not only religious pathologies (in other words radicalised fundamentalism), but also rationalistic pathologies (such as the pathologies of Marxism).

Only on the basis of a re-examination of values could the two traditions, religious and secular, establish a “polyphonic co-relationship” and begin a “process of cleansing”. Instead of thinking that economic development and enhanced technology would automatically produce prosperity and thus solve by a kind of magic the problem of values, he felt we needed to think and talk explicitly about values. There are more commonalities across cultures in this discussion than we initially might suppose.

  • davidbrew

    Shouldn’t the UUP take up this scandalous anti-Protestant discrimination as part of their “It’s not fair” camapaign? I mean, a Prod has NEVER been elected Pope

  • Mick

    I, for one, am happy to forward your name in time for the next college of cardinals. There’s no law (that I know of) against it!

  • Mick

    Just a case of winning them over with your natural wit and charm David!! 🙂

  • Stalford

    I thought there was an excellent short letter in the Daily Telegraph on this – “Dear Sir – How dare the Roman Catholic Cardinals elect a man of whom the BBC disapproves.”

  • sean west

    John Paul 2 only made one mistake in his fantastic
    pontificate.He meet Trimble and Hume.A total waste of his time.

  • la redoute

    Good old sean the voice of reason, now who says care in the community works?

  • la redoute

    Good old sean the voice of reason!

  • sean west

    But it’s true though.

  • Mick

    Such a bickering return for my blogging industry?

  • davidbrew

    Just a case of winning them over with your natural wit and charm …

    Hmmm. Supreme Pontiff. I could do that. But what name to pick- Pope Knox , Calvin or Luther? I could reinstate the Te Deums for the victory of the Boyne, excommunicate David Trimble , exorcise Michael McGimpsey, turn the Cistine Chapel into an Orange Hall, and tell everyone the Da Vinci Code is true.The Swiss Guard could be replaced by the Sandy Row Guard. Oh, and the Popemobile would be an Aston Martin. And as for clerical celibacy….in an ecumenical gesture all cardinals would adopt the Moslem position on multiple marriages. Oh, and the brand would have to be renamed- the Covenanting Reformed Free Presbyterian Church has a ring to it.

    Yep, now that I think about it , I’m the man for the job. OK, I wasn’t in the Hitler Youth, but I was a Young Unionist , and I’m already infallible.

    Habemus papam!