There is so much that has happened over the last few weeks. Yes it is the middle of winter so my depression is at its worst and darkest. I also came off my pills a few days ago because I don’t think they were doing anything positive. Coming off the pills precipitated me coming out as bi and transsexual to my Dad (by written word, which was the only way it was going to happen) and I came out to an old friend by accident today, and it turns out he’s queer too. So anyway, I guess I want the world to know I’m Catholic, queer, out of the closet and proud!
Then there is the Papal resignation which I’ve wanted to blog about for weeks but have been too ill to do so. It is such a dangerous time for the Church, the best man for the job doesn’t have the strength to do it. I’ve always been a Catholic under B16’s magnificent Papacy. He is such a wonderful, wise, gentle and humble man. I think its nigh on impossible to hope the next Pope will have the intellectual stature of Benedict. I can only hope that the next Pope follows in his footsteps but has the youth and vigour to impose Benedict’s vision on a Church that desperately needs a firm hand on the tiller.
This in utter opposition to Cardinal Cormac’s ‘collegiality’ dreams, it is collegiality that is the root cause of why England and Wales only has one really good bishop and the rest are screaming mediocrities picked by the liberal magic circle. It really is sickening to see a prince of the Church malign the very Pope who hasn’t even stepped down yet, the Pope was betrayed by his own secretary but saying “especially the Pope’s own house has to be put in order” is intentionally vague. A broad swipe at a Pope everyone knows Cormac didn’t like. It is a wonderful thing he will not have a vote at the conclave and even less influence. He’s just upset that a certian Scottish liberal archbishop (who I’ve heard made life exceptionally difficult for any of his more traditionally minded priests) will not be there to forward a dying liberal agenda he has spent his lifetime vociferously advancing. It all reminds me a bit of the film Amadeus, the magic circle representing mediocrities everywhere, the Salieri to Benedict’s Mozart. So in the words of Emporer Joseph the 2nd; there it is.
This resignation is saddening precisely because I know Benedict knows he did not have the strength to turn around the Curia that has proved itself utterly impervious to reform. It seems Benedict only really had total power over his Cardinal selections and that he was frustrated and betrayed by factionalism in the Curia. People who didn’t put the well being of the Church and service to God first like Benedict does. We need a new Pope who will also bring renewal to the liturgy, a subject that Benedict was such leading thinker and guiding exemplar in, but was too humble a man to impose his will and demand a higher quality of bishops. Maybe a younger and more brash man would have less restraint in that area, I just pray he is of the right sort. We could do much worse than a certain Sri Lankan Cardinal, Malcolm Ranjith, who is a complete pipe dream, but fantasizing about him as Pope was one of the happiest five minutes of my recent past. If it happens you most certainly heard it here first, the odds against him are very much of the long variety.
It is worth remembering that history has shown we haven’t always had good Popes, every Catholic needs to pray that this conclave will reflect God’s will, not the petty power politics of lesser men. We should also thank God for Benedict’s leadership an work as an utterly selfless servant of the servants of God, one of the great workers in God’s vineyard, sowing the seeds of Catholic orthodoxy for generations to come. Benedict the Orthodox, again, you heard it here first. Benedict’s Cardinal selections are however a great source of hope for Catholics everywhere. The majority of the voting Cardinals in the conclave were put there by Benedict, a very impressive feat for an unfortunately short Papacy, a brilliant but brief eight years. They say the star that burns twice as bright burns half as long. Anyway, enough with the Gushing, Benedict we love you! Long live the Pope!