Friday, April 18, 2008
Some Papal Lessons
It seems that, of late, I've been writing an awful lot of good things about Pope Benedict XVI. One would think, reading what I've written, is that I'm a big fan. I'm actually not. There is much about him and his positions that I take great issue with. His presence, however, has served as an interesting and troublesome contrast. As a result, I think that he has taught us some major lessons.
The first lesson is a lesson in morality.
In contrasting the President and the Pope, one represented a kind of 'I'll preach what'll get me elected' type ethics whereas the other essentially just taught ethics as a complete picture. The Pope was elected by his peers and is not a part of any ecclesiastical political party, he just preaches what he believes to be right. He is remarkably (sometimes to his detriment) oblivious and indifferent to what people think about him.
The second lesson is about education.
One thing that concerns me a great deal is that the word 'elite' is thrown around whenever a person is well educated. Interesting note about education. The more a person is educated the more a person realizes what he or she does not know. Education not only increases knowledge, but it increases an awareness that we know a whole lot less than we think we do. If one wants to remain steadfast in certainty, it's best NOT to receive much of an education.
Which brings me to the Pope. This guy is a highly educated individual, a theological scholar of very high regard. He is a high esteemed Scripture scholar who, I wish, they would take to the so-called Creation Museum to watch him eviscerate the founders of that place on their poor Scripture interpretation.
He is not running around doing sound bites. He speaks using big words with complex thoughts behind them. If one ever chooses to read whatever he writes, plan to take a long time and bring aspirin. But he's a nice change of pace from the usual moronic theological exchanges we have grown so used to listening to.
Lastly, I was delighted to see him meet with sexual abuse victims and begin to acknowledge the horror of what had taken place and the complicity the Roman Catholic Church had in it. Before he was the Pope he was 'blaming the media' for hyping a 'small story.' He has since learned better and seems genuinely concerned. It'll be interesting to see if he is willing to see the systemic nature of the problem and look to solve it, but that might be too hopeful.
Okay, next post will be what I'm not happy about this Pope about.