Monday, August 22, 2005

Sodano on Ratzi

The most complex (and consequential) relationship behind the Vatican walls comes again to the fore.... A German magazine, while critiquing what can be called the "style gap" between B and JP, cites a WCC official who called the past weekend "The miracle of Cologne," but also asks the cardinal-secretary of state (anche cardinale-decano) his thoughts on the Pope's personality. And Sodano delivers a great line:
Storms of applause or infectious enthusiasm, trademarks of appearances by John Paul II, were notably absent. The clapping was polite.

Even a staffer of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano admitted disappointment: "Young people don't want to hear theology. They want to hear someone be a witness to the faith."

It was the "real Ratzinger", remarked another Vatican watcher. The strongest applause was heard when Benedict mentioned his predecessor, John Paul II.

Benedict adopted a clear style of his own in Cologne, distinguishing himself from the Polish pontiff.

"The 12 disciples were quite various," commented Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state and number two at the Vatican. "Each had his own individual character."
That spin has never been put on the question before.... But leave it to a State man to float it.



Blogger Gyrovagus said...

Methinks there will also be "polite clapping" from several quarters when (hopefully in the next few weeks) Sodano moves on from the Secretariat of State, perhaps to join his protege, the anti-American Father Benjamin-for-Iraq in some venture worthy of both their talents.

Perhaps a team ministry chaplaincy to

What's Italian for "good riddance"?

22/8/05 19:20  
Blogger RC said...

"Young people don't want to hear theology. They want to hear someone be a witness to the faith."

Well, who's to say? Young people vary as much as the rest of us, and Cdl. Sodano's right about the variety of personalities among the apostles. When the cardinals elected Pope Benedict, they certainly knew he wouldn't have the same way of inspiring people as did the dear late Pope. B16 has his own strengths and his own way of communicating.

Like many people, I think it's good that the era of the star-powered liturgy-as-show is passing. It may even have served the church well in a world that was being reshaped by the power of the TV image, but we've been through that experience, and it's done.

Faith comes by hearing the word of God, St. Paul says, and sometimes it wasn't easy to hear Pope John Paul. His lecture style was often - let's admit it - a little boring: good material, but not easy to follow. I would listen to him with a sense that one needed an MA in philosophy to get the point. His obvious courage made a connection with people even when his words went over our heads.

In contrast, the preaching of our little professor Pope Benedict has been more accessible so far.

23/8/05 21:06  

Post a Comment

<< Home