Thursday, April 20, 2006

"Habemus Papam"--A Year And A Day Later

(Or should I say "a day late"?)

Yesterday was the first anniversary of the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as the 264th. successor of St. Peter. Taking the name Benedict XVI, the first year of his pontificate has been one of laying the groundwork for his service to the Universal Church. As he asked for prayers to be a faithful "servant in the the vineyard" upon his election, I believe he has done just that.

Let me take you around the 'blogosphere for other posts which commemorate the event and have other links which say things much better than I ever could.

Jeff Miller, the Curt Jester, remembers his reaction a year ago.

So does Domenico Bettinelli.

Amy Welborn reflects.

Christopher Blosser, 'blogmaster of Against The Grain, has a wonderful round-up.

The Holy Fool speaks.

My own take?

I was hoping, as perhaps many people were, it would be Ratzinger who would step into the Fisherman's Shoes. The homilies he delivered at the Furneral Mass of John Paul II and the Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff before the conclave showed the world how firm a grasp he has on what is going on in the Church and the world. And, I will admit, I am one who wishes he would come down hard on those who openly dissent against the Church and Her teaching. But that just makes me one of many who confused his previous role as Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with the man himself.

He is what he always has been (and as I have been discovering)--a catechist extrodinare. This is the professor whose classes you want to take because you know you will learn much. This is the teacher who engages you in the subject so well you can't help but understand. This is the instructor who executes a lesson plan with precision.

It is the personality which has been in "hiding" for the past quarter century. This is what is catching people off-guard, except those who know him. And as we are discovering, he is a delightful human being.

I thought it a year ago, and it is being confirmed with every action he is taking. This is the right man at the right time, doing the right things. I continue to hope in this steadying hand at the rudder of the Barque of Peter.