For most people of my age or younger we have known no other Pope. And the Pope we knew was one of the few to be known as "the Great". The past two weeks have been simply amazing to witness in the Church. The sickness, the vigil, the death, and funeral of Pope John Paul the Great are a blur of incredible and beautiful images one after the other. For me, the election of Cardinal Ratzinger does not yet seem real - it is hard to digest. I was 8 when Pope John Paul II was elected. I know Cardinal Ratzinger as Ratzinger, not as Pope Benedict XVI, so this will take some getting used to. (I even have a beer stein with his picture on it)
I was just able to catch a few minutes of television this evening and saw Mark Shea and Kathy Shaidle on MSNBC. They were great - Kathy was asked about ordination of women and said she "wished those who discussed this would stop fighting the battles of the 70's and 80's and do what they always want the Church to do - move into the 21st Century!" . Just a few minutes ago I was able to watch the replay of the events on EWTN starting with the white smoke and now the first blessing of the new Pope. The drama was great. When Ratzinger's name was said, Fr. Neuhaus and Raymond Arroyo were obviously delighted -I heard Neuhaus exclaim "Oh my God" kind of in the background... and sounding like he broke up -he was not heard from for a few minutes. Two more images -
But as someone mentioned on another blog, it is not time to gloat, it is time to pray - for any Catholics dismayed at Pope Benedict's election, and for the Pope himself.
Thanks to Christopher Blosser for all the work he has done over the past few years with The Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club. His intelligence, humor, and insight have introduced many of us Catholics to this great Churchman. His site is currently a living testimony to Yogi Berra's saying -"Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded".
( I was just able to get on the site now after a few tries)