Friday, July 14, 2006

Pope Benedict's Back-to-Basics Strategy

Catholic Herald

By James Maldonado Berry
HERALD Columnist
(From the Issue of 7/13/06)

Described by more than a few prominent Catholics around the world as perhaps one of the Church’s greatest theologians ever, Pope Benedict XVI made the objectives of his pontificate clear from the start. Certainly, Christian unity ranks among the pope’s highest priorities. In particular he hopes to bridge the millennia-long gap between Catholics and Orthodox after centuries of bitter division.

He has reminded the powers in the upper echelons of the European Union that Europe, as a cultural and political entity, cannot simply glide forward effortlessly into the 21st century without an unequivocal recognition and acceptance of its Christian heritage; playing hide-and-seek with one’s identity is a dangerous game and the pope has been the leading voice on this front, warning Europe of the inherent risks involved in trying to turn a blind eye to 2,000 years of Christian contributions to modern-day Europe. At a time when unambiguous moral clarity in the world is sorely needed, this “simple and humble worker in the Lord’s vineyard” has demonstrated that he is not going to take a backseat on the world stage.


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