Wilde indeed. Pope Maledict may look and act like a ratzinger, but he's wily and vigilent like a hyena.
Over the centuries, the great church councils of Christian history have normally been held in magnificent echoing basilicas and stately palaces – but the church moves with the times. In 2003 a luxury hotel in Dallas [...] hosted a gathering of very angry conservative American Anglicans, determined to do something about the consecration of a gay man, Gene Robinson, as a bishop of the US Episcopal church, sister church to the Church of England.
As they dithered about what doing something might mean, the delegates were electrified to receive an encouraging message from no less a figure than Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. This was remarkable, because Ratzinger was head of the Roman Catholic church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: what in less mealy-mouthed times was known as the Inquisition.
[...] Ratzinger assured them of his "heartfelt prayers" for all those taking part in this convocation. "The significance of your meeting is sensed far beyond [Dallas] and even in this city, from which St Augustine of Canterbury was sent to confirm and strengthen the preaching of Christ's Gospel in England." There was wild applause.
Saturday, 24 October 2009
As early as 2003 (or perhaps even before then) Ratzinger recognized an opportunity when he smelled it.