Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Ken Blackwell

2/13/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI built on an imperishable foundation. Their legacy can inspire all mankind.

Pope Benedict XVI has never marched to the media's drumbeat. He did not seek to satisfy the agenda of the hour. Instead, the Pope reminded the City and the World what it was in danger of forgetting: God is Love.

Ken Blackwell is a senior at the Family Research Council, He serves on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and was the U.S. ambassador to the U. N. for Human Rights, 1991-93

Ken Blackwell is a senior at the Family Research Council, He serves on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and was the U.S. ambassador to the U. N. for Human Rights, 1991-93

Highlights

By Ken Blackwell

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/13/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Pope Benedict XVI, ken Blackwell, God is Love, John Paul II, Papal resignation, papal renunciation, Vatican, humility


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - The media, of course, is calling it a resignation. But it not so much a resignation of a political office as it is a renunciation. The 85-year old pontiff's decision to renounce the power and prestige of the papal office is so unexpected, almost unprecedented, as to take the world by surprise.
 
Of course, we Americans of all people can understand what thoughts must have coursed through Pope Benedict XVI's mind as he prayed about this weighty decision. We saw this kind of renunciation with our first president, George Washington. He did not leave the presidency before his second term expired, true, but he renounced all further exercise of power on March 4, 1797. It was then that he strode out of the Senate chamber in Philadelphia.

He purposely prodded President John Adams and Vice President Thomas Jefferson, the new nation's elected leaders and Washington's own successors, to go before him. He knew the importance of symbolism. King George III had once been George Washington's bitterest enemy. He said if Washington renounces his power, he truly will be the greatest man in the world. He did. He was.
 
Pope Benedict XVI knows that however insistent the world is, however menacing its foes are, the Church of Jesus Christ will stand forever.  This Pope has not tried to keep up with the times. Or the Times. Too many church bodies today are desperate to be thought modern. Some are indifferent to the lives of the unborn. It's as if they missed that story about Herod and the Innocents.

Or, those synods and conventions that breathlessly ponder whether or not to take the plunge and declare that marriage between persons of the same sex is the new revelation. It's an insight that the most serious Bible scholars for two thousand years somehow managed to overlook. And we can view with sorrow those religious bodies that solemnly declare that affordable health care for all is so important that it's worth trammeling freedom of religion in order to mandate it.
 
In renouncing the power and the glory of the papacy, Pope Benedict XVI is clearly putting the life and mission of the Catholic Church and her 1.2 billion believers above his own earthly being. He knows that the challenges the Church faces-the dictatorship of relativism in the developed countries and the murderous threats of militant Islam in the Bloody Crescent-will demand the vitality of a younger man. Still, no one can doubt the steadfastness of this Pope's witness.
 
When he issued his first papal encyclical, the media raced to report it. What would be the Pope's subject? Ordination of women? Priestly celibacy? The threat to religious belief from a culture increasingly drenched in sensuality? Inquiring minds wanted to know.
 
Pope Benedict XVI has never marched to the media's drumbeat. He did not seek to satisfy the agenda of the hour. Instead, the Pope reminded the City and the World what it was in danger of forgetting: God is Love.
 
As he renounces the papal throne, it's funny to remember the media caricatures of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger before he was elevated. In the days of Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Ratzinger was often called the Pope's "enforcer." In those days, he headed the Vatican's sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
 
While critics in the media dubbed Cardinal Ratzinger "God's Rottweiler," a none too subtle reference to his German birth, and a hint of ferocity, the real Joseph Ratzinger belied all the press hype. Soft-spoken, mild-mannered, even sweet-tempered, he defied all the stereotypes. 
 
It was his unyielding support for his brother in Christ, Karol Wojtyla, soon to become Pope John Paul II, that brought Cardinal Ratzinger to the attention of the world. Their fraternal collaboration was one of the great partnerships of the modern era.
 
That brotherhood was itself a testimony to the eternal truth that God is Love.

The Bavarian teenager Joseph Ratzinger had been forced into the Hitler Youth.  Young Karol Wojtyla, the Polish seminarian, had come within a hair's breadth of being murdered by that same Nazi regime that slaughtered millions of Poles and Jews.
 
The fact that Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict the XVI could have overcome national differences to work together for the New Evangelism is a source of hope for all mankind. By unapologetically defending Christian Truth, we work for peace, we advance reconciliation. Now, the scene opens upon a dramatic new vista. Whomever the College of Cardinals chooses in Rome, he and we will live in interesting times. 
 
Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI built on an imperishable foundation. Their legacy can inspire all mankind.

-----

Ken Blackwell is a senior at the Family Research Council, He serves on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and was the U.S. ambassador to the U. N. for Human Rights, 1991-93. 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More U.S.

Ash Wednesday and Lent. It Works if you Work It Watch

Image of After receiving the ashes, we are exhorted to leave the Church as penitents and pilgrims and continue in a Christian way of life every day

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If we enter into the observance of Lent with our entire person, it can draw us, at its' closure, into a deeper embrace and experience of the power of the Resurrection, beginning right now and stretching into eternity. Our frequent liturgical celebrations present ... continue reading


No Catholic or other Christian Should Support the Candidacy of Bernie Sanders Watch

Image of Senator Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America, denies the fundamental Human Right to Life of children in the womb.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Legalized abortion on demand is an open rejection of the entire ethic of being our brothers (and sisters) keeper. There can be no enduring lasting solidarity upon which to build a secure future in a culture that kills its own children and calls it a right. No ... continue reading


Mardi Gras' several names and traditions: How is it celebrated around the world? Watch

Image of Mardi Gras is famous for its colors, masks, beads, food, floats and more (Pixabay)!

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

People around the world celebrate Fat Tuesday each year with regional traditions - but did you know it is a celebration with roots in Christianity?  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Fat Tuesday" is English for the French "Mardi Gras," and is traditionally ... continue reading


7 Fun facts about Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras celebrations Watch

Image of Mardi Gras first became a holiday in 1582.

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday; it comes directly before Ash Wednesday. "Mardi Gras is a raucous celebratory affair that serves as a final shebang before the 40-day abstinence of Lent," explains The Huffington Post. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Amidst all ... continue reading


605,000 undocumented immigrants to receive driver's licenses in California Watch

Image of California driver's licenses do not bestow any federal benefits to the recipient. State sources say the law is intended to make California roadways safer.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thanks to a new California law known as AB60, which took effect on January 2, 2015, the Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV has handed out 605,000 driver's licenses to undocumented workers. It is estimated that 1.4 million migrants will receive licenses under ... continue reading


Center for Medical Progress releases another Planned Parenthood video despite injunction Watch

Image of Pro-life CMP stands against abortionists NAF (imgsuccess).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After ousting illegal actions performed by Planned Parenthood clinics, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), and its founder Daniel Daleiden, have been ordered to cease further distribution of illegally-obtained Planned Parenthood footage. Unfortunately for the ... continue reading


Huff Po Gestapo, beats down Trump, First Amendment with editorial billy club Watch

Image of Huffington Post has found a way to turn the First Amendment into a billy club for their PC police duties.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Liberal mouthpiece, The Huffington Post (not to be confused with an actual news organization) is pandering to liberal readers by posting an addendum at the end of every story about Donald Trump. The addendum labels Trump a "racist" and a "serial liar." LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Lower Your Nets For a Catch! We Are All Called to Evangelize Watch

Image of Lower your nets for a catch

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The New Evangelization is meant to bring about an authentic renewal of the Church so that she can then undertake a new missionary outreach to the whole world. Only a Church fully alive in the Lord and filled with His Spirit can carry out such an evangelical ... continue reading


'Church ladies' finally force phony priest in Los Angeles to authorities Watch

Image of Erwin Mena  was arrested by Los Angeles police for allegedly impersonating a Roman Catholic priest and on suspicion of grand theft (Los Angeles Times).

By Mary Rezac, CNA/EWTN News

For months, Erwin Mena donned vestments, called himself "Padre," and convinced Southern California Catholics that he was a priest, police say. Los Angeles, Calif. (CNA/EWTN News) - He was good at it, too, reportedly. He attended seminary in El Salvador for a time ... continue reading


Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis to Meet in Cuba in Historic Move of the Holy Spirit Watch

Image of Orthodox Christian Patriarch Kirill and Catholic Christian Pope Francis

By Deacon Keith Fournier

This meeting of the Primates of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, after a long preparation, will be the first in history and will mark an important stage in relations between the two Churches. The Holy See and the Moscow Patriarchate hope that ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • St. Scholastica: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, February 10, 2016
  • Palm Sunday HD Video
  • Is Valentines Day...? (Take the quick survey!)
  • Take this thought provoking Stations of the Cross survey
  • Stations of the Cross - Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother HD Video
  • Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 2:12-18
12 'But now -- declares Yahweh- come back to me with all your heart, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is constantly in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
1 'Be careful not to parade your uprightness in public to attract ... Read More

Reading 2, Second Corinthians 5:20--6:2
20 So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were urging you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 10th, 2016 Image

St. Scholastica
February 10: St. Scholastica, sister of St. Benedict, ... Read More