Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Ken Blackwell

2/13/2013 (3 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 (3 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 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More U.S.

Captain James Cook wreckage discovered! Watch

Image of Legendary British explorer Captain James Cook's vessel is believed to have been discovered (John Webber).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Captain James Cook was a famous British explorer who commanded the HMS Endeavour from 1768 to 1771. Since it was intentionally sunk, its whereabouts fell into question - until now? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to CNN, researchers from  the Rhode ... continue reading


You won't believe why this ICONIC WWII image is being investigated! Watch

Image of Two amateur historians raised questions concerning a service member in the image (Corbis).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Two amateur historians believe one of the men in the iconic Mount Suribachi image was misidentified, prompting a Marine Corp investigation. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The image, taken by the Associated Press' Joe Rosenthal, reveals the struggle six servicemen ... continue reading


Puerto Rico drowns in debt - What is the U.S. going to do about it? Watch

Image of Puerto Rico missed its first nearly $400 million bond payment (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

U.S. territory Puerto Rico defaulted its first payment of nearly $400 million - so what is the territory going to do? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Puerto Rico has suffered a recession for the past decade, resulting in the government borrowing money from foreign ... continue reading


ISIS kills U.S. Navy SEAL in violent attack Watch

Image of ISIS breaks Peshmerga lins to kill U.S. Navy SEAL (navysealsmuseum).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in the line of duty when ISIS forces pushed their way through a Kurdish Peshmerga line. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "It is a combat death, of course. And a very sad loss," U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said during an official ... continue reading


'It was an escape:' father of Scientology founder tells all Watch

Image of Ron Miscavige, the father of Scientology leader David Miscavige, opens up (20/20)

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ron and Becky Miscavige escaped the California Scientology compound known as the "Gold Base" and have stepped forward to share their story. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientology is a quiet religion shrouded in secrets - many of which are believed to be ... continue reading


'Clown-in-Chief' Obama makes skit about retirement, but here's why we're not laughing Watch

Image of Obama thinks he's a comedian, but some matters are too serious to joke about.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

President Obama, in an act of self-depreciating humor, has made a SNL-style spoof about his retirement. While amusing at moments, we can't decide if the video is good, because to make it he had to take time away from issuing executive orders, or bad, because it must ... continue reading


CIA under fire for 'live tweeting' dramatic Bin Laden raid on 5 year anniversary Watch

Image of Though some patriots were pleased to see the tweets, several compared the CIA to ISIS and their propaganda videos.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The CIA celebrated the 5-year anniversary of Osama bin Ladin's death by posting "live tweets" of the raid that killed him. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - For those who don't have a Twitter account, the CIA posted a timeline of the raid on their website.The tweets ... continue reading


Athanasius, Defender of the Incarnation: Defend the Faith! Watch

Image of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Incarnation

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Bishop and Doctor of the Church whom we honor today in the Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar was called the Defender of the Incarnation. This title summarizes a life given over to defending the central Christian claim - about who Jesus is and who we can be - ... continue reading


No Phony Truces in the Battle to Block Most Anti-Life, Liberal Court in a Generation

Image of The United States Supreme Court

By J. Kenneth Blackwell

While much of our attention is on the Presidential race, the looming battle over a Supreme Court nomination merits no less attention.  The battle lines are clear in this nomination and the future of the Court and our Constitutional principles are at ... continue reading


Fr Frank Pavone - Amoris Laetitia: Pope Francis' Encouraging Roadmap for Families Watch

Image of Fr Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

By Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

Amoris Laetitia is a timely and loving exhortation for families towards genuine charity that begins within the nuclear family. It can be described as a new road-map for a culture that has taken a sad and tragic detour. The Joy of Love recognizes women's ... 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. Matthew HD Video
  • 'We have done little for women...': Pope Francis dedicates May prayer ...
  • St. Florian: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, May 04, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Friday, May 6th, 2016 HD Video
  • Top 12 Bible Verses for Mom
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, May 04, 2016
  • Hoosier Daddy: Trump wins Indiana in a Landslide

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 17:15, 22--18:1
15 Paul's escort took him as far as Athens, and went back with ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14
1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh from the heavens, praise him in the ... Read More

Gospel, John 16:12-15
12 I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 4th, 2016 Image

St. Florian
May 4: The St. Florian commemorated in the Roman ... Read More