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Apr 19

Benedict XVI

New pope, new blog style.

The confusion about the smoke; the added confusion about the bells; the definitive tolling of the great bell; and the announcement of the name of the new pope; prophetic of things to come?

So what now of the much talked about St. Malachy’s prophecy, describing this pope as “The Glory of the Olives”? It will be interesting to see how things are made to fit. Already, some point to the assertions of the Benedictine Order that the “Glory of the Olives” pope would come from their order; apparently, the choice of the name Benedict is a means to fulfill this claim. An interesting link is The Future and the Popes, which predicted the name Benedict XVI before the fact.

Not since Paul VI has a frontrunner turned out to be who the Vatican pundits said it would be. What to expect? It’s all in Benedict XVI’s last sermon as a cardinal. Journalist John Allen wrote, before the election of the pope, of what his reign might be like: National Catholic Reporter: Electing a new pope April 16, 2005. Another, interesting because it’s a Devil’s Advocate piece, is by the priest (and succesful novelist) Andrew Greeley, which you can read at The case for Cardinal Ratzinger . Among other things, Greeley suggests the new pope may not be as inflexible in all the things he’s expected to be rigid about; his reportedly convincing Pope John Paul II not to make an infallible declaration against contraception is particularly intriguing.

Interesting tidbit: some priest being interviewed in St. Peter’s square by CNN claims he talked to Rome’s Chief Exorcist, who in turn claims that invoking John Paul II’s name inspires a particular fear in demons. This kind of statement reminds me why I’m skeptical of “liberal” hopes for a faith built, after all, on casting out demons (remember? Jesus did that; casting out demons requires a firm belief in an absolute Truth).

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