Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Habemus papam! The Election of Pope Benedict XVI

So quickly the Papal Conclave comes to a close. In one of the quickest conclaves, they have elected the German, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as our next pope, Pope Benedict XVI. I had a pretty good feeling from the onset of the Conclave of two things:

1) The Conclave would be at least as long as John Paul II's one, 3 days, or quicker. Which in the end, it was...and in that it surprised me a little this afternoon.

2) It felt as if Cardinal Ratzinger was the natural choice to become the next pontiff. Like many have been saying, he was close to John Paul II and share many of his ideological stances on Church policy, which I am in total agreement with. Furthermore, his choice was logical after he gave the funeral homily for John Paul II. It at least cemented in my mind that he was my favorite. However, that being said, I would have accepted with full grace if it was to have been another person.

Many around the world are upset for one reason or another...liberal Catholics here in America because he is conservative, Latinos in South America and Africans in Africa because their regional favorite did not become pontiff, or secularists in Europe because his call for an end to relativism in the Church. Of the last, I am glad he came out in beginning swinging on this issue against the relativism in the world today...there are absolute truths and we as a world must see and accept them for what they are....ABSOLUTE.

In the end, we as Catholics, must not complain about our new pope because he hasn't even been given a chance to do any good yet. Time is needed and those dissenters should unite under our one catholic (universal) Church. As a prominent Nigerian priest in the capital Abuja, Matthew Hassan Kukah, said, "This is not the finals of the World Cup. The sentiments are understandable, but this is the Catholic Church. We give thanks to God."

Rightly so, Father. And I give thanks to God for our new pope, Benedict XVI. Viva Benedict XVI!

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