Blogs Wed Jan 29, 2014 - 9:45 pm EST
The belittling and bashing of the pontificate of Pope Benedict is accelerating
The belittling and bashing of the pontificate of Pope Benedict is accelerating in conjunction with the growing adulation of Pope Francis in the secular world and among the "progessive" dissidents within the Church.
Benedict did what he was called to do in his position as the earthly leader of the Catholic Church, no matter how much he was criticized both from within and outside the Church. He shouldered and embraced a very heavy cross and suffered a quiet type of crucifixion as a result of his exceptional fidelity and courageous writings and actions.
Immediately after becoming pope, Benedict began to take strong, long overdue and very necessary actions against moral corruption within the clergy, the religious orders and within Catholic aid agencies. He appointed many first-rate bishops and removed a large number of bishops who were a cause of scandal to the Church. He took actions on the liturgy and other issues that were not popular, but which he saw as essential to preserving Catholicism and Christian culture in what he knew would be very difficult years to come.
We should be extremely grateful for the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI and the exceptional support that he gave to the life and family movements. The full story on all that he did has yet to be told.
The current, hateful Rolling Stone article is actually a testament to how effective Benedict was in correcting so many things that needed correction within the Church and in writing about and preaching truths that most others in the Church have avoided for too many years. I am aware that many within the Church, including priests and bishops, genuinely hated Benedict for undoing so much of the self-made, worldy "spirit of Vatican II" Church that they had created and nurtured since the 1960s.
Benedict was a genuinely very humble, quiet, selfless man, with an incredibly brilliant mind. Contrary to his often very meek demeanor, he was actually a man's man in how he took bold actions on so many things where others feared to tread. He was not perfect and made some errors and bad appointments here and there, but all in all he was an effective pope, despite his advanced age, physical weakness and the personal sufferings and public flaggelations that naturally came to him for daring to imitate the most manly man of all time, Jesus Christ.
Any leader who does what Christ would have done and said in such tumultuous times as today is certain to be ridiculed and hated, as was Christ himself. I am certain, after having personally met Benedict a number of times, that like Christ, gentle Benedict's response has been to love all his haters and to pray, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do".