Monday, April 14, 2008

Alejandro Bermudez on "peeling away the layers" of Pope Benedict XVI

Catholic News Agency director Alejandro Bermudez advises us to discern the various layers of the Pope's addresses ("Pay Attention to the Pope's Onion" New York Times' "Listening to the Pope" April 14, 2008):

His message’s first layer will be obvious and predictable. The pope will repeat the church’s teachings on all the “controversial” issues: the beginning and the end of life, marriage, family, celibate priesthood and Catholic education. After all, the pope is, of course, Catholic, so do not expect surprise announcements about lay people electing bishops or women becoming priests.

A second aspect of Pope Benedict that might appear in his addresses — the second layer — is the fact that “political correctness” is not in his dictionary. His straightforward approach is evident in the surprising and controversial statements he has made in places like Regensburg and Aparecida, Brazil. This Pope is a creative, independent thinker, and he is more used to intellectual honesty than to crowd-pleasing.

But I believe the “meat” of his visit will be delivered in “Ratzingerian” — the third layer of his message that, I am afraid, most of the press will miss. ...