Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Newsweek: "Benedict incapable of dealing with "messiness of human life"

Perhaps in some skewed attempt to appear "fair and balanced", or maybe just to placate their more liberal subscription base, the new issue of Newsweek publishes a reasonably good article by George Weigel ("How Benedict XVI Will Make History") AND an unbearably bad piece by senior editor Lisa Miller which actually manages to surpass prior examples of vitriol, stacking the deck of public opinion against the Holy Father and insulting Christians en masse:

Benedict is not the man for this job. His defenders know this, or his advance team of bishops, archbishops and theologians wouldn't have been out there spinning in the weeks before the papal visit, telling anyone who would listen how very, very kind and gentle the Holy Father really is. Feeling is not Benedict's strong suit. It's not just his unfortunate visage that puts people off, or his predilection for the more outré aspects of papal fashion (antique chapeaux and ermine-trimmed capes), or his decades employed as John Paul's theological enforcer. It's that Benedict is a Christian believer first and an intellectual second, a man who shows little comfort on the global stage with the messiness of human life and politics. The Rev. Keith Pecklers, a professor at Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, recalls Benedict's early efforts to connect with the masses in St. Peter's Square. "He didn't know what to do with his hands," Pecklers says. "He doesn't naturally reach out and touch babies or anything."

In fact, one could argue that Benedict has been engaged in a lifelong battle against the supremacy of feeling—against the idea, so popular in America today, that feelings about God come from within. ...

Did I read that correctly? -- because Benedict is first and foremost a "Christian believer" and only secondarily an intellectual, he is incapable of dealing with 'the messiness of human life"?