Barbara Kralis
Flashback to 2005: Benedict XVI — 'Ubi Petrus, Ibi Ecclesia'
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By Barbara Kralis
January 2, 2023

Republished from April 20, 2005

[NOTE: Cardinal Josef Rattzinger was elected Pope on April 19, 2005, and he resigned his Papacy on February 28, 2013.

[Here below is a testament I penned on that great day in 2005 when he was elected. I remember it so clearly. Mitch and I were at home, watching the white smoke rise from the Chapel chimney and then seeing the kindly face of Josef Ratzinger walk out onto the loggia overlooking Saint Peter’s square. We jumped from our chairs, weeping and cheering the elected new Papa. Then he humbly told the awaiting world his new name.

[May God today grant Pope Benedict eternal bliss in Heaven, forever and ever more.]

__________________________

He took the name Benedict [1] from the co-patron of Europe who founded over 40,000 communities of monasticism to combat widespread corruption. It should be no secret what Pope Benedict XVI's papacy will be like. For those 'enlightened' Catholics who dissent from magisterial teachings and who are grieved by the election, we bid you peace.

Barely one day before his election as the 264th Pope of the Church, Cardinal Ratzinger, a formidable intellect who will not yield to modernists, delivered a remarkable homily, calling for Catholics to be 'true Adults in the faith.' He explained:

"Being an 'Adult' means having a faith which does not follow the waves of today's fashions or the latest novelties. A faith which is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ is adult and mature."

Cardinal Ratzinger further cautioned Catholics not to remain infants in the faith, in a state of minority:

"...Being tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery [Eph 4:14]. This description is very relevant today!"

Cd. Ratzinger's homily summed up the plan for his pontificate that the truths of the Catholic Church's teaching are absolute, while warning the Church's pastors to guard against "a dictatorship of relativism" that dominates modern society.

Earlier this week the Cardinal promised to clean the filth from the Church. This was not a Cardinal 'campaigning' with pleasing words to gain support. This was a Cardinal warning that if elected, this would be his strategy.

The majority of the world Cardinals clearly desired such a Pope. Several of his supporters were known to have joined Cd. Ratzinger's vision of restoring the faith long before the Conclave commenced. To mention a few, we include Cd. Ruini of Rome, Cd. Pell of Sydney, Cd. Glemp of Warsaw, Cd. Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Cd. Errázuriz Ossa of Chile, Canadian Cd. Ouellet of Quebec, Cd. Scola of Venice, Cd. Biffi of Bologna, and the popular U.S. Cd. George of Chicago.

Recently on two separate occasions, Cd. Ratzinger publicly cautioned Europe against admitting Islamic Turkey to the European Union and wrote to bishops around the world justifying that stand:

"The roots that have formed Europe, that have permitted the formation of this continent, are those of Christianity. Turkey has always represented another continent, in permanent contrast with Europe. There were the [old Ottoman Empire] wars against the Byzantine Empire, the fall of Constantinople, the Balkan wars, and the threat against Vienna and Austria. It would be an error to equate the two continents...Turkey is founded upon Islam...Thus the entry of Turkey into the EU would be anti-historical."

Will Pope Benedict XVI be effective against the onslaught of Islamofascism in Europe as Pope John Paul II was in stopping the tyranny of Communism?

Cd. Ratzinger's close working friendship with Pope John Paul II was like-minded in intellectual genius, spirituality, and regard for the dignity of mankind. However, after having served as Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for John Paul II for ten years, the Cardinal openly desired to retire three separate times: in l991, in l996 and again in 2001, several months before he reached his 75th birthday. The Cardinal spoke of wanting to write books and return to his studies, living a much less public life. His suffering friend and Pontiff asked him not to retire. Thank God for the wisdom and vision of Pope John Paul II to keep the future Pope on the job! [2]

The moral theologian's prolific writings are cherished by 'Ratzinger Fans' worldwide who treasure and disseminate his moral lexis. Happy are those who read his admonitions to preserve the human conscience and absolute truths; [3] his warning against the liturgical abuses and reforms after Vatican II; [4] his call to the more traditional practices; [5] his teaching on the Eucharist, not as a meal but as a sacrificial memorial of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross; [6] his reasoning of the collapse of the Catholic liturgy as the cause of the ecclesial crisis today; [7] his warning regarding the 'Crises of Law' and the end of metaphysics; [8] the crises of the Church against feminism, liberation theology, individualism; [9] his timeless series of homilies on the ancient 'Apostles' Creed;' [10] his criticism of bishops afraid to govern;' [11] and the beautiful interview showing the Cardinal's great life in and conversation with God. [12]

Pope Benedict XVI's papacy will not merely emulate that of his beloved predecessor. He did not agree with John Paul II in the 'mea culpas' nor the large numbers of proclaimed blesseds and saints. Although he shares in his predecessor's vision of a 'new springtime,' Benedict XVI envisions it differently with 'healthy realism,' not with great numbers but with smaller holy groups of young and minorities, and perhaps even a remnant. He emphasizes evangelization worldwide. [13]

In addition, he will bring his plan of resolve to fruitarian, and not without the help of a good number of world Cardinals who supported his well-publicized plan of defending the true faith.

Springtime always follows winter. Despite the failure of some of its members, the Church will be with us as Jesus promised until the end of the age [Mt. 28:20] and the powers of death will not prevail against it [Mt.16:18]. Understanding this well, Cardinal Ratzinger says that there are small groups of the new generations in the Church today who will renew the world:

"We should not think that in the near future Christianity would become a movement of the masses again, going back to a situation like medieval times. Powerful minorities, which have something to say and something to bring to society, will determine the future." [14]

It is possible that the Pope's strategy will be as described by Roman journalist Sandro Magister:

"The power of the neoconservatives essentially consists in their program. They want a resumption of the active management of the Church's ordinary governance, its cleansing from "filthiness," a reinforcement of the doctrinal and moral formation of the clergy, a renewal of basic evangelization and the teaching of the catechism, a qualitative improvement in the celebration of the liturgy, a new missionary campaign."

Those blessed enough (and blessed they were) to have watched the results of the final vote live on television would agree there is no secular theatrical or sporting mega-event that could compare with the supernatural thrill, excitement and hope of the election and announcement of the new Pope. The black smoke followed by white smoke, the bells, the obvious wonder of the secular media, the electric throng of believers, then the breathtaking proclamation of Cardinal Medina-Estévez intoned to the crowd in Latin from the external loggia of the Hall of Blessings of the Basilica:

"Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum. Habemus papam. Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Josephum, Sanctae Catholicae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Ratzinger, qui sibi nomen imposuit Benedictum Decimum Sextum." [15]

Then, that oh so familiar kindly face appeared. We didn't have to ask, as we did in previous elections, 'Who is this man? What is his name? Where is he from?" Our many prayers and novenas had been answered!

In a personal note, Mitch and I met and spoke with Cardinal Ratzinger in Rome in l998. It was quite impromptu, a surprising delight [for us at least] in the middle of busy Roman traffic. Cardinal Ratzinger immediately asked us if we were from the U.S. and he was most gracious as we discussed a particular Church matter in the U.S. We asked for his holy blessing, there on the edge of Borgo S. Angelo, a busy street near the Porto S. Pietro, the entrance to L'Osservatore Romano Ufficio. Cardinal Ratzinger bestowed his blessing over our bowed heads, as we knelt on the street's ancient bricks. Another great day in the Eternal City.

Nota bene: World Youth Day will be in Cologne, Germany this summer. What are the chances Pope Benedict XVI will be there?

NOTES:

[1] St. Benedict was of Roman nobility; Twin brother of Saint Scholastica; Studied in Rome, but was dismayed by the lack of discipline and the lackadaisical attitude of his fellow students; Fled to the mountains near Subiaco, living as a hermit in a cave for three years; reported to have been fed by a raven. His virtues caused an abbey to request him to lead them. He founded the monastery at Monte Cassino, where he wrote the Rule of his order. His discipline was such that an attempt was made on his life; some monks tried by poison him, but he blessed the cup and rendered it harmless. He returned to his cave, but continued to attract followers, and eventually established twelve monasteries. Had the ability to read consciences, prophesy, and forestall attacks of the devil. Destroyed pagan statues and altars, drove demons from groves sacred to pagans. At one point there were over 40,000 monasteries guided by the Benedictine Rule. A summation of the Rule: "Pray and work." Source: Catholic-forum.com/saints/saintb02.htm.

[2] Interview on EWTN with Raymond Arroyo program, "The World Over," September 5, 2003.

[3] Address at the 10th Workshop for Bishops, "Conscience and Truth," 2/91, Dallas, TX.

[4] "The Spirit of the Liturgy," by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, published by Ignatius Press, 2000.

[5] Interview with French newspaper 'La Croix,' 1/10/02.

[6] "Il Dio Vicino" ["A God Who Is Near"] by Cd. Ratzinger, published by St. Paul Editions.

[7] Autobiography, "From My Life: Remembrances 1927-1977."

[8] Address in Rome to the LUMSA Faculty of Jurisprudence upon being conferred the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa, 11/10/99l.

[9] "The Ratzinger Report — An Exclusive Interview concerning the State of the Church," by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, published by Ignatius Press.

[10] "Introduction to Christianity," by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, published by Ignatius Press.

[11] "Salt of the Earth — The Church at the end of the Millennium," interview by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and Peter Seewald, published by Ignatius Press.

[12] "God and the World — a Conversation with Peter Seewald," by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, published by Ignatius Press.

[13] "God and the World," by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and Peter Seewald, interview, published by St. Paul Media, Italy.

[14] Catholic World News, 8/9/04, "Ratzinger says new springtime of the Church is not about numbers."

[15] In English, at 6:40 p.m. Rome: "Dear brothers and sisters, I announce to you a great joy. We have a Pope. The most eminent and reverend lordship, Lord Joseph Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church Ratzinger, who assumes for himself the name Benedict XVI."

© Barbara Kralis

 

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Barbara Kralis

Barbara Kralis, the article's author, writes for various Christian and conservative publications. Her columns have been featured at RenewAmerica.com, Catholic World Report, Catholic World News, Alliance Defense Fund, Intellectual Conservative, LifeIssues.net, LifeSite.com, Catholic Culture.org, The Wanderer newspaper, New Oxford Review, Phil Brennan's WOW, MichNews, ChronWatch, North Carolina Conservative, Catholic Citizens, Illinois Family Institute, and others. She and her husband, Mitch, live in the great State of Texas. She can be reached at: AveMaria@earthlink.net

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