So I was at home this morning, getting dressed to my usual KCRW soundtrack, when the station cut away to CNN’s audio feed, covering the announcement of the new pope. I turned on the television and sat rivetted, watching every ruffle of the curtains as St. Peter’s filled to over-capacity and those gathered there and around their sets worldwide waited for the interregnum to come to an end.
And so it did, with the announcement of the accession of Benedict XVI. And I sat and cried in front of my television set, watching my relationship with the Church be severed once again.
This is a man who as cardinal often dissented from Pope John Paul II’s positions — but dissented to the right. Ratzinger disapproved of the Pope’s ecumenism, and particularly his praying for peace with the leaders of other faiths, because he felt that this sent a message that there wasn’t one true faith, that maybe many faiths could be right and good.
This is not a pope who can create the more inclusive Church I was hoping for; in fact, he has as his stated goal not opening the Church to many around the world who long for acceptance and inclusion, but instead shoring up the European Church against apostasy through the reintroduction of rigid doctrine.
[UPDATE, 4.19.05, 12.37 pm: I am stunned to find myself linking supportively to an opinion expressed by Andrew Sullivan. A coming civil war, indeed.]