Saturday, May 03, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI - no Dr Strangelove...

Do go and read this excellent (London) Times Online commentary from Gerard Baker - yet another whom the new Pope has thoroughly won over! (The title of this post is the title of Mr Baker's article.)

Here's a snippet:

...the Pope’s most compelling words are a constant reminder of how absurd his
stereotype has been. He speaks repeatedly of the simple beauty of human

Shortly before he became Pope, Benedict told a congregation: “Christianity is
not an intellectual system, a collection of dogmas, or a moralism.
Christianity is instead an encounter, a love story, an event.”

This idea of faith as a love story — God’s love for his people, and our love
for Christ, the human face of God — is what Benedict seems to want us to
understand as the defining theme of his papacy. His first encyclical was not
on birth control or gay marriage, but on what many considered the somewhat
surprising subject of the simple divinity of human love, including the
sanctity of erotic love. This emphasis on the centrality of love to the
human condition is so at odds with the caricature of the doctrinal
vigilante, endlessly lecturing on the perils of sexual intemperance, that it
requires us to think hard about the very nature of religion’s role in modern
life. It is a useful counterweight to the popular secular view that religion
is the root of all human discord...

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