Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Ratzinger: Where Did This Come From?

Almost all of a sudden, our beloved Cardinal Ratzinger, feared doctrinal enforcer and Robert Blake look-alike, seems to have rocketed to the top of the papabile charts, surpassing previous favorites Cardinals Arinze and Tettamanzi. Tonight two people, one a non-Catholic and the other a semi-practicing one, independently asked me what I thought of this development. I had to admit I had heard nothing of it, but that I was still dubious, since I remain convinced that the good Panzerkardinal is simply too widely feared and disliked to assume the throne of Peter. Surely there enough other cardinals with the right combination of holiness, intellect and orthodoxy who aren't quite such lightning rods.

I still basically think that all this speculation is at base idle, and trust entirely that the Holy Spirit will provide us with the man we need. I'd certainly be pleased as punch if Ratzinger were to become pope; the biggest downside, as far as I can see, is that the fan club will have to change its name and URL.

One, err, interesting perspective on the coming conclave is here. It describes a three-fold split in the College of Cardinals, with Ratzinger at the head of the "neoconservative" wing. I'm surprised they didn't try to insinuate that Ratzinger is Jewish, or paint him as secretly behind the invasion of Iraq. Seriously: I understand the idea that Ratzinger is a "conservative" in the College, but what, precisely, is "neo-" about him? Is it because, as one of the major players of Vatican II, he's considered a "former liberal", like many prominent American neocons? Or maybe it's just that he has a vaguely sinister look (and, I must admit, he does) and isn't especially liked by the authors of the piece.