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The promptings of the Holy Spirit



One month after the election of Benedict XVI

19/05/2005: Vatican

After John Paul II’s death, people had their expectations about the new Pope. Some expectations were keenly felt, others not so much. This is a very human thing, but it is not important that the person elected in the conclave fit our expectations. After the news was announced, there was a wide range of reactions. Some parts of the media focussed on the reputation of Cardinal Ratzinger as hard, conservative, the right wing of the Holy Spirit, the promulgator of ‘no’ to almost everything, guardian of the faith. Other parts of the media emphasised his intellectual ability, his knowledge of the Church, his simplicity and personal austerity, the ongoing character of his appointment.
All these opinions remain at the surface of the situation. Whether we like it or not, God speaks through facts, and the unquestionable fact is that the successor of John Paul II is Benedict XVI, that is to say, Cardinal Ratzinger. With the promptings of the Spirit, the facts are welcomed with respect and love. This is about being mature in the faith, not an infantile submission that only sees the marvellous and avoids looking at the grey areas.
Discrepancies, different points of view, various ways of solving problems, audacity in the formulation of proposals… can all exist; but if these attitudes end in a lack of respect and love towards the Pope, a Catholic is ignoring the promptings of the Spirit. Opinions from outside the Church should be listened to as they can shed light, but they are of a different calibre when their source is not from within the Christian community. Opinions from inside the Church, for all the good intentions in the world, can cause damage if they lack respect and love, as they are not part of the promptings of the Spirit. Paul forced the first Council of Jerusalem, but he always respected the primacy of Peter, whose essence does not depend on the personal and moral values of the one who embodies it. Our task does not consist in being taken in by the media whirlwind but in working out of respect and love for the Pope. For some it will be easy. For others it will demand some effort.

You can read the entire article in Spanish

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