23 July 2006

The pace of change

Karen Hall has expressed frustration with the pace of Pope Benedict's course correction. (Thanks to Dom and Julie D. for the link.)

I empathize, and sympathize, especially since I live in the Land of Mahony.

However, I come down on the side of those who counsel patience.

The last thing - the absolute, very last thing - we need is to have another upheaval. The problems of today stem from changes made at lightning speed after Vatican II.

Benedict is proceeding slowly, carefully, thoroughly, and with exquisite tact and gentleness. However, gentleness does not rule out discipline. I think Pope Benedict has made it crystal clear that people may choose to submit to his winsome, reasonable "suggestions," or they can spend this inning on the bench.

Karen's concern for souls in the meantime is understandable, even laudable; but I join with the voices of those in her combox who counsel trust in God. He has his eye on the sparrow. He knows whether people have been misled, or lied to; he knows when they are acting from malice, or are determined to have nothing more to do with Him. He is more loving, more merciful, and more knowing that we can ever imagine. He can't be thwarted by bishops being bravely naughty about liturgy. For every bad bishop, there are legions more faithful Catholics. There are still holy religious who pray faithfully and live sacrificially to save souls.

By going carefully, I sense that Pope Benedict is allowing people to see the logic of what he's doing, and identify the right course by their own reasoning. I think he would not want to be identified as a catalyst for change. I think he sees himself in an important role but with no strength of his own beyond his ability to be appropriately submissive to the Holy Spirit.

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