Sunday, April 24, 2005

On the Election of Pope Benedict XVI

A recurring complaint from disaffected Catholics (among whom, one may reflect, could be included non-Catholic Christians of all stripes), is the antediluvian insistence on a male clergy. This, the argument goes, is intolerable because women are as capable as men. Other non sequiturs abound: women must be included in the priesthood in order to show respect, because it is disrespectful to disinclude them. This is actually the most-often asserted "argument." Perhaps because there really are no others.

Proponents of female priests share a thought with the fictional characters of the hit Broadway play, "Annie, Get you Gun." According to female priest proponents, "anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you." But where the musical characters appear to have the ability to sing about their disagreements, and, indeed, end their conflict on a happy note, the empty harridans who preach for "equality" in Catholicism are never going to be requited.

The obvious differences between men and women remain unstated here. It doesn't seem necessary to make these obvious points. Instead, hope and uncertainty: it is hopeful that the Cardinals saw fit to elect a pope whose reputation is one of orthodoxy; perhaps he will take the lesson from the diametrically opposed experience of the American Episcopal Church (and its English parent) and the American evangelical movement. One moves toward institutional death by caving in to the chirping harpies; the other busts out of its adolescent furnishings by insisting that the old (ironic, isn't it?) is the best.

The one note of caution is the nature of B16's first few public utterances: it shoudn't be necessary to promise to compromise with each and every other faith in the world in order to hold high the standard of the Church.

One hopes it's just a sop for the press and the oh-so-sensitive political elites in the world.

All told, there should be some reason to hope.


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