under the patronage of St Joseph and St Dominic
By the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept, remembering Zion;
Pope Benedict XVI
I. Pope Benedict XVI
Our prayers for the election of a new Pope have been answered with speed. The Cardinals elected Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to be Christ’s Vicar and to head His Church within 30 hours of the conclave meeting. The speed of his election must be heartening for all the faithful.
In his Constitution, Vacante Sede Apostolica, in December 1904, Pius X laid down three modes of election of a Pope, namely i) by inspiration, when the Cardinals, prompted by the Spirit, unanimously proclaim the Sovereign Pontiff; ii) by compromise, when the Cardinals agree to leave the election to three, or five or seven of their number; and iii) by scrutiny, when the vote of two thirds of those voting, exclusive of the elect himself, were necessary.
Pope John Paul II abolished the first two of these three modes of election in his Apostolic Constitution on the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff, Universi Dominici Gregis, of 22 nd February 1996. In particular, he said of election quasi ex inspiratione, that it was no longer an apt means of interpreting the thought of an electoral college so great in number and so diverse in origin.
Nevertheless, one would be justified in thinking that the speed with which the Cardinals arrived at their decision is evidence of some inspiration in their choice by the Holy Spirit.
We should compliment ex patriate Australian, Fr Brian Harrison, for his astuteness in urging us to pray that Cardinal Ratzinger would be elected. The comments which flowed from him spontaneously after the funeral Mass for the late Pope John Paul II have assumed extra significance since the result of the election has become known.
Now, let us pray for Pope Benedict XVI in his mighty task––
II. Benedict and the U.N.
Recently, the Church’s Secretary of State reminded the United Nations that it is no more than another human institution, limited and fallible. more
III. Pope Benedict XVI and the Muslim Question
“God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature.” When Pope Benedict XVI quoted these words of the 14th Century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus last month he well knew what he was doing--addressing Muslim intransigence. The naivety of his predecessors has not made the execution of his duty towards Muslims easy. more
IV. Pope Benedict's Significant Failure
It is regrettable that Pope Benedict has failed to mark the 100th anniversary of St Pius X's great encyclical condemning Modernism, 'Pascendi'. more
V. The Pope and the Turkeys
Those who persist in propounding error ought to be corrected, not cossetted; to be disciplined, not encouraged in their folly. more
VI. A Pope Abdicates