The marriage of Joseph and Mary

Super Flumina

under the patronage of St Joseph and St Dominic

By the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept, remembering Zion;
on the poplars that grew there we hung up our harps. . . Ps 136

St Dominic


Philosophy behind this website

Professor Solomon's Introduction to Philosophy

For young readers:

Myall Lakes Adventure

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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––

May the Lord protect him and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. Amen.

Michael Baker
20th April 2005

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

Pope Benedict has advised he will cease to hold the Petrine Office on 28th February.  Here is our comment.  more

VII. We Should Fear for the Soul of Pope Benedict

It is five years, now, since Papa Ratzinger abdicated, and his ineffectual attitude towards the conduct of his successor is gravely concerning.  more

VIII. Pope Benedict's Defence of Vatican II

A recent citation of the former Pope’s address to the Vatican Curia in December 2005 in defence of Vatican II provides us with the opportunity to weigh his views in the balance.  more