Old hat already, but following the announcement of Benedict XVI’s abdication, the Los Angeles Times solicited opinions from eleven American Catholics — among them your humble & obedient scribe — what they would like to see in the new pope.
Honesty and dialogue
By Andrew Cusack
Benedict XVI had a keen eye on preserving the tradition of the church. He made it his mission to restore beauty and dignity to the liturgy. He also built alliances with groups of Jews, Muslims and secularists who believe in the importance of the Western tradition of ethics and its notion of the human person. There is even a growing school of “Ratzingerian Marxists” who find much value in his “anthropological vision.” Whomever the cardinals choose, this honest dialogue must continue.
Typical of that dialogue was Benedict’s respectful attitude toward young people. He treated us as responsible and capable individuals. Trained as we are by the world to think that every whim is worth giving in to, it was refreshing to hear the pope remind us we are called to something higher, bridging the gap between the everyday and the eternal. The very word “pontiff” means “bridge builder.” The next pope must continue Benedict’s work of building bridges — between Christians and non-Christians, between the past and the present, and ultimately between God and man.
Andrew Cusack writes and blogs from London.