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19 April 2005

Habemus papam

As everyone knows by now, we have a new pope.

The head bishop of the American Church fired a shot across the bow,
saying, “I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide him in his words and
his actions and that he may become a focus of unity and a minister of
reconciliation in a church and a world in which faithfulness and truth
wear many faces.”

That is, Truth is not held solely within the Roman Catholic Church and
the interpretation of that faith that Benedict XVI holds. 
(Benedict has become well-known for his claim that the full Truth of
Gospel is found only in Roman Catholic Christianity and that other
forms of Christianity and religion are “deficient.”) Truth belongs to
God, and we are at best imperfect custodians of that Truth, prone to
error even in noting where that truth may lie.

Rowan Cantuar is a bit more hopeful — or politic: “His election is also of great significance
to Christians everywhere. I look forward to meeting him and working
together to build on the legacy
of his predecessor, as we seek to promote shared understanding between
our churches in the service of the Gospel and the goal of Christian unity.”

All the Protestant conservatives who will hold this election of a
conservative pope as a sign of great things need to remember that he
thinks their faith problematic, incomplete, and at least in part, in
Error.   Pause before rejoicing.

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4 Responses to “Habemus papam”

  1. *Christopher Says:

    ++Griswold’s statement also highlights that Truth is found relationally, i.e., in many faces. This is quite a difference from the approach of ++Benedict XVI.

  2. Albert Says:

    Well, I think he has to hold out against relativism or else he dilutes Catholicism. It’s a conservative religion through and through, modernizing only enough to survive this long. I mean, do you erode your doctrine to the point until it becames as easy to join as Price Club? Anyways, there are plenty of other more liberal religions out there, not all religions have to embrace that kind of diversity.

  3. Nate Says:

    Is ecumenism the same as relativism?

    Benedict’s (still seems weird to say that, as “Pope” has been attached to “John Paul” as long as I can remember) statements do not bode well for ecumenism, and as head of the CDF, he was not happy with the guy who wrote JPII’s ecumenism encyclical “Ut Unim Sint.”

  4. *Christopher Says:

    Look there is a whole range of ethical and theological modes between an absolute Truthism and and aboslute Relativism. This is a false dichotomy through and through. An absolute Truthism is actually problematic in Christian theology as we confess that though G-d is revealed in Jesus Christ, we can never know the fullness of G-d…the so-called apophatic approach.