Grace is a high theological word. It stands for God’s love of all humanity. It stands for our salvation through God’s often unrequited love of us, and not through our own deeds or worthiness. Grace is the epitome of everything that is divine, loving and inclusive.
The reign of Joseph Ratzinger has been a disgrace in every sense of that word. Grace is a sign of God’s love and compassion to all God’s children. Ratzinger has talked trash to Christians of other Communions. He has asserted that Protestants are merely deluding themselves into thinking that they have “churches.” He has stated that Protestants have no “Church”, no legitimate priesthood, no sacramental ministry, and no hope of salvation.
He rather likes the Anglican Communion, and nearly accepts them as equals. Anglican Priests, even married ones, are welcomed into the Roman Church, and can even bring their wives with them. Apart from that, there is only one other Christian community that Ratzinger could reluctantly accept, and that is the Orthodox Communion. But, according to Ratzinger, the Orthodox Church still has one fatal defect. And that defect could be cleared only if Orthodox Communion would submit to the Bishop of Rome and accept him as its Spiritual Sovereign.
Ratzinger is the only monarch with absolute power. The world has grown and matured since the Fifteenth Century. But Ratzinger just does not get it. Ratzinger is thoroughly grounded in Middle Ages, and has marched backwards towards that future throughout his entire reign. He claims to rule by divine right, much like King James I of England. And this divine right extends not just over the Roman Church, but as spiritual sovereign over all who would call themselves Christians.
Let us pray that the new pope is cut of a different cloth. May the next pope not try to undo all the good works done by the Second Vatican Council, but rather rebuild the whole eucumene.
Despite his pious words to the contrary, he has done little if anything to clean up the mess caused by child sexual abuse in the Church. Rather than punish the perpetrators, he instead rewards them with high-level posts in the Vatican. Bernard Cardinal Law is a good example of such an elevation.
The government of Ireland closed its embassy to the Holy See in response to this crisis, and Ratzinger’s handling of it. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny accused the Holy See of obstructing investigations into sexual abuse by priests.