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Monday, 16 February 2009

Papa, the Provocateur

Fr Raymond de Souza in the National Post, working from the recent SSPX fracas as a starting point, (of which he says, disagreeing with my thesis, "The cunning plan of a master strategist? Not likely this time; mistakes are mistakes,") makes some excellent points about how the quiet little professor with the church mouse manner has been stirring the pot for years:

Since he arrived in Rome more than 25 years ago, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has repeatedly and deliberately been provocative, kicking up enormous media storms on sensitive subjects. His calculated risk is that his interventions will not move the debate one way or the other within the given parameters, but change the parameters of debate altogether.

He is willing to play with fire in order to bring both heat and light; the obvious danger is that on occasion the fire scorches the Vatican itself.

Benedict is a quiet, even shy man. But he is not timid or naive. He is not afraid to bring the fire, even if, as was the case this month, it means that those gentle, classical pianist's fingers might get burnt. [emphasis supplied]

Perhaps the gesture of acknowledgment PapaRatz makes to crowds, which either Raymond Arroyo or the late Fr Neuhaus referred to as "piano fingers" is intended to cool them off.

What I still find remarkable is how seldom with all the "what kind of message does this send to [fill in the blank] ?!?!?!?" sturm und drang around various papal moves of the past 4 years, the whingers realize that the message may be intended for THEM.

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