Benedict XVI: the great consolidator?
Jeremy Lott has a long essay in the American Spectator, asking whether Pope Benedict XVI will be remembered as the “great consolidator” of Christianity.
Benedict thinks that his Church has got the basics all right and that it is well positioned to hold out against current trends and decide, in the fullness of time, whether innovations are wise. He’s willing to extend that protection to Christians of other communions, to consolidate the faithful under a rule of faith that is both flexible and at the same time unyielding.
That makes him a conservative but a radical one. The easiest way to change a church is to drastically change her membership, and that is exactly what the pope is calling for with his impatient prodding to bring whole communions into the flock. Yesterday the traditionalists, today the Anglicans, tomorrow the Orthodox, and the day after, oh, let’s say the Lutherans. After all, this pope is from Germany, there has been centuries of ecumenical spadework, and Lutherans are sacramentally inclined Christians who are currently experiencing tremors over issues of sexuality.
If he succeeds, the moniker that future generations should use for him – the only really accurate one – is the Great Consolidator.