I notice that occasionally people hit an early entry I did on We Have A Pope.  He came in with some dread.  Pope John Paul II’s rottweiler was expected to become Pope Ratzinger, an inquisitor-pope who would keep the Vatican on the strict and narrow.

In some respects he has done that.  Like his predecessor he has filled out the calendar of saints according to their dialectic.  He had a vision of Catholicism becoming a minority religion in the western world so he set an agenda that would keep it in line.  He has set the boundaries on the gospel so we know who’s in and who’s out, at least in the Catholic Church.  He made diplomatic stumbles that set back the Catholic Church in its relations to other sects and religions.

His abdication suggests that what he could not do was reform the government of the Vatican.  There is enough report to suggest that it is corrupt and to the disadvantage of the international movement.  His abdication referred to his mental and physical strength.  It suggests to me that he knew what he was up against.  This burden passes onto his successor.

In my own Presbyterian terminology the Church at Rome has been preached vacant.  The Settlement Board is about to convene.  Don’t expect any major changes though.  Every organisation appoints people to its highest offices that conforms to the thinking of its leadership, whether liberal or conservative.  Blue Sky changes are not going to come down from the hierarchy.