Tuesday, April 19, 2005


What a long, strange trips it's been. Cardinal Ratzinger is Pope. What an April to remember. Heard the totemic "Habemus Papam", a phrase I haven't heard in over twenty-five years, a third of a the average life.

The tendency for me as an American is to regard what is foreign as neutral at best and against our interests at worst. So to hear the foreign-sounding words Habemus Papam provides a counterbalance. For this German who is now pope has some measure of control over me, has some responsibility for me, and protects my interests. "Brothers and sisters" he began. We are family. Hearing the grand words "Habemus Papam" recalls the universality of the Church in a vivid way. Germans, Poles, Africans, Italians, Mexicans, Americans, bonded beyond blood to something higher and infinitely greater.

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