Okay, here’s what I got out of watching the inaugural mass of Benedict XVI. He says his papacy is going to be centered on the Eucharist and the living presence of Christ as the core of Christian faith. He is staking his reign on the truth of Christ’s work. Although I may not completely technically agree with the Catholic understanding of the Eucharist, I am in total agreement that the centrality of Christ is the best place to start.
He is also encouraging all Catholics to engage in evangelization and in helping those in need, especially the poor and children. Awesome.
He says that he wants to work towards a full and visible unity of all the followers of Christ. He understands that this will necessitate taking concrete steps toward that end. He also acknowledges that Christian ecumenism must begin with inner conversion. WOW, I almost cried!
From this standpoint of truth, he is going to continue dialogue with other faiths and encourages all Catholics to do the same. And he seems to want to work just as much at building peace in the world for all people as he wants to work at standing firm in Christian truth. What a way to be a witness!
In summary, here is a pope committed to two things: truth and dialogue. Here is a pope after my own heart. He may be just what we need to engage this postmodern world.
I remain a committed interdenominationally evangelical Christian with Wesleyan roots. But I am excited about the possibilities presented in this pope for advancing the kingdom of Christ.