Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Questions for the pope

Pope Benedict XVI will arrive at Andrews Air Force Base to be greeted by President Bush and a host of church dignitaries. His visit has already begun with some statements to the press on the plane.

From what he said to reporters and other writings, this pope is not afraid to address hard issues. According to the New York Times story, the Vatican chose the questions the pontiff answered on the plane and it was issues of pedophilia and immigration. He did not mince words when talking about the scandal: "Who is guilty of pedophilia cannot be a priest,” he said.

I'm also currently listening to his book Jesus of Nazareth, and I saw the same trend. In his exegesis of The Lord's Prayer, Benedict acknowledges that the beginning of the prayer "Our Father" is hard for those who have not had a good example of father. As well, he asks the question "what about God as mother?" It's clear this is a man so confident and rooted in his theology that he sees the answers to these difficult questions.

As he meets with members of other religions and denominations and address the youth at a seminary, difficult questions will be a consistent theme through his visit. In his blog yesterday, Gary Stern of the Gannett suburban papers had some great questions. What questions would you have for the pope?

3 comments:

John said...

As well, he asks the question "what about God as mother?" It's clear this is a man so confident and rooted in his theology that he sees the answers to these difficult questions.


Can you give me more detail on this, Diane? Is the pope talking gender or attributes or what?

Diane Haag said...

He talked about God as a father figure, with all the usual masculine qualities of creator, disciplinarian, etc. But he also addressed the few passages in the Bible that give God nurturing, more maternal qualities. The pope eventually says that God is not male or female, but he is always addressed as male and is seen as male, but he does have some traditionally maternal attributes.

I hope that helps. Like I said, I've been listening to this on CD, so I don't have it in front of me to refer to.

John said...

Thanks, Diane. Another comment he made: "The pope eventually says that God is not male or female".

I wonder how he arrives at this? I know that a Spirit does not have "gender", but isn't it obvious that when God created something "in His image" that He created a man? Subsequently, woman did not come from God, but from man.

But, even more convincing to me is that when this same God was made flesh He was made in the flesh of man, not woman.

I do understand the pope's statement, but I can't imagine how he arrives at this. To me it smacks of universalism, and I hear this "God is not male" statement more and more these days. :(