.- In a column published Friday by the Italian online magazine L’Espresso Vatican analyst Sandro Magister notes that, three months after the beginning of his Pontificate, Benedict XVI has marked out his own style, although most of the mainstream media, as expected, continues to treat him with hostility. According to Magister, among “progressive” Catholic intellectuals, there has been no delay in criticizing the new Pontiff.
“From the beaches of California, Jesuit Father Thomas Reese…has denounced the new Pope as an irreconcilable enemy of modernity”; while in Italy, Professor Achille Aridgo, “the guru of the Bologna school founded by Giuseppe Dossetti…said in an interview with La Repubblica, ‘I pray everyday to the Holy Spirit to keep the pope and Cardinal Ruini from persevering in their rationalist theology’,” Magister writes.
The Vatican analyst points out, however, that Benedict XVI has compensated by “conquering the masses.”
Instead of interrupting his homilies with applause, notes Magister, the masses follow the Pope’s homilies, “word for word, from the beginning to the end, with an attentiveness that surprises the experts. Mingling with the crowds attending one of the Pope’s Masses is enough to confirm it.”
Magister describes the new style of the Pope as “sober, but in contact with the masses.”
Benedict XVI “loves to write by hand, in German, with a miniscule script that is easily deciphered and transcribed by his two secretaries, Ingrid Stampa and Brigit Wansing, both Germans and members of the Schöenstatt movement.”
Magister also reveals other close associates of the Pope, including Carmela and Loredana, two consecrated women of the “Memores Domini,” a branch of the Italian movement “Communion and Liberation;” and German Father Georg Gaenswein, who until recently taught at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, operated by Opus Dei.
The Italian journalist also comments on the Pope’s efforts to improve relations with the Jews and the Orthodox. The entire column can be found at: