If you are not already praying for the Holy Father for his trip to Turkey at the end of the month, start now. As the CWN wrap up for the Pope’s November says, “this will be the first time that a Pontiff has travelled to a country in which a best-selling novel depicts his assassination.”
The same column reflects on the Pope’s Curial appointments over the last 18 months, including the most recent one, Cardinal Hummes as head of the Congregation for the Clergy. None of these are “party” or “ideological” affiliates of the Holy Father (eg. Hummes has been on the side of the liberation theologians in South America, and Levada was not the first pick of the conservatives for Ratzinger’s replacement at the Holy Office) but they are all people he has worked with at some time and (in the words of CWN) Papa Benny “has the measure of these men and values their opinions”.
Then they offer an interesting insight into Joseph Ratzinger’s psychology. “If you disagree with him, he sees you not as an enemy (since you have crossed him) but as a friend (since you have helped him to refine his thinking).” May we all be blessed with such an attitude in our disputations and dialogues!