Obligatory Pope Post
Blogged by James on 12th February 2013
As others have said, Pope Benedict XVI is/was the first Pope people of my generation really knew and experienced firsthand rather than just through stories.
I first encountered the then Cardinal Ratzinger through a tattered copy of The Ratzinger Report which I flicked through before being assured by everybody that such a man could never become Pope because of his outrageous views on which way altars ought to face etc. Oops.
While he failed to get in a plane and fly around the world sacking Bishops (unreasonable or what!?) he has succeeded over the last seven years in taking those outrageous unspeakable views and making them, if not mainstream, then at least speakable.
Those of us who grew up wondering why the grown ups had taken everything beautiful and smashed it found in him at last someone who would blow the dust off the old boxes in the attic and show us not how things used to be, but how things could be.
Pope Benedict took things that had been consigned to history and made them a gift to our generation.
I for one am very grateful.