One of the best words in the English language

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But applied to Pope Benedict? Bah.

Puzzling pope? – Author explores continuing enigma of Benedict XVI

CHICAGO (Commonweal Magazine) -- Recently, Vatican postage stamps, adorned from time immemorial with the papal triple crown, conveyed a different note: “Episcopus Romae,” Bishop of Rome.

An ecumenist in the curia explained to Zenit News Service that it was a nod to the Orthodox, who prefer that title. Maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t.

Yet a year and a half after his election, Papa Benedetto remains an enigma. Who is he really? After the generally hostile reaction to his election in the European and American media, he does not seem to fit their initial fears. Nor does he fit the happy dreams of observers, like Father Richard John Neuhaus or George Weigel who waited eagerly for the purges that have not happened.

Instead, the pope suspended the founder of the Legionaries of Christ because of sexual-abuse charges, and replaced Joaquin Navarro-Valls, head of the Vatican Press Office, with a Jesuit, Frederico Lombardi of Vatican Radio, a change, one hears, stoutly resisted by Opus Dei.

Is Benedict the liberal conciliar adviser to Cologne’s Cardinal Joseph Frings? Or the disciple of St. Augustine who was horrified at the Vatican II document, The Church in the Modern World, because he believed modern secularism constituted the greatest threat to the church?

full article.

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He's an enigma to people who can't think outside the the comfortable progressive-vs.-conservative box they have constructed for the Church.

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