Smoke Signals

I question whether I should even post something on the subject, but it does strike me as slightly odd that Catholic officials chose Joseph Ratzinger to be Pope. The man does seem singularly acceptable to the old church but I can’t imagine that it’s going to help the foundation of the faith expand in places like Latin America and Africa, where there actually are church-goers (as compared to say, much of Germany, where Mr. Ratzinger hails).
Further, while Jewish newspapers like Haaretz seem to support the choice, his membership in Hitler Youth feels strange. According to a number of articles, Mr. Ratzinger has a very positive view of and has committed himself to contemporary Jews, Judaism, and Jewish religiosity. And it’s true that almost any young boy during Hitler’s reign was inducted into the youth movement.
Still, still, why did the Church take on a German cardinal when Germany is no longer a model Catholic country? And while hiring a senior citizen as Pope keeps the tenure short, why not make a statement about the Church’s longevity with someone with longevity? And what’s with the name Benedict? Odd, odd, odder still.

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