Clerical Whispers, blog of an Irish priest, posts some thoughts about the strategy of Pope Benedict XVI.
The pope is a highly educated man. He has written multiple books and is respected for his scholarship. He is the spiritual leader of more than 1 billion people. Benedict does nothing—especially when it involves altering church policy or delivering public speeches—without deep contemplation and calculation.
Few people on Earth possess as much influence or come under as much scrutiny as the pope. For a man in his position, ignorance, careless slips of the tongue or shallow thinking could do enormous damage.
The Regensburg speech; bringing down the Italian government; altering the Good Friday Prayer; and, most recently, the decision to baptize a renowned Muslim convert three days after Osama bin Laden accused the Vatican of promoting violence against Muslims—in addition to the multiple times the papacy has weighed in on issues like Sunday worship, abortion and same-sex marriage—these were strategically calculated decisions in what is looking like a grand strategy for increasing Vatican power. …
Ultimately, he sees an opportunity—of historic proportions. An opportunity to establish the Catholic Church as the savior of Europe.
Consider. These events may have angered Muslims and Jews. But they thrilled many Catholic and even non-Catholic Europeans. Why? Because the message emanating from each event was that the Vatican remains the bastion of conservatism and traditionalism, is prepared to defend Europe’s Christian heritage and is willing, even ready, to confront the war-mongering ambitions of radical Islam.
That’s a message that Europeans increasingly want to hear!
Moreover, the pope’s message will only gain greater traction in the hearts of Europeans as conditions worsen and Islam increases its belligerence.
But wait a second … these aren’t his own thoughts. He notes that they are a “contribution.” Where did they come from? The Trumpet–a publication of the Philadelphia Church of God, which continues the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong.
This is curious indeed.