Pope John Paul II was unique and did not really match obsolete patterns:
Concerning morals and church law he could be looked upon as having been "conservative" or "right-wing", but not as a representative of the economic lobby; two things which are often interconnected. Dedicated to social justice and peace, he was more "progressive" or "left-wing", without being open for extreme ideas, such as those of communism.
Jesus himself stands even more for overcoming false contradictions, as described on our pages. Jesus is a shining example for everyone.
Even the influence of a pope in his own Church is limited:
For instance, when the pope asked God to forgive the crimes of the church inhistory, the Vatican limited his efforts. His approaches to more unity with other churches were minimized by the Vatican "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith". His respectful attitude towards the places of the prophecy of Virgin Mary like Medjugorje was not taken up by the responsible local bishops, and so on.
Both within and outside the Catholic Church many people projected their various
wishes onto a new pope. The Catholic Church will need to find its real role
ecumenism. The relationship between Christians
and other religions - supported by the pope with the peace prayers at Assisi and
by others (who are not what you would call the best friends of the pope) with
their project "world ethos" - is still subject to improvement.
If, for instance, celibacy for priests were to become voluntary and female deacons or even female priests were broadly accepted, it is a matter of consideration within the Catholic Church and of dialogue with other Christians. So the ecumenical background does exist. However, it would not be advisable to simply adapt the Roman Catholic Church to suit the superficial secular society with its "interest groups".
The new pope, Benedict XVI. is known for his strict Catholic theology. He showed - for instance at the Catholic World Youth Day in Germany - that he is continuing to work for "human rights and the holiness of human life, for the values of the family, for social justice and peace in the world". He said, Catholics have to be tolerant in the relation with Jews, Muslims and other religions, and that the religions should work together for the named values. Obviously he does not want much changes in the Catholic Church.
Many people are consciously or unconsciously seeking
spiritual guidance. A church or its leaders can only partially fulfill these
wishes - in spite of the possible improvement of their relationship to their
communities. Ultimately, this guidance for individuals, for a Church and for all
churches, can only come from God.
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