JP2 & B16


Written on 10:19 PM by Jack B.

Here we have two men - Karol Wojtyla and Josef Ratzinger - born of traditional enemies (Poland and Germany), lived through the same cataclysm but seeing a different side to it (WWII). One grew to priesthood in a totalitarian atheist Poland, the other in an increasing decadent and secular West Germany, one an extroverted actor and "philosopher-king", the other an introverted academic who tended to work behind the scenes. One always presented as optimistic, the other as forbidding (no matter if it was the truth or not). One regarded as a living saint by even many of his enemies, the other as the "Grand Inquisitor" of legend by his.

Two men. One right after the other, from differing environments and perspectives but with the same worldview, who came to know and rely on each other. Seeing a kindred spirit, seeing the same forces at war in the world even when the world told them to "shut up" or to "get with the times". Two men who came at just this time when their particular talents needed them most. Wojtyla may always be seen as John Paul II, Benedict XVI may always be seen as Cardinal Ratzinger - but both Vicars of Christ, Successors of Peter, literal "rocks" (like the Catholic Church itself) holding firm while the rest of the world drifts, falls and topple. I'm not much into this Holy Spirit thing (just look at John XII or Alexander VI) but more and more I think there's something to it.

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