Of course, it doesn't matter what I think of the Pope . . .at least, it scarcely matters what my evaluation of his first 6 months might review; but I am grateful and joyous for his words, his example, and his beauty. And I would like to point out just three examples: It is easy enough to gain copies of his speeches: if Cardinal Manning once wanted a new Papal Document on his daily breakfast table, it's simple enough nowadays with the internet!
1) On the Church: His homilies, speeches, and messages during his first 100 days as Pope, from the Election through Corpus Christi, all seemed to explore a beautiful theology of the Church. The beautiful communion that is the Church, the inner-relations of the followers of Jesus, the historical and visible reality of the Church, the apostolic communion of all the bishops and the bishop of Rome, and our communion in the Eucharist--all presented and contemplated in an evocative and wonderful manner.
2) World Youth Day: His speeches & messages throughout the visit to Cologne also make a beautiful and enriching read--all pointing toward the transformation we can experience through Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, a transformation of love that is truly revolutionary!
3) Eros & Beauty: Influenced no doubt by the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, Pope Benedict points us continually toward the Beauty of faith, the Beauty of the Love of God, the Beauty of redemption in Jesus Christ.
So much for the Grand Inquisitor! But if a quotation from Dostoyevsky is needed, we might remember the vision of the Prince in The Idiot: "The world will be saved by Beauty!"
Hurray for Pope Benedict XVI in this Springtime of the Church!