Passing It On by S. M. Hutchens

Passing It On

Benedict XVI's Fidelity on Behalf of the Faithful

At the election of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, the Touchstone editors rejoiced because no one among the other candidates had made a firmer name for himself in standing for the "permanent things" of the Christian faith, the things that have always been our collective first concern, the things of "mere Christianity"—the doctrines of the Creed and their moral accompaniments, things that have been, according to the Vincentian canon, believed everywhere, at all times, and by all Christians.

The Christian faith itself in all these matters is an enduring offense, an offense that begins in our day with its unnegotiable patriarchalism: the insistence that the Father Almighty is Maker of heaven and earth, and going on from there through every scandal the confession of Christian belief has presented to the world from its earliest days. We knew Cardinal Ratzinger as a strong and reliable witness to these things, willing to be ill spoken of by the class of people—many of them claiming to be Christians and even Catholics—who hate not just traditional Roman Catholicism but all Christianity and all Christians, through the high and easy mark of the papal office.

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S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.

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