Pope Benedict XVI

Manila Bulletin, April 24, 2005 | Go to article overview

Pope Benedict XVI


IN the days before the conclave of cardinals to choose a successor to Peter, there were many stories saying that although Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was a favorite, many alleged experts said he was too divisive and old to win. They said that as the voting progressed, he would lose votes and that the cardinals might decide to vote for someone who was a liberal from either Africa or South America. The experts were wrong. All along Cardinal Ratzinger had the solid support of the Roman Curia and it was reported that he received more than 100 votes out of a total of 115 cardinals.

Before I try to dissect the basis of the Universal Roman Catholic Churchs doctrines, allow to share with my readers what I learned in college from my German SVD professors in philosophy and religion. I learned the simple theory of cause and effect, i.e., if you see a watch, the parts of that watch did not just by coincidence materialize out of nowhere by a fluke of nature and decided to assemble themselves as a watch. There must have been a watch maker who caused it.

The universe follows the rules of physics. Even the smallest atom follows certain immutable laws that were finally discovered or solved by Albert Einstein when he formulated his theory of relativity as expressed in his formula E=mc2 where E represents energy which equals matter times the velocity of light squared. This was always there. Einstein merely discovered and expressed it in his mathematical formula. However it does not mean that if no human being discovered or understood it, that law of nature did not exist. Again if there is a law, there must be a law giver.

But if one were to attribute all effects as caused by someone or something, one cannot ad infinitum point out that all the causes are caused by other causes. At the end one would run out of material to point out as the cause. One, therefore, would end up with a being that we call as the uncaused cause. We call him God, others call him Allah, etc.

The reason for the survival of the church through several millennia is that fact that our doctrines are stable and predictable. The stability no doubt is caused by the Holy Spirit in fulfillment of the words of the Holy Bible that, "Peter, thou art rock and upon this rock I shall build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it against it. …

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