Wednesday, February 22, 2006

And Now, the Pope's Moment of Zen

The Pope named 15 new cardinals, including his successor at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop William Levada (San Francisco), long-time John Paul II secretary and KrakowArchbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, and Joseph Zen, of Hong Kong, "who has been outspoken in the need for religious rights of Roman Catholics in China."

I suspect Church conservatives will be upset about Levada's appointment but gladdened by Zen's. The Dziwisz appointment is probably solid on merit, but seems also a graceful and touching reward to a longtime friend and confidant of the late pontiff.

As a non-Catholic admirer of the man formerly known as Joseph Ratzinger, however, I'm glad to see signs that he will carry on John Paul's legacy of confronting authoritarian regimes which deny their people the freedom of religion.