Benedict XVI indeed is presenting a new methodology of Catholic evangelization and catechesis. The most succinct manner of classifying his new age of Catholic global teachings is this, He is moving towards a kinder, gentler Church for the new millennium. That does not imply there will be a dramatic shift from the authoritarian paradigm that is the foundation for moral and ethical teachings from the Bishop of Rome. However, Benedict’s didactic applications are based upon a deeper development and faith in the human person’s most intimate relationship with God, each other and institutional religion.

It seems the Holy Father is calling the entire Catholic world to a new realization and expectation of the drastic implications offers by Jesus in His command, “Love one another.” So far, the Benedictine hermeneutics have been keenly towards reconciliation between the East and West, both in ideology and political convictions. There is a new spirit of Catholic and Orthodox ecumenism, a restored sense of the acutely painful division between Christian denominations and a fresh optimism of positive understandings with our Islamic counterparts. Previously, this author indicated Benedict XVI was initiating a new age of Boveventurian mysticism, and it appears this is exactly what is transpiring.

Most significantly, the Benedictine platform of pastoral theology includes an intensely deep awareness of the need and desire all faiths should have towards restored unity in faith, politics and activities on a global scale. The activities of the Holy See over the past few months have clearly been directed towards the spirit of international harmony. Benedict’s visit to the United Nations in April will most likely bring about a message of international cooperation and service on the part of the Church. Such an affirmation of a global Church involvement and continuity to the unification message is a hallmark of this pontificate.

Consistently, Benedict’s pastoral theology concentrates on the qualitative deepening of the Church’s sacred mysteries through human healing and relationships. This message is nothing new for the Catholic Church; however, the implementation of Benedict’s vision for the Church hinges on this critical and important message. Benedict’s demeanor is promoting introspective understanding of the Church’s role in our global society, and offers the Church as the Healer of conflicts from ecological abuses to human rights violations and the entire spectrum of transgressions humanity has committed against God, against other men and against the planet.

The message is clear; the pursuit of religious belief in God is indeed a transcendent mystery that requires a local, national and global acceptance of common humanity and universal dependence on God’s providence for all peoples. Benedict’s pastoral messages and indeed his pastoral journeys signify very clearly the Church offers a mystery of salvation to the entire world. In the past, that message was conveyed in a manner that was less than unifying, however the Benedictine Church is growing as a kinder, gentler Church teaching with paternal reconciliation and love to a fractured group of global believers.

Hugh McNichol is a Catholic author that writes on Catholic issues and concerns. He writes daily @ &

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