Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ad multos annos (pleaseohplease!)

Hey, remember "Ratzenfreude"? Defined as "The expression of joy about others's dismay about the election of Pope Benedict XVI."

It has been a couple of days since his birthday, and I forgot to put a note up about it.

But today, for the rest of the world, is a somewhat more significant anniversary.

Six years ago today, we were all sitting clustered around the TV up in the top of the house in Toronto, waiting to hear the name.

Down in the square, a bunch of people who were destined to become some close friends of mine were waiting with equal anticipation.


and the name?


...and the crowd went wild. Our neighbour Taylor, accustomed to thinking of the uber-Catholics next door as a fairly quiet lot (at least before 8 pm), must have thought we'd gone mad... cheering and yelling and laughing...

This post from this blog's previous incarnation, of April 26, 2005 amuses me now as it did then:

I suggested that we will shortly be in a crisis situation in which people are going to stop being afraid of him altogether! We have to move on to phase II and just plainly start making stuff up. I suggested that we put it about that he likes cats because he needs something to feed to his rottweiler, thus in one go, dispelling the cuddly cat-lover image and reminding people of the rottweiler connection. Too much of this huggy "God's German Shepherd business..."

Warren didn't send this one out the whole Dogans list, so I felt obliged to share his contribution to the papal chants.

"Perhaps it would be better to refer to His Holiness as "Benito XVI", instead of the "Benedetto" the Vatican insists on using. We might also encourage trads in the loop to shout "Benito, Benito!" whenever he comes in view.

And, to go into cheerleading routines, uttering such approving slogans as,

'Mussolini, what a weenie! Benito, Benito, sweet sixteen!'

Here is the interesting bit from an article by Peggy Noonan that I've remembered since then:
The new pope speaks to the inner adult in all of us...Did you see them running to St. Peter's Square as the bells began to toll?

They came running in from the offices and streets of Rome, running in their business suits, in jeans with backpacks over their shoulders. The networks kept showing it in their wide shots as they filled time between the ringing of the bells and the balcony scene.
Why did they gather? Why did they have to hear?

The faith is dead in Europe, everyone knows that. So why did they come?

why did so many weep as the new pope came out? Why did they chant "Benedict, Benedict" as he stood at the balcony? Why were they jubilant?

Another one of mine from the day after, April 20, 2005:
Woke up to listen to the CBC moaning about what a bad sign it is that his first homily was given entirely in Lain. I did a victory dance and started the day with a big smile, exactly the way I ended the day yesterday.

As for the CBC, I am surprised it took them until 10 am to get hold of Joanna Manning. "It's the end of the line for people like me..."

Te Deum Laudamus!!!

I know that in fact, he is nothing like the martinet they have built him up to be. We had, after all, 24 years of him in the CDF and not one excommunication for heresy, nothing but gentle little slaps on the wrist for the ones who really refused to stop denying the Divinity of Christ and on and on. But I think that even the perception of 'rigid conservatism' is going to work wonders.

The commies and feminists immediately started braying they would give up their 40 year fight. I hardly dare to hope that after their revolution and their oppressive 4 decade long occupation that we would so easily have achieved liberation from their regime in one moment. But if the reputation of being the big bad bogey man that they themselves have created is enough to have them running scared into the hills, who am I to criticize. Demoralization is an important weapon in war, even if the propaganda is patently false. It helps immensely if the propaganda has been promoted by the enemy. I'll take it. If it looks like it will scare them away and help Catholics get their Church back, I will be happy to perpetuate the myth of the PanzerKardinal...


My only worry is that they are going to remember that all their fears about him are ones they themselves invented and try to muscle back in before we have changed the locks.

Share your own memories below.



Seraphic said...

Well, I was in a theologial building, and there were no classes--or gey few--and I had popped in for some reason or another, and all the professors around were listening to the radios in their offices. There was a sort of feeling of dread, mostly because one of the American professors had been bad-talking "RAT-zinger" for years and RAT-zinger was said to be the favourite. The feeling in the corridors was Anyone But. I think Martini was too old, but yet there was a very "If only it could be Martini" feeling in the air.

Anyway, I popped into one of the offices, and its resident turned up the radio, and I was rather stunned to hear all the Latin. I was thinking it would be Italian. We heard the name "Iosephus", and the crowd over the radio went insane, and the school offical groaned and a female voice down the hall shrieked "NO!"

Various shaken, white-faced people began to emerge from their offices, and one large person, shocked out of his mind, shouted, "A Kraut Pope! I don't believe it. A Kraut Pope!"

There was gloom for five minutes and then everyone scrambled because the CBC, etc., was going to call in minutes, and everyone thought desperately of something good to say. Which was, incidentaly, one of the very nice things about that place. Whatever they thought, they were not going to let down the side in front of the Secular Press.

Within seconds we were all reading up on Benedict XV, and gaining insights from that, and chatting about how Benedict XVI was a real theologian, which was a nice change from a philosopher, and how he had a pastoral touch and how he stopped JP2 from making some of his more disasterous episcopal choices.

Thus, after our five minutes of abject horror, everyone seemed to pull themselves together and smile and hope for the best.

Anonymous said...

Since you invite, my memories, in the form of posts to a forum following the conclave:

Keep your eye on Bertone. 04/15/2005 10:10:50 AM CDT

Schönborn is no conservative. 04/15/2005 10:19:17 AM CDT

I have to confess I'll feel relief if Ratzinger is elected. Failing this, I suspect Bertone would largely reflect Ratzinger's views. 04/15/2005 10:40:13 AM CDT

I long to see Marini's back. 04/18/2005 10:33:22 AM CDT

I'm not really worried about Arinze. Schönborn's another story. 04/18/2005 10:42:02 AM CDT

I wish it could be so, but the rest of us would have to spend his whole pontificate defending him from accusations of Naziism. 04/18/2005 4:01:43 PM CDT

Miserere nobis, Domine. 04/19/2005 11:09:41 AM CDT

Do I dare think it could be? Yet how could the cardinals reject him and agree on another so soon? 04/19/2005 11:19:02 AM CDT

YES!!! 04/19/2005 11:44:40 AM CDT

Deo Gratias! Oggi, sempre. I'm more moved than I expected. 04/19/2005 11:56:57 AM CDT

I hope you're having a fine day. I am. 04/19/2005 12:16:19 PM CDT

It certainly is. I feel blessed. 04/19/2005 1:36:52 PM CDT

You want to know how sweet this is? Do you realise: CARDINALS KEELER, MCCARRICK, AND EGAN ARE ALL DUE TO RETIRE IN LESS THAN TWO YEARS!!! Savor this day, my friend. They seldom come this sweet. 04/19/2005 2:34:17 PM CDT

Anonymous said...

I was sitting at my desk in the office (in another job at the University but scarcely any different or any better than the one I have now), clicking back and forth, from whichever website seemed to have the clearest streaming video, to your old blog Hilary, to "Ratzingerfanclub" which I'd been following for a long time. When we got verifiable white smoke, I called in the one other person whom I knew to be Catholic. I was the only one thrilled about Ratzinger. What a day; and what a period of weeks that was. Ratzinger's homilies at the Mass "Pro Eligenda" and at JPII's funeral sealed the deal, for me. I thought, no Pope could top what Cardinal Ratzinger had said in those homilies. The "Habemus Papam" anouncement was a moment of joy.

I can't believe it's been six years.