"The possibilities opened up for us by the media revolution are marvelous and extraordinary. The media is capable of reaching not only leaders, but masses of people, indeed, humanity," said Pope Benedict XVI during his first audience with journalists last year. Above Benedetto discusses a range of topics during a "delightful interview" -- Miss Kelly's words -- with German journalists last week.
"Reawaken the courage to make definitive decisions: they are really the only ones that allow us to grow, to move ahead and to reach something great in life," Pope Benedict XVI told a group of German journalists last week. Sub rosa blogpal MB of Miss Kelly has the story and a few good quotations. The one about "definitive decisions" above was directed at youth but resonates for all ages. Another personal favorite:
We have to witness to God in a world that has problems finding Him, as we said, and to make God visible in the human face of Jesus Christ, to offer people access to the source without which our morale becomes sterile and loses its point of reference, to give joy as well because we are not alone in this world. Only in this way joy is born before the greatness of humanity: humanity is not an evolutionary product that turned out badly. We are the image of God."
As we said in MB's comments:
My own version would be that we hold within us the potential for both extreme evil and extreme good . . . It all depends upon what we do with our human nature, and this Pope -- the right man in the right place to help us choose the extreme good -- gets it just right.
"God's promises have come true," Iranian President Sheik Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a huge crowd waving Hizbullah banners and Iranian flags today, reports The Jerusalem Post: "On one side, it's corrupt powers of the criminal US and Britain and the Zionist . . . with modern bombs and planes. And on the other side is a group of pious youth relying on God." With a god like that, who needs enemies? As Bernie Goldberg wrote in the Journal this morning, "after watching his '60 Minutes' interview, I came away thinking that Mr. Ahmadinejad understands us a lot better than we understand him. Over the years, dangerous men like him have learned how to play the media game. They have gotten quite sophisticated. I'm afraid we haven't." Enter, stage right, Benedetto.
Both Benedetto and the Sheik understand the power of the press, and each would exploit it for his own vision of the good. One preaches hate, the other, love. One would violently crush all dissent, the other would engage all of humanity in a cosmic conversation. As we blogged last year:
And we do think we know the answer to Fallaci's "some human truth here that is beyond religion." It's the tragic view of human nature -- vs. the Left's utopian, blank-slate, noble-savage one that denies any such thing as human nature -- that acknowledges the dark side in all of us and tries to design political institutions -- the U.S. Constitution comes to mind -- that channel our potentially destructive human nature into productive self-fulfillment (can you say invisible hand?) that redounds to the good of the larger community.
Ahmadinejad & Company, projecting their own self-loathing onto the infidel, may fantasize that -- as Iranian academic Heshmatollah Qanbari phrased it on Iranian TV two years back -- the Jews are the source of "all corrupt traits in humanity" and throughout history have exhibited expansionist tendencies, but who are you going to believe, Ahmadinejad or your eyes?