I love a really well-formed, cogent, thoughtful argument. Contarini is examining the role of the Bishop of Rome over at his Ithilien blog. While exploring the many questions that converts ask, he is not being swept up in romantic notions of the papacy. Similar to Pontifications, he seems to be examining the traditions of those Christians not in unity with Rome in view of what he has learned about the Petrine Office, but not with the intent to minimize the value of other traditions, but rather maximize the value of the Petrine ministry. It's truly engaging inquiry, and I suggest you read the recent posts listed in the margin. If you click on the link above, it will take you to his post about Pope Benedict's writings. Here's a sample:

The central and consistent theme of Ratzinger's thought is communion. Not authority, not law, not order, not even tradition. Human beings are created for communion with God and one another. The Church is the fellowship in which this communion takes place--a fellowship that sums up God's work of creation throughout the aeons, and God's work of revelation throughout the centuries. The purpose of doctrine and liturgy and discipline is to shape this fellowship of communion. All the history of the universe and the human race is pointing toward the eschaton, in which the creation to which God has given freedom will freely return to communion with Him. The Church exists as a sign of that final goal of all creation. This is the context which Ratzinger's critics repeatedly miss. And without it nothing he says or does makes sense.

It would seem that SecretAgentMan agrees with me in this one. It would also seem I'm not so quick on the uptake.

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