About three and a half years ago, I made a few predictions about Pope Benedict’s pontificate. It’s interesting to see how things have panned out thus far. I think I was pretty accurate on #2, so-so on # 3, and way off the mark on # 4. I certainly wish the Holy Father ad multos annos, so I hope I wind up being waaaay off the mark on #1.
2) Because his reign will be relatively brief, and I believe the pope is keenly aware of this, his will be a papacy marked by much decisive action. He will travel less, perhaps much less, than Pope John Paul II did, and he will likely write fewer encyclicals, simply because he won’t have the luxury of 26 years in which to pen the torrent of important works that his predecessor did. By “action,” I mean that Pope Benedict will actively confront heresy and dissent, he will rebuke as well as coax, and he will make a series of stunningly good episcopal appointments, especially in the United States.
3) The media campaign of criticism and carping won’t die down; it will continue and increase in sharpness. The secular media will be aided in this effort by dissident Catholic groups and dissident Catholic leaders: Curran, McBrien, FOTV, etc.
4) There will be a growing “good-cop” “bad-cop” juxtaposition between Benedict XVI and John Paul II.