My friend Austen Ivereigh has a great article up at the Tablet on the frank discussions the cardinals will be having - indeed, conversations began about two minutes after Benedict XVI announced his retirement. The whole process might strike some as unseemly in its frankness, but I confess I think such thoughts betray a kind of gnostic sensibility. The Holy Spirit works through very human instruments. As one friend remarks the other day, "Sometimes it takes the Spirit a couple of generations to get through to us!" The frankness of the cardinals that Ivereigh describes is not anti-spiritual or worldly in the least. It is what comes from taking the demands of the Spirit seriously and trying to instantiate those demands in a complex organization with strong personalities.
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