Meet the new Pope…same as the old Pope…or not.

Uh, so, I’m not Catholic, but what does it say to the world when the leaders of the Church elect the most conservative candidate? Well, honestly, it says “Hey, we’re the Church, man, what did you expect? ” The fact that Pope Benedict XVI (nee Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) is 78 years old makes it seem like a compromise – as if the Cardinals elected him just so that they could say they did the logical thing, and let the reformers relax because a man can only live so long.

Will more liberal Catholic parishoners find themselves alienated, turning their backs on their Church? I sincerely doubt it – the Catholics I know are far more concerned with the character and style of their parish priest than Il Papa. But it can’t help.

I thought the best coverage/analysis of John Paul II’s death and funeral could be summed up as “He was pretty liberal, for a Pope.” Those days are done for now.

I’m not completely surprised to find myself in a bad mood right now, and I intend to snap out of it. More coffee doesn’t seem to be helping, so I’ll just immerse myself in my reading.

For lots more on this, check out what Andrew Sullivan is saying.