Before the last conclave, then-Cardinal Ratzinger was the one person in Rome whom the Orthodox held in unlimited esteem. He was convinced, as was John Paul II, that the hoped-for ecclesial reform & New Evangelization must need let in the light of the East, lived by holy Church “breathing with two lungs”.
How many cardinals had considered that when opting for Cardinal Ratzinger is not yet known, and perhaps will never be with certainty of course by those outside the conclave.
But well known is that afterward & ever since not a few VIPs [very important Prelates] among the Eastern – and Western – (O)rthodox have considered the election of Cardinal Ratzinger to be Pope John Paul II’s first miracle.
That should inspire Catholics who aspire to live the traditional life in Christ to pray to Blessed John Paul for another such miracle, so that the next Supreme Pontiff may continue to apply the priorities and to accomplish the ideals of Pope Benedict’s pontificate ad edificationem Ecclesiam.
Let’s face it. If a Catholic minority is to remain relevant let alone vital in coming years in Western lands in particular, it will have to forge better relations with the Eastern Christians, who among other things are no strangers to recent persecution.
That is of course in great part because they are not deluded about their own weakness. In a word, it is because they still know how to pray as Christians have always, in their own chambers and in the churches. If for no other reason than self-preservation then, a meticulous care of preserving & restoring the Roman liturgical heritage is a sine qua non of enhanced relations with the Eastern Christians and their communities — both Catholic and Orthodox.
Let us all join in fervent prayer to God for their Eminences of the pending conclave, that they find orientation by Orientale lumen.