I loved the movie, Dave, starring Kevin Kline. A favorite scene involved Dave, the imposter President, trying to convince the Cabinet to cut the budget in order to save a program for homeless kids. The Commerce Secretary defended an advertising effort to make people feel better about American made cars they had already purchased, as if making people feel better about their past decisions was more important than helping people in the present.
This scene returned to mind as I listened to coverage of Pope Benedict's announced resignation. Though I've not been a fan, I'll pass on commenting on his decision. He probably doesn't have much regard for me either.
During the coverage, however, it was noted that a major emphasis of Benedict's papacy, and one that would likely continue, was the attempt to restore consistency with the Church's past, something that was lost in the course of Vatican II and other modernizing efforts.
How sad it is when an organization's hope for the future is reduced to recovering it's nostalgic recollections of its past. How sad when any of us fall into this trap. The past cannot be changed by our greatest efforts. But the future! The future awaits our action, our decision, our energy!
So many in the Church wring their hands about the growing numbers who have left religion behind. I'm surprised the numbers aren't MUCH higher.