Optimism about Ratzinger... oops Benedict I mean
Very interesting comment by Luciano Butti:
In spite of many negative evidences, I wouldn't be too pessimistic about Ratzinger. He is intelligent and able to listen to different opinions: much more than the previous Pope. And for each of the issues you presented, there already is a prepared path for a reasonable solution inside the Church. A) Condoms in Africa: a theologian very much appreciated in the Vatican wrote the path to overcome useless moral prohibition ( see http://blog.espressonline.it/weblog/stories.php?story=05/03/16/0757255, in Italian, and "Lonergan Studies Newsletter" n. 11 del 1990, pp. 7-9, in English). B) Turkey: we do not only need that Turkey is admitted by the UE. We also need that Turkey is accepted by the European citizens. What's happening in France wuth the referendum (about the Consitution, not about Turkey!!) is not encouraging. At the end of a long process, Ratzinger will say yes (all the traditionalists do something very liberal in their life). And the people will follow. C) Ecumenism. Ratzinger said he will follow the Vatican Council. Here is an extract from the Declaration "Dignitatis Humanae": "Truth is to be sought after in a manner proper to the dignity of the human person and his social nature. The inquiry is to be free, carried on with the aid of teaching or instruction, communication and dialogue, in the course of which men explain to one another the truth they have discovered, or think they have discovered, in order thus to assist one another in the quest for truth". Meglio di molti (autoproclamati) liberali. Luciano Butti
Ratzinger is smart. And the documents you quote are there to prove it. Thus your belief about his probable liberal approach to the Turkish question is credible, even if not proven. But if he should leave history to its course in that case, he will not stop thinking that the Church has the right to say what's good and bad for the State (which is perfectly right) and to organize politically to impose its view to everybody else (which could lead to questionable actions).
This said, I like the fact that Ratzinger is smart. I think that he will say things that will make us all think. Which is really what we need.