Orthodox Catholics have cause for great celebration—the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on April 19 as our new Holy Father sends an unmistakable message: the College of Cardinals wants a man who will continue the theological legacy of Pope John Paul II. There can be no greater tribute to John Paul the Great than this.

In 1986, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote a letter to an insubordinate priest, Charles Curran, saying, “The authorities of the Church cannot allow the present situation to continue in which…one who is to teach in the name of the Church in fact denies her teaching.” In 1998, as John Paul II’s enforcer of orthodoxy, he said that the Church’s prohibition against “priestly ordination of women” had “been set forth infallibly.”

The day before he was elected the new pope, Ratzinger said in his homily before the College of Cardinals, “We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.” This is straight out of John Paul II’s Veritatis Splendor, one of the most powerful statements on morality ever written.

In other words, Ratzinger understands that a society that refuses to acknowledge that morality is a social attribute—not an individual one—is bound to culturally implode. This message may be resisted by some, but it is nonetheless true.

The Catholic League is delighted. Those who are not need to do some real soul searching.

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